Camden Beach

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
(36 user reviews)
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 (Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech)
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Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech
 (Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech)
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Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech
 (Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech)
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Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech
 (Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech)
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Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech
 (Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech)
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Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech
 (Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech)
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Camden Beach, Roundhouse. Images © Stuart Leech

Head up to the roof of Chalk Farm's lovely Roundhouse and claim your spot on Camden Beach, an impressively big and often gloriously sunny pop-up sandpit. Relax in a deck chair with a rum cocktail, play a little ping pong, grab some food from the barbecue or build a magnificent sandcastle. Entry is free but it does get busy so make sure to arrive early to secure your portion of the 150 tonnes of sand that are up there. If you're feeling extravagant or worried about personal space you might like to book one of the private beach huts. Families are welcome, as are buckets and spades.

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Average User Rating

2.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:14
  • 2 star:7
  • 1 star:5
LiveReviews|36
2 people listening
Corina B
Tastemaker

It is a really lovely way to spend the afternoon. There is really not much to do once you're there, but its a fun place to just hangout. Ideally you should aim to go after 8 as I think that's the time when only adults can come in and there is live music (although I'm not certain it is everyday). I went during the day, and it was nice, but very family oriented.

Chloe M

Have been meaning to check this place out for years, having worked a stones throw away. Went with two friends and were shocked at how clean it was, compared to Old Blighty's 'sandy' beaches. The drinks were tasty and well priced, with a variety of places to plonk your derriere. However, the sun was masked after 4pm by the enormous office block next door. Note, go down early to get the most of the sunshine.

Nicole
tastemaker

Although the sun wasn't shining, we still had a great time! The cocktails were tasty and the food was amazing, although we were kept waiting over an hour for our food. There is plenty of undercover seating for the rainy days and the little shed huts are adorable and definitely worth booking for a group of friends for a day/ night out! The beach itself is a great outdoor space and has lots of deck chairs to lounge on when the sun does eventually come out. I will definitely be returning on a sunny afternoon!

Kirsty E
Tastemaker

Unfortunately, it was a classic British Summer's day when we visited Camden Beach - complete with grey skies and showers! I am sure this tainted our experience, as it was pretty difficult to leave the covered area even for a few minutes. Weather aside, the space itself is fun and interesting. I am sure on a sunny day it is glorious to sit in a sun lounger on the sand and enjoy a cocktail or two.


However, I do have a number of issues with this place. Firstly, the drinks are ridiculously overpriced. £8 for a watered down cocktail in a thimble of a glass is just extortionate! They were tasty enough but severely lacking in alcohol for the price. Secondly, and most importantly, the food took sooooo long to be served! We ordered pretty much as soon as we arrived, at which time it wasn't even very busy, then waited over an hour for a couple of kebabs (one wasn't even what we ordered!)


Overall, nice idea but needs better execution and attention to detail.

LIVIO S

Went there on a sunny day and the atmosphere was very pleasant. But I have to admit that  £8 for an Aperol Spritz, served in a plastic glass is just a joke. It was watery and was not even included in the Happy Hour offer  (2 for 1) cause apparently is not a cocktail (BUT IT WAS THE SAME PRICE  AS A COCKTAIL) ! You might wanna try other drinks but forget the Spritz!

Chelsey C
Tastemaker

I happened to visit the beach on a typical summer's day, i.e. It was completely chucking it down. Luckily, there was plenty of undercover seating and my friend and I managed to nab one of the cute little sheds which come with their own beer fridge, Hawaiian Lei and Virgin Active goodie bag. Word on the street is that they cost a LOT though so beware if you fancy bagging one yourself. The beach itself was clean and quite a large space with plenty of (empty) seating. To the right was the bar, where the friendly staff serve wine, beer spirits and cocktails; mostly which are inspired by the summer. I ordered a rum punch which was presented to me in what looked like a large shot glass and at £8 a pop, was not something I was going to chug away quickly. The drink itself was tasty but I expected to be able to taste rum a bit more for that price. The food was the biggest let down unfortunately. We waited over an hour for our meals to come, which weren't overly complicated and from a rather simple menu. When my chicken arrived it was covered in an unknown sauce that was not specified on the menu because 'everybody was asking for seconds' as told by the chef. It left the chicken soggy and with an odd after taste; I did not ask for seconds. Overall the beach itself is a great outdoor space and I'm sure it would be more enjoyable if the sun was shining...the drinks were cheap...and the food was on time.

Nicky G
Tastemaker

Poor Camden beach. They've put on a good show with real sand (not blue anymore), deck chairs, little beach huts and a selection of syrupy fruity cocktails, but they can't do much about the sun co-operating. I really want to give them a fair review but sadly it was raining when I went, so my enjoyment of the beach sand was pretty limited to staring dejectedly at it from under the shelter of the chairs on the verandah. There was an hour wait on food no matter what one ordered (me: sweet potato fries and coleslaw - one hour), which also did not help much when there was nothing else to do. However the staff did their best, and I'm sure on a sunny day these problems would melt away into puddles of sunshine. Just make sure there is sunshine before you get there.

Sara A
tastemaker

I went to Camden beach a couple of years ago and they've really improved things since then. On a sunny day this would be a really nice place to hang out. The bar serves some really tasty cocktails, there are plenty of deckchairs (far more than they had a couple of years ago), a ping pong table and even a fairly decent sized covered area in case the weather turns! The beach huts look really fun, and although really pricey if you have a good group of friends to share the cost with, it could be worth the indulgence.


The real downside to this beach is the food stall. No word of a lie, I waited 1 hour 15 minutes for my food! They have a BBQ which is only big enough to feed a family of 4 and despite the fact that it wasn't busy when I was there, they still couldn't keep up with demand. When my order was finally ready they had got it wrong. I ordered vegetable fritters with rice and beans and got a vegetable toastie instead. I was far too hungry to risk waiting another hour for my correct order so I just ate it anyway. It was horrible, there was so much cheap mustard in the sandwich I really couldn't taste anything else. My friend had the brisket sandwich and we may as well have been eating the same thing because all we could taste was mustard. The sweet potato fries we got to go with them were soggy with random clumps of salt here and there.


I admire Camden beach's bravery and holding ticketed events such as live music and yoga but I really think this is more of a spontaneous "oh the sun is out let's go to the beach" sort of place. You wouldn't want to be here in the rain!

Neil K
Tastemaker

I think this is a fair attempt at bringing a bit of beach life to London, though on that count the competition of late seems to be hotting up. All provisions are in place to turn scorching weather into happy days, with mounds of sand under foot, deck chairs at the ready and a vast array of cocktails + barbecued delights only metres away (just as long as you don't need to eat in a hurry)! While the cocktails shouldn't take long you could end up waiting some time for food, but just sit back and relax and soak up the sun while keeping an ear out for your name to be yelled out over a loudhailer to let you know it's ready! The food is good, check out the menu below, though at £8 the cocktails are rather small, not expertly crafted and therefore somewhat overpriced.


As the experience undoubtedly be tainted if the weather isn't great, it's probably worth picking a spontaneous trip on a sunny day rather than planning a visit weeks in advance, but if the heavens do open there are plenty of places to shelter; a large canopy is provided for this very purpose or you can always nip in one of the non-reserved beach huts! While this is what myself and a couple of others did on reading some of the other reviews we may be lucky not to have been thrown out as none of the occupants had paid for the privilege, but on that count it certainly wouldn't have been worth paying for!


In summary while I wouldn't suggest trekking across London to visit, if you're up Camden way on a sunny day and in need of a chillax and some nice refreshments, it's worth dropping by.

Misha M.
tastemaker

I have to agree with most reviewers about the unfortunate weather circumstances on Monday, it was pouring. I can easily see that this rooftop beach would be a gem in sunny weather. The reason why I gave a 2 stars is because food is the only thing I could rate on based on my rainy Monday experience. We ordered jerk chicken and fish with rice and beans, which took 45 minutes to make. The rice was under cooked. The tomatoes that came with the fish had this very weird fishy smell, I think they might have been contaminated with juice from raw fish. It smelled and tasted very fishy (not the sushi way). Jerk chicken was very dried, probably the worst jerk chicken I've ever had. I feel really bad giving this place a poor rating, but I was very disappointed. I hope they will improve their food service. 

jd
Tastemaker

I would have liked to have seen how they got all that sand in!!  If you're in the area, and the sun is shining (or in London terms, the weather is bearable and you're enjoying being outside), Camden Beach offers a good outdoor space that makes a nice change to the pavement outside pubs!  They've got a Caribbean vibe going on with the food which I found really tasty when it came - I went on one of the first days of the season, and they were slow to deliver, but hopefully they'll sort that out soon! .

Izzy K
Tastemaker

The Camden Beach has potential. There are three bars, the rum is flowing, the music is good, it’s even equipped with beach balls and even sand molds. I imagine on a sunny day it can be a perfect drinking spot.


Unfortunately, on a rainy chilly day, it's quite miserable.We arrived on Monday night, it was buzzy, but not very busy. We headed straight to the food counter to order some Caribbean inspired dishes which were supposed to be ready in 30 minutes. In reality, it took an hour and a half! I have no idea why, considering some elements were pre-prepared and only reheated. If it took so long, they could as well fry these sweet potato chips fresh. I really wouldn’t like to know what’s the waiting time on a busy Saturday night. And it wasn’t even that good. The sword fish wasn’t that tasty, the rice was fragrant, but it was cold and slightly under-cooked.


While waiting for the food we headed for some booz to one of the other bars. The rum cocktail my friend ordered was pre-mixed and served from a big container. My Bay Cooler was prepared on the spot, but it was one of the worst cocktails I’ve ever had. The ingredients just didn’t work together, it was mainly the coconut water that made it very blunt.The bar on the right was much better. The Rum Punch with lime, nutmeg, passion fruit & pineapple was delicious.


It was horribly cold day, so after a while we decided to get shelter in one of the cute beach huts, encouraged and invited by the people sitting inside. However, we were stopped by the bounder who informed us we can’t go inside if we didn’t pay to rent it - no less than £500! Is anyone really paying for these things on a fake beach situated on a rooftop with a view over an office building? Not sure about that, but it’s highly unlikely I’ll be back again to check.

Laura C
Tastemaker

Like several people on here I had the misfortune of arriving when the weather was not on its best behaviour. It seems unfair to complain about an outdoor setting because of the weather - if it had been a lovely day I'm sure the fairly large artificial beach strewn with red deck chairs would have seemed much more appealing. As it was the little cover there was just about made things bearable, as did the several cocktails on offer at the two bars! 


The food took a long time to arrive even though there weren't that many people waiting due to the rain, but the succulent jerk chicken with sweet potato fries and rice and peas was almost worth the wait - if lacking a little spice and flavour that you might find in places such as Mama's Jerk. 


All in all, this really is a place you need to visit when the only umbrellas out are being used to stop you from getting sunburnt - and then the average extras won't seem so bad either.

Georgie
Tastemaker

Lets cast aside the TERRIBLE weather we suffered yesterday and focus on the things that the team at The Roundhouse CAN control at their artificial beach.


SEATING: Seating is limited, and I know I said ignore the weather, but when opening an outdoor space in London in the middle of summer you simply HAVE to be prepared for a bit of drizzle and be able to utilise the space you have - so why there weren't beach umbrellas across the sand for people to shelter under is a bit baffling. No-one was able to sit on the comfy looking deck chairs and instead we were all crammed under the cabana which was simply not big enough for all of us. 


FOOD: When you know you have a big booking of people coming to review, the first rule is make sure you can cater for them! By the time we ordered around 8pm both the chicken and lamb kebab had run out. We ordered the swordfish instead and then proceeded to wait over an hour for it to arrive, and when it did, the accompanying side of rice and peas was cold and undercooked and EVEN WORSE it wasn't rice and peas it was rice and kidney beans - MY ULTIMATE NEMESIS! The swordfish was ok with a nice juiciness to it but the rest was miserable and not worth the ridiculous wait. If I had paid the £7.50 i'd have been pretty pissed off and would have demanded a refund.


DRINKS: The Ginger Gay Boy cocktail is completely delicious (if slightly un-PC in the name) with a really nice sweetness from the ginger beer and lime. You can guzzle quite a few of those down very quickly, but you'll be likely to pace yourself when you realise they're £8 a pop! I'm sorry but £8 for a shot of rum topped with ginger beer from a can and a dash of lime cordial, served in a plastic glass is just a piss take. A fiver and i'd be a bit more understanding but I'd pay something like that for something from a specialist cocktail bar in Central.


SERVICE: Aside from the slowness, the bar staff were pretty un-enthusiastic about their roles for the evening. Yeh ok the weather was rubbish and they weren't busy ALL of the time, but a smile and even perhaps some coordination wouldn't go a miss. Many of them seemed a little clueless as to what they were serving and in some cases didn't know how to operate the tills!


SETTING: I mean, yeh, great, we don't have many easily accessible beaches in London so it's nice to be able to get our sand fix, but unless it's a stunningly gorgeous hot day (by which point expect the place to become rammed) or you have one of their bookable beach huts (for £375 a hut!) there's nothing particularly special about this place... It's just an open space with a lot of sand. I won't really bother returning.

Hannah W

A good space, obviously dependant on the weather. Did have to wait a while for food to arrive but actually if it had been sunny I wouldn't have minded. Not my favourite London beach.

Angela L
Tastemaker

In poor weather we went to visit Camden Beach - cold, drizzly...   You'd think that there wouldn't be a lot of people and indeed it wasn't at all packed and people mostly avoided getting wet or getting sand in/on their shoes.  There was a couple of beach huts to hide in but they were "signed" private, so on a dreary day, there's only a small area to hide from the rain and that area had no music and was hectic so we ended up sitting inside.  We promptly ordered a main and side each and we waited over an hour for it, with some missing bits because they had all but run out.  But to apologise for the long wait, we were given free drink vouchers which we did not end up using as it was only Monday night and it was just too cold for cold drinks.  The food was prepared by a team with good humour but poorly organised, i.e. not efficient.  I really enjoyed my food though, the veggie fritters were delish in generous proportions, but be prepared for a lonnnnnnngggggg wait!

Yilly P
tastemaker

August - check, Summer - check, sunshine - NO CHANCE.  So I don't think the weather helped as it was raining non-stop, however I was fairly underwhelmed by Camden Beach.


A friend and I visited in the evening after work, and although I appreciate it was raining, and obviously a beach is better suited to a sunny day, we tried to make the best of it, and sat in the limited sheltered area.


There were beach huts available, however you had to pay extra to sit in these.


There was a good vibe and atmosphere among the crowd that had braved the rain, but overall it wasn't the most fun experience.


The food was quite disappointing - I ordered jerk chicken, which was overcooked, and my friend got lamb kebab, which was mildly better.  What made it worst is that we waited over an hour for our food to be prepared.  There didn't appear to be any organisation or order at the food counter, and we noticed several people complaining. 


I'm not sure I'd return, and if I did I would definitely ensure it was a nicer day!


Bee
tastemaker

Everything was against Camden beach when I visited this evening. The heavens had opened and the chef was not prepared for the brolly wielding queue of people demanding hot food at the barbecue. Apparently, all orders had been placed in quick succession, so it took an hour and a half for our number to be called. By then we were a bit bored sitting in our soggy beach hut in the rain staring out at the empty deck chairs. The food could have been good (sword fish with a salsa source, rice and beans and sweet potato fries) but due to the situation it was rushed and a little cold. If they find their rhythm and there's any British Summer weather left this could be a great place to meet after work. There are deck chairs for chatting, music suited for a sunny evening and multiple bars (although the cocktails are quite basic and expensive). However, don't travel too far as you will be disappointed.

elladacas
tastemaker

ABSOLUTELY AWFUL!!!!!! 


I am gutted about this.. truly I am. I ventured through terrible weather hoping to eat great food and drink yummy cocktails... what I received was below the standard of any decent food outlet should be allowed to distribute.


we waited for over an hour for pre-cooked chicken ... I was hoping the taste would justify the wait but my oh my it was worse than all my nightmares combined! the chicken was over cooked and so hard and dry it could be mistaken for cardboard.. the rice and peas were under cooked and tasteless! the coconut sauce they poured over it was disgusting and watery.... my god! 


then the cocktails! watery and zero delights to be found within them! sooooooo disappointed its unreal. better off going to brixton beach! wayyyyyyy better food and drinks. only redeeming quality was that the sand was clean. 

the level of disorganisation here is disturbing!! everyone who came tonight would agree that it was a fiasco .. gutted

Kateryna V
Tastemaker

'Scorching' is the word that comes to my mind when I'm thinking of a day by the beach, in the sun. It's also the word that comes to mind when I'm thinking of hell. I say Camden Beach is more of a hell kind of place. Just like in hell, it seems people from all walks of life are welcome. Crawling kids, drinking teens, nappies and selfie sticks. Very Hieronymus Bosch-like really. This is one of the rare times I can safely say: sometimes face control and limited admission are good things. The food on offer looked quite yummy, but I won't be trying it any time soon, since this particular hell has an expiry date.

Tiago Almeida
Tastemaker

Being from a sunny country full of beaches and coming to London the only thing that I really miss are those two things and although we can't do anything about the sun we now can say that we have a beach in town.

Really cool place, you can have a drink, spend time with friends and play ping pong and if you are lucky enough the sun might come out to say 'Hi'.


PS: I do not recommend the hot dogs but the fish and chips are pretty good :)

Anna
Staff Writer

I know I shouldn't have expected much but the only good thing about Camden Beach is that it's different. It's very crowded, pricey, and although it's worth seeing, it's not for much longer than 10 minutes. I was also quite shocked how the tiny space was combining nude (practically pornographic) photos and small children playing all around in the sand. Totally bizarre, but not really in a good way.

Alex B

A great place to go and have a drink outside in the sunshine and feels more fun than a rammed beer garden. Atmosphere is good but the couple of times I've been have been very busy. Genuinely feels like you're at a beach party though so worth a visit over the summer.

Cookie Monster
moderatorStaff WriterTastemaker

It's an odd feeling to get sand in your shoes in the middle of London, but that tends to happen at Camden Beach. Definitely worth checking out!

Patricia Smith

"title"


Awesome place to chill and relax while listening to music. Went there for the first time with my husband and son and had a GREAT time. The staff were really helpful towards us with showing us where the lifts were and toilets. It's so popular that you may have to queue for awhile but it's worth it.

Arnie

I half expected the 'beach' to be full of football fans basking in the sun nailing cans of Super Tennants and this overriding fear dogged me as I stood in a queue that wouldn't have looked out of place on a Bank Hoilday Monday at Alton Towers. But to my surprise, it moved quickly and the doormen weren't the usual gatekeepers of fun that I'm used to seeing. When I got to the rooftop I stood corrected. I wouldn't go as far to say that I was transformed to South Beach, Miami but you certainly won't find better for the price of oyster fare! I really was certainly impressed. Great atmosphere, friendly staff, and a table tennis table that was difficult to negotiate my way around after my 5th Kopperberg. Deck chairs were out, kids were building sandcastles and as roof top activities in London go, this is one of the best.

candice lotter

After living in London for 8 years it began to loose its luster which kick started my Finding London adventure. I came across this little beach and a good day was had by all. Cow-a-bunga dudes!

Aaron

Having just come back from a year abroad in Spain I can't say it lives up to the beaches over there, but it certainly takes away the heartbreak of no longer living in the Costa del Sol ! It's a beach in central London, it's what you'd expect, along with what you can't expect (constant sunshine) but it's definitely not something to miss.

Emily Kinder

Better than a day trip to Brighton! Even though I left a trail of sand on the London tubes... poor commuters!

Louis

Who needs to go on holiday, Camden's got a beach of its own! With this weather, the BBQ, slightly overpriced drinks and the peng people of Camden Town, its a "ya dun know" visit!

Lucy

A great idea to get everyone out in the sunshine with a beer! With the chance to laze around in a deckchair and watch the sun go down whilst drinking some amazingly tasty cocktails it's a must go event! Sure it's not Ibiza but its free and a good use of the space! Also if you're thinking of going you have to try that pulled pork BBQ or duck sandwich, really good food!

Alex

If you're expecting the Costa del Sol or Koh Phi Phi you, unsurprisingly, will be disappointed. This 'beach' is exactly how you would expect to find it in North London. It's crowded, the bar is slow and expensive, and the weather is unreliable. Despite this, the opportunity to laze about in a deckchair with a bottle Koppaberg and the sun shining, so close to home, is not a prospect to be sniffed at. To top it all off entry is free. Go when the sun is shining and try to work out if taking your shirt off is appropriate or not.

Vera

Amazing experience up in North London. Especially during the day when it is not so crowded! Can't wait to go again!

Jennifer

The beach is great, really sunny, deck chairs, etc Do not eat at the fish restaurant - it is expensive and not great. Starters is all pre made nothing you couldn't get in a supermarket served with 1 small stale slice of brown bread. They brought our main courses over before we had finished starters dispite there only being two tables in the place and we were sat very near the chef/bbq area. Plates were cold so fish went cold straight away, mussels were really gritty and the sauce was non existance. Dessert was 1 scoop of ice cream.

Stephanie C
0 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

On reading the reviews, I too am trying to find positives to make up for the absymal rain. Its a great place if you can find when its going to be quiet and when its sunny. Grab a deck chair, soak up the rays and if youre thirsty there's plenty of bars to use. If the ones outside are too busy theres also one inside :) I too waited a long time for the food and we ended up cancelling our order but what I couldnt fathom was they didnt give out the wooden spoons with your order number in numerical order. So you couldnt rely on them calling the number before you to know to keep an eye out... that was rather annoying and in turn meant more work for the polite staff who had to constantly check where you were in the queue. I can see this place being really fun when its sunny and if there were more food options :)