Exotic Beach Hideaways Easily Accessible from London

A day on a beach is just what the doctor ordered when London’s urban buzz has you in need of some rays, sea air and fish and chips. Despite what you may think, the UK has a surprising number of beaches within reach of the capital — from wild, shingled stretches to exotic sand, and even a few classic seaside-town beaches with all the requisite ice cream and pier walks. Here are our favorite exotic beaches near London to check out this summer.

Cuckmere Haven

The white chalk cliffs that surround this picturesque beach are a beautiful eyeful, drawing painters and photographers to the site for generations. It’s also a popular filming location, with scenes from Robin Hood and Harry Potter shot here. You can explore the beach’s tranquil woodland trails, or bring a picnic blanket and relax in the sand or on the grass. Dogs are welcome, and there are plenty of food and drink options nearby.

Approximately two hours from London (train from Waterloo to Farnham, then the 19 bus, or bang GU10 2QB into your satnav).

Joss Bay

Situated on the Kent coast between Margate and Ramsgate, this beach is a stunner. It’s a wide, sandy stretch framed by marram bushes and chestnut fences, giving it an almost-Arabian look. This is one of the best beaches for families, and it’s a fantastic spot to build a sandcastle or simply lie back on your towel and admire the epic views over the sea and sky.

About an hour from London (train from St Pancras to Broadstairs, then the number 33 bus).

Dungeness East

This otherworldly landscape is Britain’s only desert, and it is a wildly dramatic place. It’s also a nature reserve, and it’s home to many birds and insects. The flat, shingle ridges are dotted with weather-beaten black clapboard cottages that have an eerily post-apocalyptic quality. It’s no wonder that this strange beauty has become the setting for numerous movies and TV shows.

If you’re in the mood to see more of this spectacular land, check out our article on the top wildlife and nature spots near London. But before you head out, make sure to leave your bags with Bounce, so you can travel light and enjoy the sunshine without the burden of your belongings. We offer a convenient and safe luggage storage service in central London, so you can get out there and soak it all in. You’ll be glad you did!