With the summer approaching, we are all hankering after a beach walk, sunrise with a coffee and for those brave souls, a dip in the ocean. The great thing about the UK, is that we’re never that far from a stretch of sand or shingle, especially if you live in or around London.
There are so many beaches near London, and once the sunshine is out I will be heading to some of these this summer.
Whether you fancy splashing around in the sea or strolling along the sand with ice cream, getting sand between your toes, or rolling up your jeans for a paddle, the weather is perfect for a day at the beach.
Keep reading for some of the best beaches near London…..
10 of the Best Beaches near London
- Camber Sands, East Sussex
- Mersea Stone, Essex
- West Wittering, Chichester
- Whitstable, Kent
- Botany Bay, Broadstairs
- Birling Gap, East Sussex
- Shoreham Beach, West Sussex
- Pentle Bay, Tresco, Scilly Isles
- Frensham Beach, Surrey
- Bournemouth Beach, Dorset
1. Camber Sands, East Sussex
Best for long walks along the shoreline
A beautiful, miles-long wide sandy beach one of the longest dune systems on the south coast and with masses of space for walking or relaxing. The dunes and marshes behind the beach are full of wildlife – there’s a basic beach café and, often, a fish & chips van in the carpark – or head to the nearby Dungeness Fish Hut.
2. Mersea Stone, Essex
Best for island life
Mersea Island is an island in Essex, in the Blackwater and Colne estuaries and it’s name comes from the Old English word meresig, meaning “island of the pool”. On the island you can find many things to do, including eating some of the world’s best oysters, wandering the long sandy beaches and grabbing ice creams from The Company Shed.
3. West Wittering, Chichester
Best for cleanliness
Another fave of mine is West Wittering, with it’s a long, narrow Sussex beach and often feels remote due to its vastness. You can also get views across the Solent from here, and Chichester Harbour. It’s also been named one of the cleanest beaches in the UK, always found spotlessly clean. At low tide there are pools for paddling and its a great beach for young children!
4. Whitstable, Kent
Best for ice cream on the beach
There are so many things to do in Whitstable including, surfing, eating oysters, fish and chips, salty sea air and beach huts. If you like any of those things, you will be in for a real treat. And it has one of the best beaches in the UK. Whitstable is a seaside town on the north coast of Kent in south-east England, 5 miles north of Canterbury and 2 miles west of Herne Bay. And if you live in London, it’s also a really easy day trip from London and the train takes 1 hour 15 minutes approx. It’s well worth the journey as there are some amazing things to do in Whitstable and some incredible Whitstable restaurants too!
5. Botany Bay, Broadstairs
Best for sea caves
Another underrated beach, where crowds are rare is Botany Bay, located between Margate and Broadstairs, and offers visitors an undeveloped and relaxed beach experience. Here you can find clear waters, white cliffs and sea caves for exploring. It’s said that smugglers once hid their booty (treasure) here and you can still climb up into them for an adventure.
6. Birling Gap, East Sussex
Best for rock-pooling
If you are after a beach in the UK which is laid back and relaxed, Birling Gap is for you. It’s the perfect beach for a lazy afternoon, with ice-creams on the beach, rock pooling and walks close to the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs. You can find rock pools here for crabbing and fossil hunting, and you can also head to Beachy Head, Britain’s tallest sea-cliff, for amazing views.
7. Shoreham Beach, West Sussex
Best for picnics
Only a short distance from Brighton, but offering a far more relaxed beach experience, Shoreham Beach in West Sussex is perfect for picnics, walks and relaxing with family. It’s a beach not often known by tourists so is very often empty or really quiet, even on weekends. From the beach, there are many things to do including the historic Shoreham Fort. If you fancy some windsurfing head to Lacing, a designated local nature reserve.
8. Frensham Beach, Surrey
Best for pond swimming
OK, so this inclusion actually isn’t a beach, it’s a pond but it’s amazing and worth a visit. Located miles away from the coast, in Surrey, is a pond which you can swim in the calm pond waters, grab an ice cream and do some sunbathing. There are two swimming areas here, which are perfect for kids too, and you can swim within the marked buoys. There are lots to do here, including some lovely walks, some places to grab lunch and explore the local area.
9. Bournemouth Beach, Dorset
Best for the whole beach experience
Recently named as one of the best beaches in the world, you really can’t go wrong with Bournemouth Beach. To start with, it’s massive at 11 miles long, so you can always find a way to escape the crowds on a summers day. You can also find shops, cafes, and activities galore. For the luxury experience, head to Sandbanks as this is where many of the famous people live in the local area.
10. Pentle Bay, Tresco, Scilly Isles
Best for the tropical vibe
A beautiful beach with bleached sand and turquoise water on a good day – with its very tropical vibe, on Tresco you definitely feel like you’re abroad. Just a 7-minute drive inland finds The Flying Boat where you can enjoy fish & chips and lovely views of the coast.
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