Sandy beaches close to London accessible by train/bus?

(36 Posts)
JustineTimee Mon 14-Jun-21 10:36:12

Would anyone be able to recommend any sandy beaches that are easy to get to by public transport from London, close enough to go and come back on the same day? TIA!

OP’s posts: |
SimonedeBeauvoirscat Mon 14-Jun-21 10:37:03

Southend?

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Mon 14-Jun-21 10:39:06

Margate! Train station is right by the beach.

SimonedeBeauvoirscat Mon 14-Jun-21 10:39:24

Margate? Or if you’re willing to walk a bit from the train station, go to Rye and walk to Camber Sands?

Howshouldibehave Mon 14-Jun-21 10:40:01

Southend

Bearnecessity Mon 14-Jun-21 11:17:44

Broadstairs

BlackLambAndGreyFalcon Mon 14-Jun-21 11:19:37

Broadstairs (Viking Bay), Camber Sands (bit of a trek as it involves 2 trains and a bus - but gorgeous there). Where in London are you coming from?

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BlackLambAndGreyFalcon Mon 14-Jun-21 11:21:44

Minnis Bay also (train station stop Birchington-on-Sea).

It would take about an hour to walk to Camber from Rye train station according to Google Maps! Definitely take the bus.

UndeadSlut Mon 14-Jun-21 11:26:32

Can't get much closer than Margate, the beach is literally across the road from the station, but by God it is BUSY at the moment. Completely packed even when you could reasonably expect it to be quieter.

Sandsnake Mon 14-Jun-21 11:29:40

Bournemouth is around 90 - 100 mins on the train from Waterloo. Walkable to the beach in 20 mins or so from station, although bus / cab preferable with beach stuff. The beaches are great, although gets busy - especially centrally. If you’re willing to get a cab to take you to somewhere like Durley or Alum chine it would be a bit more pleasant away from the main pier. Although the town centre and around the main pier has the better choice of restaurants etc.

JustineTimee Mon 14-Jun-21 11:41:46

Thanks all! I'm such a novice. This is all really helpful, please keep the advice coming! Hoping to take my littles to the beach for the first time smile

OP’s posts: |
stormelf Mon 14-Jun-21 11:43:03

Folkestone

JustineTimee Mon 14-Jun-21 11:47:14

BlackLambAndGreyFalcon

Broadstairs (Viking Bay), Camber Sands (bit of a trek as it involves 2 trains and a bus - but gorgeous there). Where in London are you coming from?

Thank you! These look gorgeous. We're in Northeast London, on the Piccadilly Line.

Would Camber Sands be less busy than Margate? Or the same really?

OP’s posts: |
JustineTimee Mon 14-Jun-21 11:48:12

UndeadSlut

Can't get much closer than Margate, the beach is literally across the road from the station, but by God it is BUSY at the moment. Completely packed even when you could reasonably expect it to be quieter.

Thanks, that's good to know. Are there other, smaller places that would be less busy, or is this just how it is at the moment?

OP’s posts: |
ClaudiaWankleman Mon 14-Jun-21 11:54:33

Chalkwell beach is 50ish minutes from West Ham (sometimes Stratford).

BlackLambAndGreyFalcon Mon 14-Jun-21 12:17:56

There is loads of space at camber, so even if it is busy (and it does get very busy) you can walk down the beach until you find a less busy spot (further away from the car parks the less busy it is).

According to Google maps (I put in Arnos Grove as the starting point) it's 2 hours 13 minutes to Margate and 2 hours 19 minutes to Camber Sands by public transport. I personally would much prefer Camber. It's a much nicer beach. But Margate does have the amusement park as well (if you're into that sort of thing) and you don't have the faff with the bus which you do with Camber.

BlackLambAndGreyFalcon Mon 14-Jun-21 12:19:30

If you prefer not to faff with the bus then I would choose Broadstairs over Margate (one stop away on the train).

DameAlyson Mon 14-Jun-21 12:21:01

We're in Northeast London, on the Piccadilly Line.

Kent coast resorts you can get to on HS1 from St Pancras. But it is quite a long ride so might be a bit much for very young children. And Southeast trains are warning that trains to and from the coast are crowded at the moment. Not sure that they're actually running a full timetable currently.

Broadstairs is a really nice traditional family resort and Margate station is as pp have said across the road from the station. And you have Dreamland there too.

At Margate and Broadstairs there are other smaller bays - Palm Bay, Stone Bay etc - which are a longer walk from the station. But they might be equally crowded. And you need to be aware that when the tide comes in, the beach gets smaller! Memories of days at Margate when everyone was periodically moving backwards up the beach until there was nowhere left to go!

SomeCatsLikeCheese Mon 14-Jun-21 12:23:03

If you’re near Liverpool Street/Fenchurch Street (can’t remember which), then Walton on the Naze and Frinton on Sea (on the Essex coast) are both sandy. We were at Frinton this weekend and it was busy but plenty of room for everyone.

BlackLambAndGreyFalcon Mon 14-Jun-21 12:25:20

Chalkwell and the Southend Beaches are probably a shorter journey for you (Google maps saying 1 hr 38 from Arnos Grove), but that's still with a few changes. I personally don't know those beaches to either recommend them or not!

SimonedeBeauvoirscat Mon 14-Jun-21 13:04:09

Crikey the Kent beaches are a long way to go from NE London with small children. I’d look at Essex tbh.

UncomfortableSilence Mon 14-Jun-21 13:14:58

Liverpool Street station will take you along the Essex coast to places like Frinton, Walton-on-the-Naze, Fenchurch Street and the C2C will take you out to Leigh, Southend etc

Frinton way is much nicer in terms of beaches and space but the train takes soooo long, whereas C2C is quick and air conditioned.

PhillipPhillop Mon 14-Jun-21 13:19:35

Chalkwell beach is right by the station on the London Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness line. It depends on how easy it is for you to get to Fenchurch Street though.
Leigh, Chalkwell, Westcliff, Southend Central and Shoebury East are all stations on this line that are walkable to sandy beaches. (Or mud if the tide is outgrin)

BlackLambAndGreyFalcon Mon 14-Jun-21 13:29:11

PhillipPhillop

Chalkwell beach is right by the station on the London Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness line. It depends on how easy it is for you to get to Fenchurch Street though.
Leigh, Chalkwell, Westcliff, Southend Central and Shoebury East are all stations on this line that are walkable to sandy beaches. (Or mud if the tide is outgrin)

The OP doesn't need to go to Fenchurch Street for the Shoeburyness line. She can pick it up at West Ham (Pic to Green Park and then Jubilee) or Barking (Pic to Finsbury Park, Vic to Blackhorse Rd, GOBLIN to Barking) or Limehouse (Pic to Kings Cross, Northern to Bank, DLR to Limehouse). It's a lot of changes, but it's also a lot of changes from the top of the Pic line to Fenchurch street, and google maps says that these routes are faster than going to Fenchurch Street.

goldierocks Mon 14-Jun-21 13:42:56

Hi OP

IMVHO the south-Essex beaches (Southend, Chalkwell, Thorpe Bay, Shoeburyness, Westcliff) have quite a lot of small stones/shale on them. Definitely nothing whatsoever like Brighton, but not completely sandy either.

Given your location, I agree with the previous posters who have suggested the north-Essex beaches (Walton-on-the-Naze, Frinton-on-Sea, Clacton). You could get the Piccadilly line to Holborn, change to the Central line to Liverpool Street, then get the overground (Great Anglia). You'll be able to get direct services which will take approx 1.5 hours each way.

I used to take my DS to Walton from Liverpool St when he was little. Those beaches are properly sandy. Southend was much better when he got older and preferred the amusement park to the beach.

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