Let’s be honest: urban beaches are in no way as good as real beaches. We’re not going to stand here and try and kid of you of that. There’s no sea to swim in. There’s very limited access to high-quality fish and chips. It’s very unlikely you can go surfing at one.
That being said... It’s 2021, a year in which such simple pleasures as getting a haircut or going to the pub have become spine-tinglingly thrilling. On that scale urban beaches rank as extremely good fun. They have sand, they have cocktails, they often have beach parties and they sometimes (when we’re lucky) get a bit of sun. We’re not going to turn our noses up at any of that right now.
Here we’ve rounded up the most decent ones in the city. If you fancy a swim instead then check out these dreamy London lidos and outdoor pools. And if you still aren’t convinced that a sandpit by the South Bank will give you those sweet holiday feels, here are some actual beaches near London you can head to.
RECOMMENDED: Our guide to outdoor London.