Days out from London by train to seaside destinations. Any suggestions?

(46 Posts)
IlanaK Sun 29-Mar-09 21:27:37

I want to do some days out with my family this summer to seaside locations. We live in Central London so can go anywhere that a train will take us to. I don't want to travel much more than 1.5 hours each way if possible.

Basically, I am looking for suggestions of places where we can walk from the train station to the seafront (or a bus maybe?). I would like a variety of places: one with a good classic sandy beach, maybe one with rock pools, etc/

Any suggestions please!

theyoungvisiter Sun 29-Mar-09 21:30:42

Brighton! Pebbly beach but you can't beat it for a bit of retro fun wandering up and down the om, pom prom. And you must go on the pier and eat candy floss.

1 hr from Victoria and then a 10 min walk to the beach.

You can also change trains at Brighton and go further down the coast for less touristy experience, Seaford has a beach which gives onto the Seven Sisters (that beautiful stretch of white hills you always see in films) and you can walk along the coast to Beachy Head if you like walking.

Kbear Sun 29-Mar-09 21:31:50

Westgate-on-sea - station near to beach (10 mins walk) - sandy beach and rockpools further along. You can get a cab from Westgate station to Westbrook beach which is even nicer. 5 mins away in cab.

Hastings beach is lovely - don't know how far from station though.

IlanaK Sun 29-Mar-09 21:33:13

I don't think Brighton would work for us as the kids are young and they would want sand not pebbles. The other suggestions sound great though - thanks!

Kbear Sun 29-Mar-09 21:33:17

Hastings is stony though, but fishing boats on the beach, small sealife centre which is worth a visit. FAB fish and chips!

Kbear Sun 29-Mar-09 21:33:57

Westbrook is dog-free in the summer too if I recall.

Kbear Sun 29-Mar-09 21:34:41
theyoungvisiter Sun 29-Mar-09 21:35:18

Reading that back I should clarify - you can't actually walk to Beachy Head unless you like long walks, it's several miles of very hilly countryside, I meant you walk towards Beachy Head.

Simplysally Sun 29-Mar-09 21:35:35

Southend or Margate are pretty close to London although Southend isn't actually 'seaside' as such. It's got a funfair, pier but the beach is shingly with bits of sand. Shoeburyness is further down from Southend but is just a beach there - dry sand so rubbish for sandcastles etc.

If you like razz-ma-tazz, Clacton or Walton on the Naze is more genteel. Frinton used to be very old fashioned as well for a bit of understated seaside stuff.

babyOcho Sun 29-Mar-09 21:35:37

Frinton-on-Sea in Essex is sandy, but not that much to do (no pier).

The art deco buildings are lovely.

nancy75 Sun 29-Mar-09 21:36:05

broadstairs has a sandy beach, as does margate

plantsitter Sun 29-Mar-09 21:36:10

Southend is ace for a traditional windy walk down the pier go on the dodgems eat some candyfloss type day out.

theyoungvisiter Sun 29-Mar-09 21:36:35

Don't write off Brighton just because of the sand. Ok you can't make sandcastles but other than that, it's very family friendly and has lots to do. We used to go there all the time as kids.

I mean I would do the sandy beach too, but it's nice for a change.

fishie Sun 29-Mar-09 21:37:53


IlanaK Sun 29-Mar-09 21:39:00

I suppose I should clarify - we are not looking for a traditional seaside day out with funfair etc. I am looking to be able to actually take my kids to a sandy beach and also rock pools as we live in Central London and are not going on holiday this year so no beach experience for them.

So, I really do want a sandy beach. Not totally isolated - we would want a local high street or something, but it does not have to be a bustling town centre.

southeasterastra Sun 29-Mar-09 21:39:47

bournemoth eastborne is full of old ladies

babyOcho Sun 29-Mar-09 21:41:21

Defo Frinton

plantsitter Sun 29-Mar-09 21:42:44

Looks like Kbear's suggestion is your best bet then. Can't think where else you can get from London in a day with a sandy beach and rockpools and a high street.

theyoungvisiter Sun 29-Mar-09 21:43:44

well in that case anywhere on the south coast directly below London is pretty much pebble, or shingle at best. It's a chalk and flint coast so the rocks don't make sand. You will need to go further east for true sand, although there is the odd pocket on the south coast I can't think of anywhere with a station.

The other thing is that anywhere with a sandy beach and a station within shooting distance of London will be very, very busy on a sunny day. You should probably look at going midweek.

glucose Sun 29-Mar-09 21:46:56

we went to shoeburyness last year I think on the only sunny sunday. It was
a tolerable hour or so on the train for a then 3.5y old & 7y old. Beach is walking distance from station, there is a tidal paddling pool which was really warm, when the tide goes out there is a long strech of sand- which is by no means the best for sand castle, but there are little tidal pools of tiny fish, crabs, & lots of sand wormy things.
ok its so its the thames estuary and not really the coast nor classic seaside, but does have sand, sun, water, and ice lollies. Both my dd & my friends dd are only children, and they soon made friends with the other children also having a day out.

IlanaK Sun 29-Mar-09 21:51:44

Bournmouth and Shoeburyness sound perfect - a good contrast to each other too. Thanks! But keep the ideas coming

Simplysally Sun 29-Mar-09 21:53:21

How about Herne Bay?

Pollyanna Sun 29-Mar-09 21:54:38

my inlaws live in Frinton. The children love the beach - we do flasks and picnics. check tides before you go though, when the tide is in there is no sand at all.

Town is as dull as ditchwater (and a bit weird too), but kids don't mind at all!

helsbels4 Sun 29-Mar-09 22:00:23

Whoever said Eastbourne is full of old ladies obviously hasn't been there! Yes, there are old people, just like everywhere else but it is a myth!!!!! You walk along the seafront and you see "young" people everywhere! The beaches are stony at high-tide but sand at low and plenty of rock-pools towards the Holywell end of the seafront. It's beautiful!

IlanaK Sun 29-Mar-09 22:06:22

Does anyone know if Whitsable is sandy beach? Their website doesn't say. I used to go to Uni in Canterbury and have fond memories of that area. Its not too far either. Bournemouth looks great, but I am thinking it is too far. 97 minutes by train plus tube time this end and time that end to get to the beach. Frinton looks nice, but maybe just a little too isolated. My kids would be very upset by the no-icecream vendors policy!

ByTheSea Sun 29-Mar-09 22:10:47

Walton is right next to Frinton and you can definitely find ice cream too. Pier and sandy beach are nice and a short walk from the train but make sure to check the tide tables.

Whistable is shingle, I'm afraid. Broadstairs is a bit further away, but is easy to get to by train, and has a couple of sandy beaches with rockpools,

seeker Sun 29-Mar-09 22:17:21

Broadstairs is brilliant - it has two main beaches, one a traditional sandy beach, the other sand and rocks for rockpooling. Only problem is, it's a bit of a walk to the station - and uphill on the way back!

Whitstable is pebbly but interesting.

Margate is sandy but the town is right on the beach, so not very romantic. Has Primark, though!

Lots of fab beaches in Kent I could recommend if you were coming by car.....

helsbels4 Sun 29-Mar-09 22:20:58

There is plenty of sand at Eastbourne, Hastings, Brighton etc if you check the tide times before you set off. If you want sand and rockpools then you'd have to come for a weekend so you could experience the change of the tides.

IlanaK Sun 29-Mar-09 22:21:54

Margate looks good- I found it when looking for Broadstairs. Sand, mintues from the station, good facilities.

IlanaK Sun 29-Mar-09 22:23:06

I think I like the idea of Margate for the sandy beach and Shoeburyness for a contrast.

nooooo! Broadstairs really isn't far from the train station (15 mins tops), and Margate is just Much Less Nice. I used to binge drink there as a teen hmm.

seeker Sun 29-Mar-09 22:28:49

It's only 15 minutes TO the beach at Broadstairs (10 on a good day!). It's a lot longer back up the hill if you're pushing a pushchair and trailing tired sandy children! Particularly if you've been to Louisa Bay for the rockpools.

seeker Sun 29-Mar-09 22:30:00

Margate has no rockpools and is pretty soulless. And very windy and exposed. But it is vey close to the station and has good sand.

IlanaK Sun 29-Mar-09 22:31:22

I think distance from the train station is key. Two of the three kid will be walking and they will not have any energy left by the time we leave. Margate wins hands down on that front. And the town doesn't have to be all nice - so long as the beach is good.

IlanaK Sun 29-Mar-09 22:32:28

I wasn't expecting to get sand and rockpools in the same location.

Weymouth is my ideal. We went there last year for a week holiday. It has sandy beach, town centre, lots of attractions, seperate rock pool area. Fab fab fab! Way to far for a day out though!

seeker Sun 29-Mar-09 22:37:38

Broadstairs would give you all you wanted.You could always get a taxi back to the station.

InTheScrum Sun 29-Mar-09 22:45:05

Hastings beach less than 5 mins walk from the station. Probably 15 mins to the Old Town (loads of retro shops and nice bars & coffee shops) Fab fish & chips from the Blue Dolphin. The fishermans net huts are beautifula dn the museum is good too.
beach is pebbly at high tide, but goes out and there's plenty of sand then. Rock pools right at the eastern end of the Old Town beach, just under the cliffs.

InTheScrum Sun 29-Mar-09 22:47:10
Douglas5 Sat 19-Jan-13 23:04:53

In Lulworth there are some nice places and some new hotels opening. limestone at Lulworth looks quite intriguing... And it's a 2 hour journey from London

Bunbaker Thu 24-Jan-13 23:54:07

Littlehampton has a sandy beach

MooMooSkit Fri 25-Jan-13 00:04:06

Please do not go margate for the love of god, it is awful now, gone really down hill and it's just not nice. Not worth it. Broadstairs is only a couple of stops from Margate carry on there, it's much nicer.

Southend you can't go wrong loads of arcades, pebble beach though, theme parks, lots of fish and chip shops etc crazy golf to!

Whitstable, don't bother with herne bay, another seaside town gone to pot but whitstable is lovely and quirkly, lots of cute boutique shops, pebble beach, fab pubs (old neptune is great in the summer)

Leigh on sea is nice as well.

cestlavielife Mon 28-Jan-13 12:44:48


pick up the train at stratford east london - unless you closer to liverpool street . really easy journey; ten minute walk to beach from station .... clacton has sandy beach pier land train etcetc. have done a few days out to clacton with kids on train easy peasy . good sand shallow water to swim etc.

cestlavielife Mon 28-Jan-13 12:45:37

frinton is dull for kids; tho naice

ChristmasJubilee Mon 04-Feb-13 06:39:48

We used to go to Walton on the naze every year for our holidays, five of us including granny. I have so many happy memories of staying there! That was 40 years ago and I now live in the North of Scotland so not much use to you but had to reminisce.

piemash1 Wed 28-Aug-13 10:47:03

I can't not quite understand why you are so rude about older people. Are there not older people in your family. To say a certain place is full of old people and to use it as a reason for not going there is so awful. You are being so dull in your thinking.
Go and fill you bag with rice cakes and have a day out in Hoxton. Then in the evening go to your bookclub and get merry on cheap wine.
Now do you like being put in a generalisation.

By the way the question mark on my keyboard is not working.

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