Best Seaside Escapes Close to London
Let’s face it as much as we love London, we all need to get away from the city now and again. There’s nothing I love more than jumping on a train and heading down to the seaside for some fresh air, a sit on the beach, a paddle in freezing waters and a portion of good old fish and chips. It is the one thing that really refreshes my energy when life feels heavy. I’ve compiled my three favourite destinations for you that I’ve visited over the past year and a couple of recommendations on how to spend a day there.
I was in love with Margate before I even went there because I’m completely obsessed with the Only Fools and Horses Jolly Boys Outing special. So I couldn’t wait to visit and it did not disappoint. Margate is definitely becoming a very trendy seaside town filled with artists and craft beer and I’m so here for it. Located in Kent, Margate is only 1 hour and 30 minutes from London St Pancras, hop on a train on Friday after work and arrive in time for a delicious supper before a fun filled day. There’s plenty to do and see so enjoy a weekend to make the most of it. With a long and superb sandy beach with cafes and bars dotted alongside, enjoy some time on the beach and then head off for some lunch or a drink. Make sure to visit retro funfair Dreamland to relive your favourite childhood rides. Oh, and don’t forget to visit the Turner Contemporary as well!
Pagham is the loveliest seaside village that is unbeknownst to most. Get the train down to Bognor Regis, it’s 1 hour 40 minutes from London Victoria. Once you get there, if you love a good walk, head down through the town to the beach and you can walk along to Pagham which is about 1 hour 30 minutes away. Or, you can jump in a taxi at the station and you’ll be there in 10 minutes. Pagham beach is lovely and quiet – perfect for a relaxing weekend away from the city. There is a small strip with a cafe where you can get yourself a nice cuppa and a delicious tea cake. You’ll also find ice cream, fish and chips, churros, an arcade – it really is the ultimate English seaside destination. After your beach day, take a 30 minute walk up to The Inglenook Hotel for dinner and drinks, you’re guaranteed a wonderful stay and breakfast if you don’t fancy going home yet.
Leigh on Sea
Leigh is so easy and quick to get to, but you feel like you’re worlds away. Jump on a train from Liverpool Street and you’ll be there in 50 minutes. The beach is very close to the train station which also makes it a super easy trip. If you’re looking for something that’s a no fuss day out or if you’re coordinating for a group of you to get away for the day, this would be my recommendation. Old Leigh’s main street is full of cafes, restaurants and lots of pubs to enjoy. I’d recommend visiting The Peterboat – a lively and popular choice loved by locals with a great selection of drinks.There is also a small sandy beach, Bell Wharf Beach, which is only 10 minute walk through Old Leigh from the station. Here you’ll find cockle sheds, working boats and passing tankers out at sea, get some of the freshest seafood around here.
So there you have my top three picks for beach days close to London. These really are brilliant places to visit to recharge your batteries and blow away the cobwebs. But, there are so many brilliant escapes close to London, I’d love to hear where your favourites are or your go to destinations!