Can’t get away for the weekend but want to feel the breeze in your hair, the sun on your face and the sand between your toes? The Resident rounds up the best urban beaches in London
1 Neverland London
Neverland London brings the tropics to Fulham with a 20-metre white sandy beach, palm trees, pastel painted beach huts, deck chairs, swings and daybeds. The Thameside beach has some great street food traders, including Jimmy’s BBQ and Pizza Shed, and a bar shaking up great cocktails (it’s no longer a BYOB beach). There are also games including shuffleboard, ping pong, beer pong and croquet, and the place really comes alive at weekends, with yoga classes and bottomless brunches. Hire a beach hut and or daybed if you want to make a day of it. Dogs are not only welcome, they’re encouraged! Entry starts at £10.
Albert Wharf, Fulham SW6 2TY; neverlandlondon.com
2 The Lido Cafe
So, OK, The Lido Cafe in Herne Hill doesn’t actually have any sand, but it’s been nicknamed ‘Brixton beach’ since forever, and a drink under the crisp white canopies of the cafe terrace, among the tropical foliage, feels very much like an afternoon by the riviera. The restaurant usually launches a summer menu to make the most of its Mediterranean-esque poolside space in Brockwell Park with cool cocktails, seasonal bites and a BBQ. Try the renowned Longhorn beef burger with house sauce and Gloucester Old Spot bacon, and sip on the Herne Hill Hugo, a delicious mix of elderflower liqueur, Prosecco, soda, lemon and fresh mint.
Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Road SE24 0PA; thelidocafe.co.uk
3 Camden Beach
Roundhouse’s terrace is transformed into Camden Beach every summer, with live music performances creating a lively atmosphere, and deck chairs and beach huts provide the perfect spot for lounging. Play a game of ping pong, or take advantage of the fully-stocked bar. Entry is free, but get there early to secure a good spot, or better yet book a tiki hut for a fun-filled night. Open from late July.
Chalk Farm Road, Camden NW1 8EH; roundhouse.org.uk
4 The Beach, Brent Cross
The Beach Brent Cross is the ultimate family day if you’re looking for a beach in London. This year it’s back with a sandy beach, splash pools and over 25 different rides for all ages. The food and drink is perfect for anyone too! They offer alcoholic options or soft drinks for the kids and have plenty of different food options. The Beach is open Friday’s from 4:00pm until 9:00pm and Saturday and Sunday from Noon until 9:00pm. Entry is only £3 per person.
Prince Charles Drive NW4 3FP; thebeachbrentcross.com
5 Urban Beach at London’s Royal Docks
Every summer, hundreds of tonnes of sand transform a patch of London’s Royal Docks into a huge beach. Lounge in a deckchair and catch some rays, or grab a bite to eat with family, and enjoy the river breeze, views of the Thames and the site of the Emirates Air Line gliding above you. When the sun gets too be a bit too much, head over to the waterside cafe for a cool drink or bite to eat. Entrance to the beach is free. This year it is open from 18 July until 2 September. Open Mon-Sun 10am-8pm.
1 Siemens Brothers Way E16 1GB; londonsroyaldocks.com
6 BeachEast, Stratford
London’s largest urban beach boasts one thousand tonnes of sand, all dropped down on Stratford Waterfront at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. BeachEast boasts about being the biggest urban beach while also offering a bar and amusement park. They will be open Monday through Friday from Noon until 9:00pm and add two more hours from 10:00am until 9:00pm on the weekends. Site Access Wristbands get you onto the grounds for £2, but you can upgrade if you want more out of your experience.
Stratford Waterfront E15 2DU; beacheast.co.uk
6 Beach Terrace, Hilton London Heathrow Airport
For another beach option this summer join the Hilton London Heathrow Airport as they celebrate their Summer of Sport with a beach terrace. If you’re looking to enjoy a gin & tonic while watching Wimbledon or a beer to enjoy the World Cup, they’ll have you covered. They have a beach as well and you don’t even have to head to the coast! Along with watching the sports, you can cozy up to their beach bar and choose from a wide variety of cocktails and food specials.
Poyle Rd, Slough SL3 0FF, hilton.com