It’s common knowledge that London is bursting with fascinating history, great food, and rich, flourishing culture - but did you know that you can easily combine a metropolitan getaway with a beach vacation?
It’s actually not that far from the busy city streets to the British seaside, and this article will show you some of the best UK beaches near London. Pack your swimsuit and get ready for some fun in the sun!
Some of the UK’s shorelines might be covered in pebbles and rocks, but if you prefer sand beaches, there are plenty of those as well. Whether you just want to pop out for a bit or spend the whole day enjoying yourself by the seaside, these are some of the best beaches near London that you don’t want to miss!
This beautiful sandy beach has something for every taste, making it ideal for almost any activity you have in mind. Stay on dry land and soak up the sun or explore the water through swimming or snorkelling, splash around in the shallow lagoons left behind by the tide, or find a good spot for some bird-watching - with the right conditions, you can even do some surfing!
There are plenty of great beaches around the seaside town of Broadstairs, such as the lush Viking Bay. Here you’ll find picturesque changing huts, a promenade perfect for a relaxed stroll, and a small harbour. Go fishing or surfing, or simply sit down and take in the gorgeous view.
Beautiful Botany Bay also offers surfing along with kayaking and canoeing, rock pools, and chalk cliffs - or why not give fossil hunting, bodyboarding, or kite-flying a go? The choice is yours!
While relaxing on the beach can be great, sometimes you’re really itching for entertainment, crowds, and lots of things to see and do. If that sounds familiar, check out these amazing beaches that are sure to hit the spot!
This coastal city with seven miles of sandy beaches has been a popular resort since the Victorian era when Southend Pier, the world’s longest leisure pier, was built. Satisfy your need for speed on one of the 50 rides at the pier amusement park, explore a world under the sea at the aquarium, and visit an exhibition at the Royal Pavilion or one of the many exciting events held in the city each year.
No list of beaches near London would be complete without Brighton, another popular and traditional seaside resort with a whole lot of excitement to offer. Do like the Victorians and leave the city for some healthy sea air and go for a stroll down the promenade, lined with cafés, bars, shops, and arcades.
Enjoy both sandy and pebble beaches, find your favourite ride at the amusement park on the pier, or check out the marina. There are tonnes of history and culture to experience - what are you waiting for!
If you’ve had enough of crowds for a while and want to spend some time just relaxing and enjoying the British shoreline without the noise and the queues, then this will be your favourite section to read. London might be busy, but some of the beaches in the area definitely are not!
This quiet, dog-friendly shingle beach offers up some sand when the tide goes out and is the perfect spot for a relaxing getaway.
Walk along the beach or the surrounding sand dunes and fields, and fill your lungs with ocean air while taking in the fantastic nature.
Bring a picnic or a snack, get lost in a great book, or see who can find the nicest pebble. If you fancy some action, after all, you can try both kite surfing and windsurfing on this beach that was once a location for a couple of Doctor Who episodes.
Despite being so close to Southend, this shingle and sand beach feels like it’s miles and miles away from the city. Walk along the promenade lined with beach huts, go for a swim in the sea, or find the best spot for your favourite beach activities.
The history buff will enjoy the defence remnants from WWII that kept the river Thames safe, and if you’re brave enough, you can try both surfing and jet-skiing.
If it’s a truly unique beach experience you’re after, then look no further than Dungeness Beach! This dry, bleak, almost surreal habitat is one of the most unusual in Britain and is actually classified as a desert, believe it or not! Angling is popular here, as are sights such as the Prospect Cottage and the two lighthouses. It’s also dog-friendly, so don’t hesitate to bring your pooch!
Any dog owner knows that a vacation is not complete without your furry best friend, so of course, some dog-friendly locations will be included in this list. Many beaches in the UK are open for dogs, but some may have restrictions, especially in the summer. Other than Climping and Dungeness Beach, there are plenty of dog-friendly beaches near London, including Shakespeare Beach, Middleton-on-Sea, and Seaford Bay.
Many of the beaches already mentioned are great for surfing, but there are definitely some that deserve special attention, such as Shoreham Harbour in Brighton, East Wittering in West Sussex, and the well-known Bournemouth Pier. What are you waiting for - go find those amazing waves!
If you are now all set on a beach vacation in Sout East England but aren’t quite sure where to stay, don’t worry - you can hire campervans and motorhomes near London with Yescapa, perfect for the beach! If you’re lucky enough to already have your own campervan, wouldn’t it be great to share it with other travel enthusiasts? Yescapa can help with that too - click here for more info!
To go further
Halloween is fast approaching so we are counting down a spine-tingling list to terrify you during this spooky season.
No need for a passport or a visa here , several kilometers behind the wheels of your vehicle are enough to escape and feel like you have left the french territory.