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 Fulham Beach Club at 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 Pizza Shed and Feast, and a bar shaking up great cocktails. There are also games including shuffleboard, ping pong, beer pong and mini golf, 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 £5.
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 The Beach, Brent Cross
The Beach at Brent Cross Shopping Centre is the ultimate family day if you’re looking for a beach in London. This year it’s back and bigger than ever with more sand, more space and more water. As well as a sandy beach, there are splash pools and over 25 different rides for all ages. The food and drink takes on a British seaside theme, with everything from fish and chips to hotdogs and doughnuts to waffles, as well as Pimms, fresh pineapple cocktails and slushies. Throughout the summer, there will also be World Cup and Wimbledon screenings, plus family fun from circus workshops to Punch & Judy. Open Mon-Sun 12pm-10pm until 8 September 2019. Entry £3 per person.
Prince Charles Drive NW4 3FP; thebeachbrentcross.com
4 Dock Beach, Royal Victoria Docks
The Dock Beach returns to the Royal Docks from late July with new features including a 22-metre alfresco pool on the dock edge, sun deck and children’s paddling pool. There’ll be tonnes of sand, perfect for building sandcastles, as well as street food and refreshments, as well as special events running around the Royal Victoria Docks throughout the summer. Entrance to the beach is free but booking are required for the Dock Pool. Open daily from 10am-6pm until 30 August.
1 Siemens Brothers Way E16 1GB; yourdockbeach.com
5 The Montague on the Gardens Beach Bar
One for the grown ups, The Montague on the Gardens Beach Bar is a colourful setting for drinks. The Bahamian beach has real sand, a beach-hut style thatched roof to the tiki bar, a jet ski selfie area, and it serves a bottomless brunch! Every weekend until Sunday 15 September 2019, you can enjoy two hours of bottomless tropical cocktails like Pina Colada and Mimosas. The menu is made up of platters that feature brunch essentials like avocado and smoked salmon on granary toast, black pudding scotch eggs, cheesy fried Camembert with cranberry sauce and an ice cream cone to finish. Brunch takes place in the hotel’s sunny conservatory, but you’ll have full access to the Beach Bar for cocktails.
15 Montague Street WC1B 5BJ; montaguehotel.com
6 Backyard Cinema’s Venice Beach at Roundhouse, Camden
London’s themed cinema experts, Backyard Cinema, have recreated Venice Beach at their L.A. Nights-themed pop-up cinema at Camden’s Roundhouse. Featuring sing-along beach parties with towering palm trees, a retro beach bar serving Slush Puppie cocktails, musical mash-ups from DJ Jaguar Skills and dazzling light shows for each screening. The season draws to a close on 24 August 2019 with screenings of Greece (sing-along) at 12.30pm, Mean Girls at 4.30pm and a The Greatest Showman (sing-along) at 8.30pm. And don’t worry about the weather – this pop-up cinema has a roof! Tickets from £18.99.
Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden Town NW1 8EH; backyardcinema.co.uk