London is not a city famed for its beaches, but thanks to its high-quality transport and road links, some of the best beaches in the South of England are easily accessible.
Ruislip Lido Beach, London
There is actually one beach in London, believe it or not. A 20-minute walk from Ruislip on the Piccadilly line takes you to a gorgeous woodland nature reserve. Not only is this a stunning forest to explore, but it also has a natural lake that has a sand-covered beach! This is a small beach and swimming is not permitted, but for its close vicinity to Central London, and the beautiful scenery, it’s definitely one to check out.
Camber Sands, East Sussex
Easily accessible from London St Pancras, Camber Sands lies just near Rye in East Sussex and is one of the most glorious sandy beaches that England has to offer. Surrounded by grassland, with a café on the beach for all your refreshment needs, and opportunity for several watersports, especially kite-surfing, this is a good place to spend a full day with the family. For an extra piece of trivia, Camber Sands was also the setting for numerous films including Carry On: Follow That Camel.
West Wittering, West Sussex
A stony beach with a traditional feel to it, West Wittering has been a favourite beach generation for London based families for generations. It’s about a two-hour drive from London, but the journey comes with some amazing coastal views, and the beach is well worth the trip. Lifeguards patrol the beach during the summer months, meaning swimming is safe when the weather is warm enough.
Botany Bay, Kent
Not far away from the busy beach of Margate lies Botany Bay, perhaps best known for being referenced in numerous folk songs. There’s not a lot in terms of activity here, but there’s a nice little café and 600 feet of Blue Flag awarded sandy beach set in a pleasant little cover.
West Beach, Whitstable, Kent
Whitstable is a quaint little town that is well worthy of a visit with the family, not least due to the famously excellent seafood you’ll find all along the waterfront. When it comes to beaches, West Beach is probably the pick of the bunch, with a stretch of beach that’s perfect for walks. If you have the time, the views from Tankerton Beach are gorgeous too.
If you’re looking for seaside activities, Brighton is the place to go. A hipster city famed for its open-minded attitude, Brighton pier has a plethora of arcade games and a Ferris wheel amongst many other things to do. The beach gets busy, especially in summer, but there’s good reason for that. Events are common here too, from birdman competition to music concerts, and pretty much everything in between. The city of Brighton has a good choice of places to eat and drink too, and fish and chips can be bought on the pier, but beware those pesky seagulls!
Another immensely popular beach, when this beach gets busy, there’s still space to be found, because the sandy sea line covers an impressive 11 miles, so you’ll rarely struggle for somewhere to sit! Lifeguards and cafes can be found here, and there are swimming and watersports opportunities too.
Eastbourne, East Sussex
A resort town that it is a favourite amongst UK holidaymakers staying in the country in the summer, the pier here isn’t quite as big as that in Brighton, but there’s still a great deal to do. The stony beach isn’t perfect for sunbathing unless you bring seating with you, but if you’re looking for clear views as you walk along the seafront, there’s few spots better in the South of England.
Bognor Regis, West Sussex
If you’re after more than a day out, Bognor Regis is probably the spot for you. Complete with a large beach that is patrolled by lifeguards in the summer, you’ll find watersports, swimming, mini golf and more, and no shortage of bars, cafes, and restaurants near the waterfront. If you fancy something quieter, Climping Beach isn’t far away and offers a more relaxed vibe.
Southend On Sea, Essex
One of the closest beaches to London, Southend is always busy, but there’s a lot to be found here. There’s a total of seven miles of beach around the town, with three Blue Flag awards and seven Quality Coast awards between them. Amusement parks are abundant here for the young ones, but there are quiet spots for relaxation and sunbathing to be found too, you may just have to search a little!
With over 20 locations in London SIXT is here to get you, your friends and your family to the beach in style and comfort. Be sure to check our available cars to find the perfect match.