Blue sky, a light warm breeze, the slight taste of salt water on your lips and the sound of waves in your ear. Great Britain is an island and these usually come with the perk of being surrounded by water and having a lot of beaches. So for the summer season, I thought I’d provide you with some suggestions of beaches surrounding London one could go to.
Camber Sands, East Sussex
Four miles from Rye in East Sussex, the impressive dunes system that makes Camber Sands the south coast’s most Arabian-looking beach destination is filled with wonders, from the marram grasses and pretty chestnut fences that help keep the sands from shifting to the Kit Kat Café, perfect for watching kitesurfers on the water and horseback riders along its edge. A number of ‘desert’ films were shot here, including ‘Carry On Follow That Camel’.
Get there: one hour 40 minutes by train from London St Pancras International to Rye, with a change at Ashford and a short bus ride to the beach.
Tankerton Beach and The Street, Whitstable, Kent
The Street, a 750-metre-long stretch of shingle that pokes out from Whitstable’s pretty Tankerton beach at low tide, offers lovely views back to the groyne-dotted beach, and beyond it the colourful clapboard houses and beach huts of nearby Whitstable. When you’ve had your fill of beach time, it’s time for a bellyful of the town’s native oysters; head for Harbour Street and High Street for a fantastic selection of places to try them.
Get there: one hour 20 minutes by train from London Victoria or one hour 10 minutes from St Pancras International to Whitstable
West Wittering, West Sussex
Weathered shabby-chic beach huts on a huge Blue Flag beach makes this West Sussex spot one of the south coast’s finest for all kinds of beach activities. You can get involved in sunbathing and safe swimming (lifeguards patrol here in the summer months), go rock-pooling or just explore the ecology of the salt marshes at the western end of the beach, where East Head marks the entrance to Chichester Harbour. Behind the beach, the South Downs stretch away to offer lots of great countryside walks, too.
Get there: one hour 30 minutes by train from London Victoria to Chichester, plus a bus ride to the beach.
Margate’s central beach offers visitors an award-winning wide, sandy stretch backed by a traditional seaside resort. A boardwalk gives easy access to the beach and is the perfect spot to while away a sunny afternoon.
Get there: one hour and 30 minutes by train from St. Pancras International to Margate and a five minute walk to the beach.
Nestled beneath a magnificent cliff line, the bay enjoys its own micro-climate, some of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK and stunning views of the Isle of Wight and the Purbecks. Whatever you want from a day at the beach, you’ll find it all here.
Get there: one hour and 45 minutes by train from Waterloo Station to Bournemouth and a five minutes bus ride to the beach
A very popular feature of Brighton’s seafront, a huge expanse of shingle with a wide selection of bars, restaurants and art galleries located under the arches. The pier is one of the most visited features while the i360 is one not to be missed.
Get there: one hour and 10 minutes by train from St. Pancras International to Brighton, plus a 10 min bus ride from Brighton Station to Sea Life Centre.
I hope you’ll like my little selection of local beaches. Remember to use a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher. Put on sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes before going out in the sun.