Given the school closings for the summer vacation and the unpredictability of overseas travel, many families are planning to take a break this summer.
My London has you covered for seaside getaways with profiles of the best beaches in London in just a few hours.
However, rail operators are already warning of weekend travel as Covid cases are on the rise, so a beach alternative near your home may be right for you.
READ MORE: Summer Vacation: The Strand 3 hours from London, named one of the best in the world by TripAdvisor
Right under our noses, in the midst of the world-famous landmarks of central London, you will find secluded beaches that are so small that they disappear twice a day.
On Southbank, for example, below the waterfront with bars, restaurants and theaters, you will find a small sandy beach with a view of the city.
(Photo: Christine Matthews / New Crane Stairs, Wapping, London E1 / CC BY-SA 2.0)
The Thames is tidal so these little beaches are hidden twice a day – but when the tide is out and the sun is shining, there is no better place to watch the world go by.
Check the tide times for the Thames here. In general, you should visit at low tide.
Down by the water, you’re also surrounded by rich history and wildlife.
In search of valuables from centuries past, you can also find mud larvae on the north bank of the river.
In London, this activity requires authorization from the Port of London Authority and it is illegal to search for or remove such artifacts of any kind on the foreshore without such artifacts.
Whichever direction you head along the Thames, you are guaranteed to find a small beach to suit your needs.
(Image: Hulton Archives)
In the south east of London, Bermondsey has a rocky beach with a view of Tower Bridge.
It’s not as busy as Southbank, and if you walk a little further east there are plenty of interesting docks and trading history along the way, including some of London’s oldest pubs.
Then you have the beachfront Folly House in Canary Wharf which overlooks the 02 Arena.
This beach is also not as busy as Southbank and has a smooth, pebbly surface.
This is a great place to take the kids with you before a concert or to relax after a long day at work in London’s financial district.
These beaches may be funky, but that’s part of their charm. So next time you’re planning a seaside getaway, don’t overlook central London, you might find exactly what you’re looking for.