6 Picturesque Beaches Just a Train Ride From London

Planning a refreshing retreat from the bustling streets of London? Look no further

You could be sat on a sandy beach in the sunshine, picnic in tow, in less than two hours – it’s all just a short train ride away. With their pristine beauty, soothing waves, and picturesque landscapes, the best beaches near London offer a tranquil oasis for those seeking a beach getaway without straying too far from the capital. We’ve rounded up the most stunning coastal destinations that are easily accessible from London, so you can escape the chaos of the city without *too* much pre-planning required. Roll out the towel and slap on the factor 50 for your slice of seaside action.

Broadstairs | Kent

A beach surrounded by cliffs and a small town

Nostalgic, retro and untouched. Broadstairs is one of Kent’s best-kept secrets and it’s lined with white chalk cliffs and coves that make a picture-perfect Instagram shot. It shelters seven secluded sandy bays with Botany Bay being hailed as one of the best. In town you’ll find cafes, bars and 1950s ice-cream parlous, so grab a scoop and saunter to the sea! Nestled along the captivating Kent coastline, Broadstairs enchants visitors with its timeless beauty and Victorian charm. A seaside haven just a stone’s throw away from London, this delightful town offers a perfect blend of sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, and an inviting atmosphere. Stroll along the promenade and immerse yourself in the vibrant seaside ambience, as traditional beach huts dot the shoreline and families frolic in the azure waters. Explore the picturesque Viking Bay, a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming, or venture to the neighbouring coves for a tranquil retreat. Broadstairs’ quaint streets are lined with charming cafes, independent shops, and historic buildings, exuding a sense of nostalgia and old-world elegance. Delve into the town’s rich literary heritage at the Dickens House Museum, dedicated to the famous author who found inspiration in Broadstairs’ scenic surroundings. With its timeless appeal and coastal bliss, Broadstairs invites you to unwind, explore, and create cherished memories along its captivating shores.

Get there in an hour and a half from London’s St Pancras.

Camber Sands | East Sussex

A beach at sunset

Who needs a vacay to the Arabian desert when a trip to Camber Sands is on offer? Its shallow seas, stunning sand dunes and a seven-mile stretch of coast understandably make it a popular choice. Nestled along the East Sussex coast, Camber Sands Beach emerges as a breathtaking seaside paradise for beach enthusiasts and city dwellers looking to unwind. Located within easy reach of London, this expansive stretch of golden sand offers a delightful escape from the urban chaos. With its dunes, picturesque landscapes, and pristine waters, Camber Sands Beach is a haven for sun-seekers, water sports enthusiasts, and nature lovers alike. Whether you’re lounging under the sun, building sandcastles with the family, or trying your hand at kiteboarding, this coastal gem promises endless fun and relaxation. Discover the allure of Camber Sands Beach, where tranquillity and natural beauty combine to create an unforgettable coastal experience just a short distance from the bustling city.

Get there in an hour and a half from London’s St Pancras.

Deal | Kent

A beach next to a seaside town

Nestled on the picturesque Kent coastline, the charming town of Deal beckons visitors with its stunning beaches and rich historical heritage. Just a stone’s throw away from London, Deal offers a delightful seaside retreat with a touch of old-world charm. A long stretch of pebble beach scattered with wooden fishing boats and a lengthy pier featuring a fishing deck await in Deal. It’s located in a charming and historic Kentish town, and just a short stroll from the seaside you’ll find quirky cafes and a 16th-century castle to explore. The town’s pebble beach, lined with colourful beach huts, invites leisurely strolls along the shore and panoramic views of the English Channel. Beyond the beach, Deal’s quaint streets are adorned with charming Georgian architecture, enticing independent shops, and inviting cafes. Explore the imposing Deal Castle, immerse yourself in local history at the Timeball Tower Museum, or simply relax on the beach and watch the waves roll in. With its unique blend of coastal beauty and fascinating history, Deal in Kent is the perfect destination for those seeking a coastal escape filled with relaxation and cultural discovery.

Get there in an hour and a half from London’s St Pancras. 

West Wittering | West Sussex

Sandy dunes at a beach

One of the South Coast’s finest and perfect for adventure-seekers, as well as those who just fancy dipping a toe in the sea. Windsurfing, rock pooling or sliding the natural mud flats, what will float your boat? Situated on the stunning South Coast of England, West Wittering is a coastal gem that promises an unforgettable beach getaway. Boasting pristine sandy shores, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking natural beauty, West Wittering is a haven for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. This idyllic seaside destination, conveniently located within reach of London, offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, take a refreshing dip in the sea, or engage in exhilarating water sports, West Wittering has it all. Surrounded by protected salt marshes and dunes, the area is a haven for wildlife, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching and nature walks. Unwind on the beach, explore the coastal trails, or indulge in a picnic overlooking the stunning coastline. With its unspoiled charm and coastal bliss, West Wittering is a must-visit destination that will leave you rejuvenated and in awe of its natural wonders.

Get there in an hour and a half from London Victoria.

Mersea Island | Essex

Colourful beach huts on a sunny day

What it might lack in dreamy golden sands, it makes up for with its quaint seaside charm. The abundance of restaurants and pubs make it perfect for feasting on fresh seafood and cracking open a cold beer, as well as an oyster! Tucked away on the peaceful shores of Essex, Mersea Island unveils a world of serenity and natural beauty for those seeking a tranquil coastal escape. Just a short distance from London, this hidden gem offers a unique and idyllic getaway. Mersea Island is renowned for its unspoiled sandy beaches, scenic coastal walks, and picturesque countryside. As you stroll along the shoreline, breathe in the fresh sea air and admire panoramic views of the estuary. Explore the charming village with its quaint cottages, local seafood restaurants, and renowned oyster beds. Immerse yourself in the island’s rich history by visiting the Mersea Island Museum to learn about its seafaring past. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or outdoor adventures, Mersea Island has something for everyone. Indulge in beachcombing, sailing, or simply unwind by watching the sunset over the tranquil waters. With its serene ambience and unspoiled landscapes, Mersea Island is a coastal haven that invites you to unwind, recharge, and reconnect with nature.

Get there in just under two hours from London Liverpool Street to Colchester.

Littlehampton | West Sussex

A pebble beach

Not only home to award-winning beaches and a cosy seafront green, but also to Britain’s longest bench that twists and turns along the promenade for a whopping 324m. Once you’ve ticked that one off the bucket list, there’s a nature reserve to explore and waterside restaurants and cafes calling your name!

Get there in just under two hours from London Victoria.

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