This Wednesday a super-sized shell will wash up at Observation Point in front of Gabriel's Wharf. Step inside the installation to be enveloped in an evocative waft of salty air, assailed by the sounds of waves and seagulls (though we have our fair share of those on the Thames) and seduced by mood lighting designed to encourage you to make good on your dreams of a seaside jaunt. A National Trust survey suggests that while one in five of us daydream about escaping to the coast, the number who actually make the trip has dropped by 20 percent in the past decade, something that the organisation - which looks after 775 miles of the UK's coastline - wants to remedy. We can't think of anything nicer, but right now we'll settle for the giant mollusc, which also has a themed photobooth where Londoners can capture their fantasy day on the sand.
Get your seaside fix at one of these brilliant beaches near London.
Or don't bother leaving town and head to one of London's urban beaches.