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Looking for the best beaches near London for that much-needed day trip?
Whether you prefer vast sandy expanses, charming pebble stretches, or scenic coastal spots, we’ve lined up the top serene beaches within easy reach of the capital.
Discover your next seaside escape without venturing too far from home each beach handpicked for its appeal and proximity to London.
Exploring the Sandy Shores Close to the Capital
Who needs a tropical island when you have sandy beaches like West Wittering, Camber Sands, and Botany Bay right on your doorstep?
These beaches near London, located within a comfortable distance, offer glorious sandy shores and tranquil vibes.
They are some of the best spots for a leisurely day trip, providing a delightful escape from the city’s fast-paced life.
Some of the best beaches in the UK include:
- West Wittering: family-friendly vibes
- Camber Sands: golden sands, perfect for building sandcastles and kitesurfing
- Botany Bay: secluded beauty, and you might even find fascinating fossils
These beautiful beaches, with their golden sand beach, are the epitome of relaxation and enjoyment.
West Wittering Beach
West Wittering Beach, nestled in West Sussex, is a haven of tranquillity with breath-taking views of the Sussex coast.
Renowned for its extensive sandy stretch, vibrant beach huts, and a café offering quintessential beach snacks, it’s the perfect location for family picnics.
For those seeking a bit of adventure, the beach also offers a variety of watersports, including kitesurfing, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding, with lessons available for beginners.
If you’re looking for a peaceful day trip without having to travel too far, West Wittering Beach is just the place for you.
Camber Sands, situated in East Sussex, is beloved by visitors for its expansive sandy shores and imposing sand dunes.
It’s an ideal location for sandcastle building and adventurous kitesurfing. The beach’s popularity isn’t just limited to the UK.
Known as the sunny sands of Camber Sands, it has been voted as one of the best beaches in England and has even been used as a filming location for Hollywood movies.
Just a short train journey from London, Camber Sands offers an unparalleled beach experience that’s hard to match.
For those in pursuit of a secluded retreat, Botany Bay in Kent could be your ideal destination. The beach offers:
- White cliffs
- Intriguing rock pools
- Fossil hunting opportunities
- Unique geography, featuring white cliffs and sea caves
Its beauty and allure make it a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts and explorers.
Whether you’re into sea kayaking, surfing, or simply exploring the rock pools, Botany Bay offers a variety of activities to keep you engaged and entertained.
- Want to visit a Historic Castle while in Kent? Must-Visit Castles in Kent for your next Family Day Out.
Pebbly Havens Along the South Coast
If sandy beaches aren’t your cup of tea, don’t worry! The South Coast offers a plethora of pebbly beaches, including:
- Brighton Beach, with its iconic pier and recreational activities
- Whitstable Beach, known for its oysters and sunsets
- Climping Beach, with its secluded shingle splendour
These west beach locations offer a different yet equally exciting seaside experience.
So, whether you’re in the mood for some fun-filled activities or quiet contemplation by the sea, these pebbly havens won’t disappoint.
Brighton Beach, celebrated for its distinctive flint pebbles and dynamic atmosphere, is a must-visit for beach enthusiasts.
Just an hour from London, the beach boasts a range of fun activities, diverse food stalls, and an iconic pier, enhancing its appeal.
The nearby attractions that make Brighton Beach a perfect spot for a day trip include:
- The Royal Pavilion
- The Lanes
- North Laine
- Brighton Palace Pier
- Devil’s Dyke
So, if you’re looking for a lively and iconic beach destination within easy reach of London, Brighton Beach is the place to be.
Whitstable Beach, characterised by its shingle composition and safe swimming conditions, offers a distinctive beach experience.
Renowned for its oysters, visitors can savour these delicacies at the waterfront pubs or even fresh from the sea.
In addition to its culinary delights, the beach also offers a natural causeway called ‘The Street’ that can be observed at low tide.
With its combination of natural beauty and gastronomical delights, Whitstable Beach is a spot you wouldn’t want to miss.
Climping Beach is an idyllic sanctuary for those seeking solitude and tranquillity.
Characterised by its shingle composition, the shingle beach boasts a serene and secluded atmosphere ideal for a relaxing seaside stroll or picnic.
The best time to visit is when the tide is low, revealing a large sandy area that is perfect for a leisurely walk.
The availability of parking near the beach ensures a hassle-free visit, making it a perfect destination for a peaceful day out.
Coastal Charms with Colourful Beach Huts
Adding a splash of colour to our list are the beaches of Walton on the Naze and Viking Bay.
These beaches stand out not just for their stunning coastal views but also for their vibrant beach huts.
These colourful little houses, with their distinctive British charm, add a unique touch to these beaches, making them a popular choice for photographers and beachgoers alike.
Whether you’re looking to soak in the stunning seaside views, explore the local attractions, or simply laze around in one of the beach huts, these beaches offer a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment.
Walton on the Naze
Walton on the Naze, nestled in Essex, is a charming seaside town featuring a long pier, vibrant beach huts, and a plethora of activities for visitors.
The beach huts, a unique part of British seaside history, have been a mainstay for over a century.
Whether you wish to chill in the shallow lagoons, enjoy a picnic in the grassy areas, or partake in water sports, Walton on the Naze offers something for everyone.
The beach also offers amenities like toilets, showers, lifeguards, and a café, making it a perfect destination for a family day out.
Viking Bay, situated near Broadstairs, is a coastal jewel offering a unique beach experience.
The bay, with its vibrant beach huts nestled against the cliff wall, is a favourite spot for families and water sports enthusiasts.
The long sandy bay, cliff-top promenade, and the availability of fishing, swimming, and water sports facilities make it a popular spot for beach lovers.
Furthermore, the beach also offers level access from the nearest car park, a beach lift, and a step-free beach entrance, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the beach without any hassle.
Natural Wonders: Cliffs, Dunes, and Rock Pools
If you’re someone who prefers the raw beauty of nature, the Seven Sisters Chalk Cliffs and Greatstone Beach are just the places for you.
Experience the breath-taking views, windswept dunes, and fascinating rock pools that these places have to offer.
Whether you’re looking to admire the majestic cliffs, explore the vast dunes, or discover marine life in the rock pools, these natural wonders offer a unique and unforgettable seaside experience.
Seven Sisters Chalk Cliffs
The Seven Sisters Chalk Cliffs, located in East Sussex, offer one of the most breath-taking coastal views in the UK.
These towering white cliffs, formed under an ancient sea around 87-84 million years ago, provide a stunning contrast against the blue sea, making them a popular spot for photography and sightseeing.
The cliffs are also home to a variety of wildlife, including the brilliant blue butterfly, grazing sheep, and rare flora and fauna, adding to their natural allure.
Whether you wish to go hiking, bird-watching, or simply enjoy the panoramic views, the Seven Sisters Chalk Cliffs are definitely worth a visit.
Greatstone Beach, situated near New Romney in Kent, offers a tranquil retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Renowned for its sandy shores and windswept dunes, the beach exudes a serene atmosphere ideal for a relaxing day.
The beach is also home to the Greatstone Dunes, a Site of Specific Scientific Interest that supports a variety of rare plant species and a thriving population of small animals and insects.
Whether you’re looking to unwind by the sea, explore the dunes, or simply soak in the endless horizon, Greatstone Beach is a destination that you wouldn’t want to miss.
Seaside Towns with a Splash of Culture
If you’re looking to combine your beach trip with a dash of culture, the seaside towns of Margate and Hastings are just the places for you.
Known for their artistic flair and historical charm, these towns offer a unique blend of culture and coastal beauty.
From art galleries and vintage theme parks in Margate to cobbled streets and maritime pubs in Hastings, these towns offer a rich and diverse seaside experience that goes beyond just sun, sand, and sea.
Margate, a trendy seaside town in Kent, is renowned for its vibrant arts scene and distinctive attractions.
The town houses the Turner Contemporary gallery, an art school, and a museum, repurposed from a bathhouse and mortuary.
Apart from its art galleries, Margate also features a vintage theme park called Dreamland, which is inspired by Coney Island and offers a variety of fun-filled activities for all ages.
Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a thrill-seeker, or someone who enjoys a blend of both, Margate has something for everyone.
Hastings, on the other hand, offers a perfect blend of historical charm and modern vibes.
Known for its old-fashioned cobbled high street, narrow streets filled with antique shops, inns, pubs, and fish and chip shops, the town offers a glimpse into the past.
However, Hastings isn’t just about history. The town also boasts a range of modern attractions, including the Hastings Contemporary, Hastings Miniature Adventure Golf, and The True CRIME Museum, offering a mix of old and new experiences for visitors.
Essex Escapes: Beaches on the Thames Estuary
If you’re up for a bit of adventure, why not explore the serene beaches of Mersea Island and Leigh on Sea? Located on the Thames Estuary, these beaches offer a peaceful retreat from city life.
Known for their tranquil atmosphere and delicious seafood, they make for a perfect day trip destination, whether you’re looking to unwind by the sea, indulge in some fresh oysters, or explore the local attractions.
Nestled in Essex, Mersea Island provides a unique, tranquil beach experience.
Encircled by a nature reserve, the island features a sunny beach, vibrant beach huts, and a vineyard, making it an ideal location for a relaxing day trip.
The island is also home to the Mersea Island Vineyard, which has been producing white wines since 1985, adding to its unique charm.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a wine connoisseur, or simply someone looking for a peaceful retreat, Mersea Island is sure to captivate you.
Leigh on Sea
Further along the Thames Estuary is Leigh on Sea, a charming village known for its cobbled streets, maritime pubs, and picturesque estuary.
The village’s maritime pubs and historic cockle sheds offer a glimpse into its rich maritime history, making it a popular spot for history buffs and seafood lovers alike.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a pint by the sea, feast on fresh seafood, or simply soak in the village’s charming atmosphere, Leigh on Sea is a destination that’s worth the visit.
Convenient Getaways: Beaches Within Easy Reach
If you’re looking for a quick escape, Ruislip Lido Beach and Joss Bay are just around the corner.
These beaches are easily accessible from London, making them perfect for a spontaneous day trip.
With their sandy shores, charming houses, and a variety of activities, these beaches offer all the joys of a seaside retreat without the long journey.
Ruislip Lido Beach
Ruislip Lido Beach, situated in West London, provides a sandy beach experience within the cityscape.
Enclosed by a nature reserve, the beach offers a range of family-friendly activities, making it an ideal venue for a day out with the kids.
Whether you want to build sandcastles, go on woodland walks, or enjoy a scoop of ice cream at the café, Ruislip Lido Beach offers a convenient escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Just a short train journey from London leads to Joss Bay, a stunning Kentish beach.
Renowned for its golden sand and quaint houses, the beach offers a plethora of activities, including surfing and sandcastle building.
Whether you’re an experienced surfer or just there for a leisurely day by the sea, Joss Bay offers a convenient and enjoyable seaside experience that’s just a train ride away.
Bournemouth and Beyond: Worth the Extra Mile
If you’re willing to venture a little further, the picturesque scenery and wildlife of Bournemouth and Milford-on-Sea are worth the extra mile.
These locations offer a unique seaside experience, complete with beautiful landscapes, diverse wildlife, and miles of golden sands.
From the bustling Bournemouth Beach to the tranquil Milford-on-Sea, these destinations are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.
Bournemouth Beach, a favoured beach destination, boasts:
- Seven miles of golden sands
- Diverse shops
- Numerous attractions
Ideal for a day of sunbathing, the beach and its nearby attractions, including the Oceanarium and a variety of recreational activities, ensure an engaging experience.
So, if you’re willing to travel a little further, Bournemouth Beach is definitely worth the journey.
For seekers of peace and tranquillity, Milford-on-Sea is the ideal destination. This enchanting coastal village in Hampshire offers stunning scenery, clifftop walks, and an array of wildlife.
Whether you’re looking to explore the local wildlife, take a leisurely stroll along the beach, or simply soak in the picturesque views, Milford-on-Sea offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
From sandy shores and pebbly havens to coastal charms and natural wonders, we’ve explored some of the most serene beaches near London.
Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or a longer day trip, these beaches offer a diverse range of experiences that cater to all tastes and preferences.
So, the next time you’re looking for a peaceful day trip, why not swap the city’s grey concrete for golden sands, the sound of traffic for breaking waves, and the sight of skyscrapers for sweeping coastlines?
After all, who says you need to travel far for an idyllic beach retreat?
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions about Beaches near London? Check out our FAQ section below.
What are some of the best beaches near London?
The best beaches near London include West Wittering Beach, Camber Sands, Botany Bay, Brighton Beach, and Whitstable Beach. These beaches are known for their scenic beauty and range from golden sand beaches to charming shingle beaches.
Are there any sandy beaches close to London?
Yes, there are several sandy beaches near London, such as West Wittering Beach in West Sussex, Camber Sands in East Sussex, and Botany Bay in Kent, offering golden sands and tranquil atmospheres.
Where can I find pebbly beaches on the South Coast?
The South Coast is home to several pebbly beaches such as Brighton Beach, Whitstable Beach, and Climping Beach, each offering a unique seaside experience.
How far are these beaches from London?
These beaches are within a few hours’ drive or train journey from London. For instance, West Wittering Beach and Camber Sands are about two hours away, while Brighton Beach can be reached in about an hour.
Are there any dog-friendly beaches near London?
Several beaches, including Camber Sands and West Wittering, are dog-friendly, especially outside the peak summer months.
What’s the closest sandy beach to central London?
Ruislip Lido Beach in West London is among the closest sandy beaches to central London, offering a convenient seaside experience.