Sandy escapes: What are the top beaches near London? 

Do you know why Londoners don’t usually have sunny dispositions? Because there are loads of beaches just a train ride away where people can get all the sun they want, anyhow! 

But enough with the seaside humour. If you’re planning to escape the city buzz and dip your toes into the sand, you’ve landed on the perfect page. Buckle up, beach lovers, as we take you on a sandy journey to uncover the top beaches near London!


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Location: Madeira Drive, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 1TW, United Kingdom

This iconic structure is like the jewel in Brighton’s coastal crown. Stretching out into the English Channel, it’s a lively hub of entertainment with arcade games, amusement rides, and candy floss galore. 

Plus, Brighton is a pebble beach, and that’s what makes it stand out. The colourful pebbles create a unique, picturesque setting, making it a fantastic spot for snapping some Instagram-worthy photos. 

And they’re surprisingly comfortable to sit on – who knew?


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Location: Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1BA, United Kingdom

This is the very spot where the Battle of Hastings went down in 1066, changing the course of English history forever. So, as you lounge on the pebbles, remember, you’re sitting on a slice of history.

And if you wander a bit further, you’ll find yourself in the Old Town, a maze of narrow cobbled streets lined with quaint half-timbered houses. It’s like stepping back in time, and the perfect place to lose yourself in the charm of yesteryears.


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Location: Eastbourne Seafront, Grand Parade, East Sussex, BN21 3AD, United Kingdom

We all know that we can’t always rely on the British weather, but Eastbourne comes pretty close to being the sunniest spot in the UK. With over 1,900 hours of sunshine a year, it’s your best bet for catching those elusive rays.

Unlike some of the pebbly cousins along the coast, Eastbourne Beach boasts a wide stretch of soft, golden sand. It’s perfect for laying out your beach towel, building sandcastles, or just soaking up some “vitamin sea”.


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Location: Western Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 1EE, United Kingdom

This place is known for the iconic Southend Pier. It’s the longest pleasure pier in the world, stretching a jaw-dropping 1.34 miles into the Thames Estuary. A stroll along this masterpiece is like a scenic adventure on its own. Plus, there’s a train if you’re not up for a marathon walk.

If you’re bringing the little ones along, Southend-on-Sea Beach is a jackpot. Adventure Island, an amusement park right on the seafront, offers rides, games, and cotton candy galore. It’s the stuff childhood dreams are made of.

Camber Sands

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Location: Camber Road, Camber, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7RH, United Kingdom

Camber Sands is all about the sand, and boy, does it deliver. This beach boasts a whopping seven miles of pristine coastline. You won’t have to jostle for towel space, there’s room aplenty for everyone.

The Camber Sands dunes are legendary. Towering like natural sculptures, they provide a captivating backdrop for your beach day. They’re also a haven for wildlife, so keep an eye out for feathered friends.


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Location: Beach Walk, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 2BP, United Kingdom

Dotting the shoreline are the iconic Whitstable beach huts. These colourful cabins not only add a touch of whimsy to the beach but also provide a cosy spot to shelter from the sun or change into your swimsuit.

Oh, and be sure to try the local oysters. The town has a history steeped in oyster cultivation, dating back to Roman times. You simply can’t visit without sampling these briny delicacies. 


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Location: Marine Drive, Margate, Kent, CT9 1XJ, United Kingdom

Margate has been a popular seaside resort since the 18th century, so while you’re soaking up the sun, you’re also basking in a bit of British history.

For a dose of nostalgia and fun, head to Dreamland amusement park. It’s a vintage wonderland with retro rides, arcade games, and even a roller disco. Whether you’re young or just young at heart, it’s a hoot.

Herne Bay

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Location: Central Parade, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 5JN, United Kingdom

Herne Bay Beach enjoys a prime location on the north coast of Kent, 120 kilometres from Central London. This means you can hop on a train or take a leisurely drive and be there in a jiffy. No need to plan an elaborate getaway!

Plus, you know a beach is top-notch when it flaunts a Blue Flag. This prestigious accolade is a badge of honour that signifies clean water, excellent facilities, and a commitment to environmental conservation. 

Herne Bay Beach proudly boasts this badge, ensuring a safe and enjoyable beach day.


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Location: Bournemouth Beach, Bournemouth, BH2 5AA, United Kingdom

London might not be famous for its crystal-clear waters, but Bournemouth certainly is. The beach boasts some of the cleanest bathing waters in the UK, thanks to rigorous water quality testing. Dive in without a care, knowing you’re splashing around in top-notch H2O.

If you’re up for a bit of exploration, the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is just a stone’s throw away. Hunt for fossils, marvel at dramatic cliffs and get a glimpse of Earth’s ancient history in this natural wonderland.


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Location: Folkestone, Kent, CT19 6BA, United Kingdom

Folkestone boasts a unique blend of shingle and rock formations that make for a picturesque seascape. These rocks aren’t just pretty to look at: they’re also part of the geological wonder known as the Weald-Clayton Anticline. A fancy name for a cool rock formation, right?’

If you’re into a bit of exploration, the Warren is Folkestone’s hidden treasure. This secluded cove, accessible via a cliff walk, offers a tranquil escape from the crowds. Pack a picnic, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect day.


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Location: Dymchurch, Kent, TN29 0NG, United Kingdom

If you’re bringing the whole crew along, Dymchurch is perfect for a family day out. The beach is shallow and safe, making it ideal for the little ones to splash about and build sandcastles to their heart’s content. Plus, there’s an amusement park nearby, adding an extra dose of fun.

The beach also has its very own miniature railway. The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway is a delightful miniature steam railway that runs parallel to the beach.

Botany Bay

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Location: Botany Road, Kingsgate, Broadstairs, Kent, CT10 3LG, United Kingdom

First things first, Botany Bay is an absolute stunner. Think towering chalk stacks rising dramatically from the golden sands, with crystal-clear waters inviting you for a dip.

Plus, Botany Bay is just a stone’s throw away from charming Thanet towns like Broadstairs and Margate. After a day at the beach, you can explore their quirky shops, dine on fresh seafood, and soak up the coastal vibes.


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Location: Tankerton Slopes, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 2AJ, United Kingdom

While sandy beaches get all the attention, there’s something special about shingle beaches, and Tankerton’s shingle is no exception. It creates a unique soundscape as the waves retreat, a soothing symphony of stones that you won’t find on your average sandy shore.

Tankerton boasts a stunning seafront promenade known as “The Street”. It’s a scenic walkway that runs parallel to the beach, offering sweeping views of the sea and Whitstable Bay. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or a sunset amble.

West Wittering 

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Location: Tankerton Slopes, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 2AJ, United Kingdom

The beach overlooks the Solent, a picturesque strait that separates the Isle of Wight from mainland England. The sparkling waters provide a serene backdrop for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports.

Wind enthusiasts take note! West Wittering is a mecca for windsurfers and kitesurfers. The steady breeze and shallow waters create the perfect conditions for these thrilling water sports.

Great Yarmouth 

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Location: Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 2EN, United Kingdom

Great Yarmouth is home to one of the most iconic seaside piers in England. Britannia Pier offers entertainment, amusements, and stunning views of the coast. It’s a must-visit while you’re in the area.

For a dose of nostalgia, don’t miss the classic British tradition of donkey rides on the beach. Cleethorpes also has a funfair with amusements and rides, perfect for family fun.

Southwold Beach

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Location: Southwold, Suffolk, IP18 6BN, United Kingdom

If you’re a dog lover, you’re in luck. Southwold Beach is a welcoming spot for four-legged friends, making it a perfect destination for a day out with your furry companion.

Keep an eye out for Southwold’s iconic lighthouse. It’s a striking white-and-red tower that has been guiding ships since 1890. You can’t miss it, and it adds to the town’s distinctive skyline.


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Location: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, CO13 9DN, United Kingdom

This beach is a throwback to the classic British seaside experience. Think beach huts, colourful beach chairs, and a laid-back atmosphere that’s perfect for those seeking a nostalgic getaway.

Frinton-on-Sea proudly wears the badge of a ‘no amusement arcade’ zone. This means you won’t find flashy distractions or noisy rides, making it ideal for those who prefer a serene, distraction-free environment.

Hayling Island

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Location: Hayling Island, Hampshire, PO11 0AG, United Kingdom

If you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply want to try something new, Hayling Island is renowned as one of the UK’s top kitesurfing destinations. The island’s consistent winds and shallow waters make it a mecca for kite surfers, and you can even take lessons if you’re a newbie.

Plus, Hayling Island has a rich maritime history, and you can explore it at the Hayling Island Sailing Club, which has been an integral part of the island’s story for over a century.


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Location: Ferry Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 5RA, United Kingdom

This beach is a stunner in the natural beauty department. With its pebbly shoreline and views of the South Downs, it’s a picturesque backdrop for your beach day. The nearby Adur River estuary adds to the charm.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the nearby Shoreham Beach Lighthouse. This red-and-white striped beauty has been a guiding light for ships since 1842 and is a fascinating piece of maritime history.


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Location: Sea Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BN17 5NU, United Kingdom

Prepare to be wowed by the beach’s most iconic feature – the Longest Bench. Stretching for over 300 meters, this artistic marvel provides a unique place to sit, relax, and enjoy stunning sea views.

Plus, the nearby RSPB Medmerry Nature Reserve is a haven for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. You might even catch a glimpse of rare coastal species going about their business.

Cuckmere Haven 

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Location: Exceat, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 4AD, United Kingdom

Cuckmere Haven is where the River Cuckmere gently embraces the English Channel. The river’s meandering created a captivating landscape of serene waterways and salt marshes that weave through the valley.

Towering over the beach are the iconic Seven Sisters cliffs, a series of chalk cliffs that form one of England’s most breathtaking natural landmarks. They provide a dramatic backdrop that’s straight out of a postcard.

St. Leonards 

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Location: Marina, St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN38 0BU, United Kingdom

This beach embodies the quintessential British seaside charm with its pebbly shore, colourful beach huts, and the soothing sound of waves gently crashing against the shore.

The nearby St. Leonards Gardens and St. Leonards Church provide a dose of culture and history for those interested in exploring the area’s heritage.

For a dash of nostalgia, check out the local retro arcade. It’s a perfect spot for a bit of old-school gaming and some friendly competition.

Dunwich Beach

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Location: Dunwich, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 3DJ, United Kingdom

Birdwatching enthusiasts will find themselves in avian heaven here. Dunwich Heath and the nearby Minsmere Nature Reserve are hotspots for birdwatching, with a wide variety of species to spot.

Here, you can even explore the ruins of Greyfriars Monastery, which dates back to the 13th century. It’s a glimpse into the history of this coastal town.


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Location: Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9EU, United Kingdom

Here’s a little something for the history buffs and adventure seekers – Cromer Beach is famous for its fossil finds. The cliffs that flank the beach are a treasure trove of ancient marine life, making it a fossil hunter’s paradise. It’s like a real-life Jurassic Park!

Cromer is also renowned for its delicious crab, and you can’t leave without trying some. Whether it’s in a sandwich or a classic platter, it’s a taste of the sea you won’t forget.


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Location: Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, NR23 1RH, United Kingdom

If you’ve got a thing for seashells, Holkham Beach is your personal treasure trove. You can spend hours beachcombing, collecting exquisite shells washed ashore by the tides. 

The interesting thing is that you might recognise Holkham Beach even if you’ve never been here. It’s been a star in a few blockbuster movies, including “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Duchess”. So, you’re basically walking on the same sands as Hollywood royalty!

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