Five of the best beaches near London

Jun 21, 2021 | Things to do

Sun, sand and sea doesn’t have to require jumping on a plane. Source the Area has rounded up some of the best beaches near London for those hot days when you want to flee the city. 

If you are heading down there in the summer, always leave early; you’re definitely not the only one with the idea and have a look at the local council or the beach website to see what their rules are around BBQs and animals. 

All of our picks are no more than 3 hours away from London and can be done as a day trip.

Ruislip Lido

Ruislip Lido Beach is a large lake that covers 60 acres in the London Borough of Hillingdon. 

It is a great place and has something for all of the family. A beach to relax or play, children’s play area, woodland walks, cafes, grass areas, duck and bird feeding platforms, outdoor gym, miniature railway and much more! It’s a great reason to push your Oyster Card to the limits and head out to Zone 6 – it’s an hour from central London. 

Brighton Beach

Brighton is UK’s most famous beach; Brighton Beach is a pebbly beach with certified Blue Flag waters and a 4-mile promenade that buzzes with life in all seasons.

The water can be chilly but is very popular for swimming and water sports such as windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and wakeboarding. You also have the Victorian pier nearby and traditional fairground along with cafes, restaurants, fish and chips and beach clubs. Next to the pier is the Sea Life Centre which is probably the oldest aquarium in the world, dating back to 1872.

Head west and you will find the free Fishing Museum and also the British Airways i360 – the world’s tallest moving observation tower. Glide 450 feet into the air to see Brighton & Hove including the vibrant Brighton Beach, in all its glory! 

Camber Sands

Camber Sands is one of the most popular beaches near London and for good reason. It’s a perfect get-away with unspoilt views of sand sea stretching for miles.

There are over two miles of golden sandy beach and the area is home to the only sand dune system in East Sussex, which provides valuable natural habitat to many animals and plants.

Camber Sands is a popular windsurfing/ kite-surfing spot which might suggest it is worth packing a windbreak. The beach is regarded as one of the best places for beachcombing in the UK.

Frensham Beach

Hidden away in the depths of Surrey, miles away from the coast, is a beach resembling in every respect a seaside resort. 

On hot summer days it can busy, so it is best to come by early in the morning and enjoy the blue skies. It covers roughly 1,000 acres of attractive countryside, lying midway between Farnham and Hindhead on either side of the A287. 

Bournemouth

A two-hour train ride is more than worth it when you get to Bournemouth Beach. In the summer Bournemouth beach may get a little too popular for some, but there are plenty of alternatives along this seven-mile stretch of sand. It is easy to see the attraction; a huge swathe of fine golden sand set on the doorstep of this vibrant coastal resort town. 

Being a stone throw away from Bournemouth town centre means there is no shortage of amenities and entertainment right on the beach. There are cafes, shops, amusement arcades and IMAX cinema all within minutes from the beach.  

Ruislip Lido

Ruislip Lido Beach is a large lake that covers 60 acres in the London Borough of Hillingdon. 

It is a great place and has something for all of the family. A beach to relax or play, children’s play area, woodland walks, cafes, grass areas, duck and bird feeding platforms, outdoor gym, miniature railway and much more! It’s a great reason to push your Oyster Card to the limits and head out to Zone 6 – it’s an hour from central London. 

Location

Reservoir Rd, Ruislip HA4 7TY

Entry fee

Free

Opening hours

From 9am, seven days a week. Closing times tend to vary with season but go up to 9pm in summer

Brighton Beach

Brighton is UK’s most famous beach; Brighton Beach is a pebbly beach with certified Blue Flag waters and a 4-mile promenade that buzzes with life in all seasons.

The water can be chilly but is very popular for swimming and water sports such as windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and wakeboarding. You also have the Victorian pier nearby and traditional fairground along with cafes, restaurants, fish and chips and beach clubs. Next to the pier is the Sea Life Centre which is probably the oldest aquarium in the world, dating back to 1872.

Head west and you will find the free Fishing Museum and also the British Airways i360 – the world’s tallest moving observation tower. Glide 450 feet into the air to see Brighton & Hove including the vibrant Brighton Beach, in all its glory! 

Location

Brighton BN1 1NB

Entry fee

Free

Opening hours

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year

Frensham Beach

Hidden away in the depths of Surrey, miles away from the coast, is a beach resembling in every respect a seaside resort. 

On hot summer days it can busy, so it is best to come by early in the morning and enjoy the blue skies. It covers roughly 1,000 acres of attractive countryside, lying midway between Farnham and Hindhead on either side of the A287. 

Location

Frensham Great Pond, Farnham GU10 3DX

Entry fee

Free

Opening hours

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year

Camber Sands

Camber Sands is one of the most popular beaches near London and for good reason. It’s a perfect get-away with unspoilt views of sand sea stretching for miles.

There are over two miles of golden sandy beach and the area is home to the only sand dune system in East Sussex, which provides valuable natural habitat to many animals and plants.

Camber Sands is a popular windsurfing/ kite-surfing spot which might suggest it is worth packing a windbreak. The beach is regarded as one of the best places for beachcombing in the UK.

Location

Camber, Rye TN31 7RB

Entry fee

Free

Opening hours

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year

Bournemouth

A two-hour train ride is more than worth it when you get to Bournemouth Beach. In the summer Bournemouth beach may get a little too popular for some, but there are plenty of alternatives along this seven-mile stretch of sand. It is easy to see the attraction; a huge swathe of fine golden sand set on the doorstep of this vibrant coastal resort town. 

Being a stone throw away from Bournemouth town centre means there is no shortage of amenities and entertainment right on the beach. There are cafes, shops, amusement arcades and IMAX cinema all within minutes from the beach.  

Location

Pier Approach, Bournemouth BH2 5AA

Entry fee

Free

Opening hours

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year

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