London is undeniably one of the world’s most fascinating capitals. It boasts a rich history, lots of museums, architectural gems, excellent nightlife, premium shopping districts, and – as it turns out – quite a few beaches.
Yes, the Great British Capital is home to beaches that line the Thames and offer exceptional views of the cityscape. So, where are these supposed beaches? And what activities are on offer? Here’s a quick rundown of our favourite beaches in the City.
Grab a spot on the pebbles or sand at Bermondsey Beach, and you can relax under the sun while watching boats sail by on the Thames. Usually quiet, Bermondsey Beach provides the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the urban jungle without having to jostle with crowds. It’s also surrounded by trees and flowers, which gives it a slightly exotic feel.
Dock Beach is a human-made riverside beach that allows visitors to sunbathe, swim and soak up the atmosphere of the Capital. A floating promenade surrounds a large swimming pool on the Thames, and there’s a sandy strip right behind it. Better still, Dock Beach is home to a terrace bar and fitness classes. You can even watch big-screen flicks at the outdoor movie theatre.
Walk from London Bridge to the Tower Bridge, and you might catch a glimpse of Bankside Beach, where the locals come to sunbathe and paddle when they need a break from the City’s busy streets. From here, you can take in views of the Thames, Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Canary Wharf. Given its central location, Bankside Beach can attract crowds. But who doesn’t want to relax on the beach right in the middle of one of Europe’s largest cities?
Folly House Beach
Folly House Beach is probably the most tourist-centric London beach on our list, but the potential for crowds shouldn’t put you off a visit. With its numerous bars and restaurants, Folly House Beach boasts all the amenities you need for a day out in the sun. It’s also a popular spot for kayaking, fishing and even surfing. If you fancy spending more than just the day here, you can look into beach house rentals.
Thames Path Oracle Beach
Widely considered to be one of London’s best hidden gems, the Thames Path Oracle Beach is popular with families, holidaymakers and fans of water sports such as canoeing and kayaking. It’s also surrounded by green trees and foliage, making it an excellent place to soak up some nature.
Champion’s Wharf Play Beach
Champion’s Wharf Play Beach is a sandy riverfront beach in Twickenham, located in York House Gardens. Here, you can browse works of art, play on a Viking boat and sail along the river on a Victorian water taxi. Just remember that this beach is closed on weekends.
Ruislip Lido Beach
Ruislip Lido Beach is located along the Piccadilly Line, making it one of the most accessible beaches in London. The beach sits just in front of a large natural lake inside a 700-acre woodland nature reserve.
Popular activities include hiking the woodland trails, riding the miniature train and – of course – sunbathing and paddling (swimming is not technically permitted).