A pair of prisoners at a British low-security open jail have reportedly escaped, only to knock on the door of a more secure prison nearby and ask to be detained there instead.

The duo fled from Leyhill prison near Gloucester, central England, because the reformed drugs users found narcotics too easily available there, the Times reported in its Friday edition.

Audie Carr, 29, and Benjamin Clarke, 23, were found to be missing at a roll call held last Sunday night but by Monday lunchtime they had knocked on the doors of Gloucester Prison, about 32 kilometres away.

The pair, jailed for offences including burglary, theft and assault, had originally been held at Gloucester Prison, where they were able to kick their drug habits.