Feel the sand between your toes at a proper seaside (sorry, urban beaches). With the bank holiday set to be a scorcher, here are some of the most picturesque beaches that are close enough to London, you could be there and back in a day.
1. Whitstable, Kent
This quaint little harbour town in Kent is one for the oyster lovers and shell collectors alike. Go on a weekend to sample some of the freshest shellfish you can get your hands on and amble around envying all the expertly done-up seafront houses.
Journey time: approximately 1 hour and 30 mins from London St. Pancras or Victoria train stations.
2. Brighton, Sussex
The home of some deliciously sweet and equally hard-to-bite-into rock, Brighton is mostly famous for its pier. Expect cliché machine games, a carousel and please don’t forget those hot doughnuts eaten on the beach.
Journey time: just an hour from London Bridge or Victoria train stations.
3. Climping Beach, West Sussex
A shingle and pebble covered beach, this one’s perfect for needing to take a breather from the bustling capital. Take a stroll, a picnic or your dog as this beach is best enjoyed on a leisurely calm day.
Journey time: 2 and a half hours from Victoria or London Bridge train stations.
4. Walton-on-the-naze, Essex
Walton has the second longest pier in England so you can choose to stroll along that, their well known yacht clubs, marina or their historic tower at The Naze. One for the history lovers, this seaside town is brimming with it and perfect for a weekend day trip.
Journey time: Around an hour and a half from London Liverpool Street train station.
5. Sunny Sands Beach, Kent
Near to Folkestone harbour lies one of the closest sandy beaches to London. Due to this, it can get quite busy as the warmer months draw nearer but there’s lot of cafés, pubs and shops nearby to keep everyone entertained.
Journey time: Nearest station is Folkestone Central and takes less than an hour from London St. Pancras.
6. Bournemouth, Dorset
Boasting seven miles of golden sand and sea, it’s easy to see why this beach town is a firm favourite for most people in the UK. Not only do they have gorgeous beaches but they also have lots of shops, beautiful award-winning gardens and seafront hotels … you know, if that day trip is so tempting it keeps you there for a night.
Journey time: Around 2 hours from London Waterloo train station.
7. West Wittering, Chichester
What could be better than untouched, wonderful views of Chichester harbour and the South Downs? With the highest water quality and lots of excellent facilities, West Wittering sure makes a great day away. There’s lots of natural wildlife, birds, unique beauty and even a café for all those seaside treats.
Journey time: Nearest station is Chichester and is only around an hour and a half from Waterloo or Victoria train stations.
8. Botany Bay, Kent
This infamous cliff is undoubtedly one of the most photographed bays in the UK. A great place for some good old fossil hunting, rock pool exploring and of course, lots of sand for those attempts at sandcastles.
Journey time: Around a couple of hours from London St. Pancras train station.
9. Mersea Island, Essex
This little-known island (all about those secrets here at Secret London HQ) is just eight miles square and definitely needs some planning to get to – it gets cuts off from the mainland at high tide! Take part in traditional seaside activities like crabbing, relaxing on the sand and feasting on fresh oysters or wine from their vineyard.
Journey time: A little longer at 2 and a half hours from London Liverpool Street train station.
10. Camber Sands, Camber
Commonly known as one of the best sandy beaches in England, this stretch of uninterrupted five-mile long sand is just the ticket on a sunny day. With lovely places to stay, great restaurants and even some kitesurfing lessons, Camber Sands looks like the perfect little beach getaway from the hustle and bustle.
Journey time: Just over an hour and a half from London St. Pancras train station.