It’s not the end of summer yet, so why not take advantage of the last few days of the season to bask in the sun or go for a breath of fresh sea air, far from chaotic London? Here are the 10 best sandy beaches near London located within two hours. Put on your swimsuit, bring your towel, sun cream and sunglasses and follow the guide.
1. Ruislip Lido Beach, the closest – best sandy beaches near London
A beach on a London subway line, you don’t believe it? And yet, Ruislip Lido Beach is on the Piccadilly Line, in the west of the capital. It’s a 300-hectare wooded nature reserve with a beautiful natural lake and a real sandy beach. Swimming is technically forbidden, but nothing stops you from dipping your feet or legs in the water and basking in the sun. Wooded trails, a mini-train and a pirate ship, will also appeal to parents and children alike.
Directions: Ruislip Lido, HA4 7TY. Stop at Ruislip station on the Piccadilly line and take the H13 bus.
2. Frensham Beach, the most natural – best sandy beaches near London
Here is another unlikely beach near London. It faces the “Frensham” pond located in the middle of the township of Farnham. The water quality is excellent, and you can swim there. For those who also like to walk, there is a park with 600 statues to explore nearby.
To get there: take a train from Waterloo to Farnham, then the 19 bus to St. Mary’s School and walk. The total trip takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes. By car, use the postal code GU10 2QB to find the beach.
3. Whitstable, the most “prominent.” – best sandy beaches near London
An hour and a half from London, the town of Whitstable is famous for its seafood, but its beaches are not to be missed. West Beach is the ideal place to go for a walk, while Tankerton Beach, a little further east, offers a breathtaking view of the sea and the horizon.
To get there: take a train from St Pancras, Cannon Street or Victoria to Whitstable.
4. Brighton, the most essential – best sandy beaches near London
Be careful; there is no fine sandy beach here, only pebbles. A real nice touch – there is even a whole walk along the seafront – for Brighton, which remains the place of refuge for Londoners looking for a bit of coolness on very nice days. On the pier, there is also an air of Santa Monica in California with its mini fair. When you get tired of lounging, go downtown to shop or enjoy an ice cream in the many bars along the pedestrian walkways (or not). Brighton will have everything to seduce you.
Getting there: take the train from London Bridge or Victoria to Brighton. It takes about an hour to get there. At the station’s exit, walk down the avenue, and the sea will be in front of you.
5. Sunny Sands, the most sandy
Sunny Sands is considered one of the best beaches in the country for building sandcastles, so you’d better not forget your shovels and buckets for fun, especially if you have children. The walk along the sea is also very enjoyable.
Getting there: It’s about an hour’s train ride from St Pancras to Folkestone Central.
6. Bournemouth, the longest
It is certainly the longest beach in England with its 17 kilometres of the seafront. A real pleasure for those who don’t like crowds and who can find more quiet spaces. The place is very popular with locals and tourists, who come looking for a little freshness and especially golden sand beaches. The visit to the city is also worth the detour.
To get there: take the train from Waterloo station. It takes about two hours to get there.
7. West Wittering Beach, the purest
The beach offers a breathtaking view of Chichester Harbor, an area of outstanding natural beauty filled with abundant wildlife. It’s also where you’ll find the cleanest swimming waters on the English coast.
Getting there: Take the train from Victoria to Chichester. The journey takes about 1h30.
8. Mersea Island, the most “Deauville” one
As its name suggests, Mersea Island is a (peninsula) located near Colchester in the northeast of London, an hour by train from the capital. And it is cut off from the mainland during high tide, which is why it is essential to make arrangements and organize your trip. We recommend the beach of South Beach, which has a little air of Deauville with its small coloured cabins all along. Mersea Island is also well known for its vineyard, so if you have time, stop for a drink.
Getting there: take the train from Liverpool Street to Colchester. In an hour, you’ll be there.
9. Minnis Bay, the most sporty
For water sports enthusiasts, this is the ideal place to go windsurfing or sailing. At high tide, the huge beach of Minnis Bay disappears, so get as much sun as possible before the sea takes over.
Getting there: About 1.5 hours from London by train from St Pancras, Cannon Street or Victoria to Birchington-on-Sea.
10. Camber Sands, the most cinematic
Regularly voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in England. Camber Sands is so beautiful that it has even been featured in Hollywood films, such as Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, George Clooney’s Monument Men or The Theory of Everything about the life of physicist Stephen Hawking. Five kilometres of sand, dunes, wind to practice kite surfing. In short, go there!
How to get there: one hour by train from London from St Pancras in the direction of Rye.