To help Londoners get their fix of sand and surf during their time off, we put together this list of 29 beaches near London that are worth checking out. London is a beautiful city, but sometimes you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Whether you’re looking for a small beach with seclusion or one that’s bustling with activity, there’s something on this list for everyone! So grab your sunscreen because it’s time to pack up all your gear and head down to the beach!
1. Littlehampton West Beach, West Sussex
A scientifically significant location West Beach is home to one of West Sussex’s three sand dune systems. West Beach, noted for its laid-back vibe, is a perfect place to unwind with a picnic and take in views of nearby Bognor and even the Isle of Wight on clear days.
West Beach is accessible by automobile or on foot across the red bridge just across from the station. It takes 15 minutes to stroll along the river from the bridge. The award-winning West Beach Café, the remnants of the Littlehampton Napoleonic Fort, and, if you search hard enough, some fossils may be found on West Beach.
2. Bournemouth, Dorset
Bournemouth offers some of the hottest water temperatures in England, with seven miles of coastline and four Blue Flag beaches that are considered some of the best in the country. This is a favourite under the residence, and without question made it on our top beaches near London list.
Windbreaks, deck chairs, and parasols may be hired along Bournemouth Beach, and smaller children will enjoy riding the Land Train to one of the calmer neighbouring beaches.
3. Walton-On-The-Naze, Essex
Also on our list of beaches near London, is a lovely secluded beach located below cliffs where you can still discover million-year-old shark teeth is only around the corner from the beach cottages of Walton-on-the-Naze and Frinton-on-Sea. An eight-story folly tower lies atop the clifftop meadows, where you may drink tea while admiring the 30-mile vistas.
Further north, the beach leads to Hamford Water’s hidden islands and inlets, a tidal realm immortalized by Arthur Ransome in Swallows and Amazons and ideal for kayaking or wild camping.
4. Tankerton Beach And The Street, Whitstable, Kent
A wonderful long beach with a good promenade. It’s ideal for a morning stroll, and there are lots of free parking nearby, so you won’t have to worry about finding a spot. “The street,” as it’s called locally, is a 300-meter-long sandbar that extends straight out into Tankerton Bay.
If you plan on swimming, we recommend wearing flip-flops or booties because the beach is rather stony!
5. Mersea Island
The picturesque Essex island of Mersea is seven square miles of golden beach beauty and the ideal seaside retreat from London.
This is a great day or weekend excursion from the capital for plenty of sea air, amazing seafood, fantastic coastal places to stay, and oodles of walking space – an opportunity to get away from it all.
Choose between East and West Mersea; the west is a little fishing village with sandy beaches and a variety of shops, restaurants, and taverns. The countryside is more rural towards the east, with untamed natural beaches and wide-open areas.
6. Brighton, Sussex
Brighton’s beachfront is one of the top ten city beach locations in the world, according to Lonely Planet, and is excellent for soaking up the sun in the summer or taking brisk walks to clear your thoughts on cold winter days. Cafés, cafes, and nightclubs may be found along the prom, as well as beach and water sports.
Brighton Beach, one of the UK’s most famous beaches, is a pebbly beach with certified Blue Flag waters and a 4-mile promenade that buzzes with people in all seasons. Even though it is 47 miles distant, it is recognized as London’s beach. It’s unsurprising that it may get quite busy on Bank Holidays, but that’s part of the charm.
7. Botany Bay, Near Broadstairs, Kent
Botany Coastline is a beautiful, unspoiled sandy bay with white cliffs and sea caves located between Margate and Broadstairs. On the clifftop, the Botany Bay Hotel serves pub meals. The brave can paddle around to the secret bay on the right at low tide. Cliff Chambers, where smugglers once hid their booty, are visible on the cliffs here, and you can still climb up into them. Beaches can also be found in Kingsgate Bay and Joss Bay.
8. East Beach, Littlehampton, West Sussex
Littlehampton Beach, a frequent contender for the prized Blue Flag award, has no shortage of amenities. During the summer, it is additionally patrolled by RNLI Lifeguards, and a Kidcare wristband program is in place to make the beach particularly safe for families.
The ideal sandcastle-building sand uncovered when the tide goes out adds to the beach’s family credentials.
The amusement arcade, diving and snorkelling, kite surfing, sailing, swimming, and windsurfing are all offered activities.
9. Minnis Bay, Birchington, Kent
Lucky number 10 on our beaches near London list, is the Minnis Bay Bar & Brasserie, which overlooks one of the greatest beaches on the North Kent Coast, is a relaxing, elegant setting that provides genuinely exceptional views, superb food, and extensive drinks list, and friendly service.
10. Holywell Retreat, Eastbourne, East Sussex
At low tide, this stretch of coastline offers rock pools teeming with marine life, as well as picturesque Italian gardens and the magnificent chalk cliffs of Beachy Head.
Holywell Retreat, located at the foot of the South Downs, has a popular café, beach huts, and beach cabins. The Dotto land comes to an end here.
Dogs are accepted on certain beaches, but they must be kept on a leash. Toilets, disabled toilets, and beach showers are available.
11. Durdle Door, Dorset
On the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England, close to Lulworth, you’ll find a natural limestone arch known as Durdle Door, which is also occasionally spelt as Durdle Dor. Although it is privately owned by the Weld Family, who also controls the Lulworth Estate, visitors from the general public are welcome to visit.
We suggest scheduling your trip between the months of September and May when both the beach and the roads will be less crowded. If you plan to go during one of the busiest periods of the day, we suggest that you use public transportation, walk or ride a bike there, or if you must drive, get there as early or as late in the day as possible to ensure that you will find a parking spot.
It is not advised for people who have mobility issues, wheelchair users, or those who use mobility scooters to visit the beach at Durdle Door since the slope leading there is very steep. The walk from the parking lot to the lookout point takes about 15 minutes, and then there are more than 140 steps that go down to the beach. There are no feasible vantage points from the parking lot that looks out onto Durdle Door. The restrooms that are accessible may be found in the parking lot at Durdle Door Holiday Park.
12. West Wittering, West Sussex
This is a popular beach in the United Kingdom and finds itself at number 13 on our beaches near London list. Its size assures that you will never be crowded. The waters are always a couple of degrees warmer because the Isle of Wight protects them. This beach, with miles and miles of white sand, is ideal for a day out with friends or family.
It is one of the country’s finest Blue Flag beaches due to its outstanding water quality and great amenities.
13. Jaywick Beach
Jaywick beach is an uncommon find. It has lovely golden dunes, boulders to climb, unusual plants including Sea Holly and Sea Campions, and very few people.
Jaywick’s facilities are minimal, however, there is a parking park on Tamarisk Way and public restrooms at each end. To the back of the shore, there is also a tiny, walled promenade popular with dog walkers.
A number of Martello towers may be seen along this length of shoreline. These miniature circular forts were constructed in the nineteenth century to guard against attacks from across the English Channel.
14. Camber Sands, East Sussex
Camber Sands is not your typical Sussex beach, and the explanation is in the name. Sands, indeed! Camber Sands is covered in fine, golden sand, unlike other beaches along the Sussex coast, which are strewn with stones and shingles kept in place by a network of groins. Not only that, but Camber is home to East Sussex’s only sand dunes.
Camber Sands, despite its excellent natural advantages, remains relatively unspoiled. There is a fair possibility of finding isolation here for most of the year. Even at the height of summer, despite being just two hours from London, the crowds remain manageable.
15. Dungeness, Kent
Dungeness is strange in many ways, not the least of which is its setting. It is formally classed as a dessert and is one of the most distinctive environments in the United Kingdom. Despite this, it supports a diverse range of biodiversity, including 600 plant species and several unusual insects.
Prospect Cottage, with its driftwood garden, is one of Dungeness’ most well-known views. This house, which once belonged to film director Derek Jarman, is typical of the wooden houses that line the coast here.
16. Ruislip Lido Beach, West London
It’s an undeniably sweet incentive to max out your Oyster Card and go to Zone 6 — it’s an hour from central London, door-to-door, with a tube ride to Ruislip Station and a choice of two buses for the remainder of the route.
First and foremost, swimming and boats are not permitted at the lake, making the name ‘Ruslip Lido’ somewhat misleading.
This is a lovely spot for adults and children to relax and enjoy the outdoors. There’s a lake, a playground, a coffee shop, a restaurant, and a ton of other things to do. With easy access from London central, it is no surprise that this beach found a place on our beaches near London list.
17. Climping Beach, West Sussex
Climping Beach is a peaceful, rural beach midway between Littlehampton and Bognor. It’s made out of shingles and stones kept in place by a network of wooden groins, like many of the beaches along this section of the Sussex coast. As the water recedes, a large stretch of sand becomes visible.
Climping is famous for being the setting for a few episodes of Doctor Who in the 1960s and 1970s.
18. Frensham Beach
Number 19 on our beaches near London list is Frensham Beach. In the summer, the man-made beach stretches along a 13th-century lake, providing plenty of opportunities to sunbathe and swim – just make sure to check the water quality first! Around the pond and common, there are lots of wooded trails and bridle routes to appreciate nature!
Around the pond, you can look for uncommon birds and other tiny creatures, build caves out of fallen branches, or go pond dipping. Dogs are permitted on the beach area’s approved dog walk, but not on the beach itself. In the summer, the pond may get extremely crowded, so get there early to make the most of this wonderful outdoor spot!
19. Whitstable, Kent
From this beautiful west-facing shingle beach, watch the sun’s final rays vanish into the sea. Despite recent gentrification, the region has a rustic atmosphere, with ancient weatherboard homes, beach huts, wooden groins, and old fishing boats moored on the sand. Grab a bag of chips or, try some of Whitstable’s famed oysters.
Head to The Old Neptune bar (locally known as the Neppy) for something a bit stronger, which lies right on the shore and has a lovely feeling of the maritime past. Continue past the Neptune to the more secluded West Beach, which is bordered by wild flora and vacant sky.
20. Goring Beach, West Sussex
Goring Beach is a pebble beach located near the west end of Worthing’s main beach. At low tide, the beach is a pebble beach with compact sand, and it is backed by a huge grassy area.
The beach in Goring-by-Sea is a typical West Sussex beach, with a long expanse of pebbles and shingles divided by wooden groins. A flat sand plain is beyond here.
Placing at number 21 on our beaches near London list is this fantastic spot for kitesurfing since there is a grassy area beyond the beach where you can put up and meet other kitesurfers, and the best kite conditions are on either side of mid-tide.
21. Sunny Sands, Kent
Sunny Sands Beach is a beautiful sandy beach in Folkestone Harbour and close to the town centre. As a result, all amenities, such as cafés, bars, stores, and restrooms, are within walking distance.
Because this is one of London’s nearest sandy beaches, it may get fairly crowded in the summer. And, judging by the entries in the annual sandcastle building competition, the sand here is ideal for creating sand castles.
Spend the afternoon resting with Folkestone’s iconic mermaid statue that sits staring over the coast, and fuel up with some of the greatest ice cream and fish & chips in the region.
22. Viking Bay
This harbour is ageless in its splendour, with its long sandy bay, cliff-top promenade, and boardwalk. Residents and visitors alike enjoy and use this protected bay all year.
Hotels, ice cream parlours, cafés, amusement arcades, and a tiny pier are all things that conjure up images of a perfect seaside vacation.
You may simply stroll to any of the surrounding bays, which include beach huts and even a tidal saltwater swimming pool since this is one of several adjacent bays.
23. Joss Bay
This renowned 200-meter-long bay, considered Thanet’s premier surfing beach, is a surfer’s heaven and one of the favourite beaches near London.
Joss Bay is a beautiful sandy beach backed onto the North Foreland golf course and protected by strong chalk cliffs. This is a lovely family beach with all the amenities nearby, stretching for about 200 meters. If you really want to go for the complete English seaside experience, there is a beach cafe, restrooms, plenty of parking, and deck-chair hiring!
Joss Bay is one of the most popular beaches on the Thanet coast, alongside Viking Bay near Broadstairs.
24. Greatstone Beach
It’s easy to understand why Greatstone is such a popular favourite when it comes to beaches near London. With its long stretch of flat, soft sand and safe swimming waters, as well as the rising popularity of watersports at this beach. The water recedes nearly half a mile at low tide, revealing even more sand for guests to enjoy.
The beach’s conditions are particularly conducive to wind sports such as land yachting, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and kiteboarding.
25. Clacton Beach
Clacton beach is actually rather nice; it’s a good-sized expanse of pure golden sand. As a result, the beach has long been a favourite destination for families. Clacton is a popular destination during the school holidays, thanks to its seasonal lifeguard service, convenient parking, and proximity to a variety of facilities.
Clacton-on-Sea beach, dubbed the “jewel in the crown” of the Essex coast by many, offers a taste of the typical British seaside vacation. There are all the seaside amusements, eateries, and entertainment you could want, as well as a beautiful Victorian pier as the focal point.
26. Port Meadow, Oxford
The Thames runs through this historic country, providing a plethora of hidden beaches and coves. Choose between the tree-lined bank of the river on the west and the wide meadow on the east for your entrance point.
Cows and horses graze freely – keep an eye on your picnic and take any trash or leftovers with you when you leave – creating a pastoral backdrop with Oxford’s beautiful spires shimmering in the background. The meadow has never been ploughed (at least in the last 4,000 years) and is rich in archaeological sites, including multiple Bronze Age barrows and an Iron Age town.
27. Cuckmere Haven, Seaford
Another wild beach on the south coast with spectacular views of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs. Adventurers can explore the coastline eastwards all the way to the Birling Gap at low tide, or travel west for sea caves. The Bloomsbury Set frequented this location, which is close to the Charlestone House Museum.
If you investigate the undercliff region, be aware of currents near the river mouth and the risk of being cut off by tides.
28. Osea Island, Essex
Last but not least on our list of beaches near London, is the beautiful Osea Island. Treat yourself to a weekend on Osea Island if you’re looking for complete solitude. This private island, which is surrounded by the Blackwater Estuary, features a four-and-a-half-mile stretch of isolated shoreline. It’s really relaxing, and you’ll frequently have the shingle beaches to yourself.
29. Lydden Spout, Dover
At low tide, a few small patches of sand can be found between the rock pools. This secluded beach is situated under famous white cliffs that threaten Britain’s most well-known landmark: Dover Castle!
A few beach-dwellers who live in rickety shelters on the cliffs still have access to springs that emerge from fractures in the rocks above. The beach preserves its wild, frontier feel, and you may continue walking to Abbot’s Cliff’s natural beachfront.