Best urban beaches in London summer 2019
Grab your buckets and spades and get ready for some fun on the beach – in London this summer. There are also after-hours beach bars for the 18+ set.
The Beach at Brent Cross
Opening on June 20th, Brent Cross' fantastic urban beach space (by the Brent Cross Shopping Centre) was created to make family beach days more fun and less stress. They've thought of everything: families can enjoy Punch and Judy shows, seaside games, carousels and donkey rides, while the more adventurous can try one of the rollercoasters or get a laugh at the Fun House. If you want to get wet, you can play Water Wars - and get your opponents soaked - but watch out for the aqua buckets (unless you want a bucket of water tipped on your head). For little ones, there's also a paddling pool to splash around in. There's tons of food and drink to choose from (and if you need a decent caffeine fix or a salad, don't fret - the shopping centre has plenty of options). Summer plans - sorted.
London Secret Beach
Launching June 3rd, London Secret Beach (part of London Secret Garden) is all sand, deckchairs, mojitos and tiger prawns. Bliss - especially since you're still in the comforts of SW7 - and can go home via the V&A.
Jimmy's Patch and Picnic and Jeppe Hein's Appearing Rooms fountain, Southbank Centre
Credit: Pete Woodhead at Southbank Centre
The Southbank has swapped its summer sand for a summer picnic spot with Jimmy's Patch and Picnic, which teams lawn games (boules, beach tennis) with tasty food and craft cocktails. The Southbank's Appearing Rooms fountain by Jeppe Hein, is making a comeback this season. Perfect for kids who love splashing around - and you don't need to worry about any sea monsters.
Veuve Clicquot at The Den, St Martins Lane Hotel
The outdoor terrace of The Den has become a tropical paradise for summer, filled with palm trees, butterflies, summery props, artisan ice cream from Ruby Violet and, best of all, chilled bottles of Veuve Clicquot. Cheers, darlings.
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Fun fact: there's a year-round urban beach in London's Hillingdon - and you can even get there via tube (the stop is Ruislip, on the Piccadilly or Metropolitan lines). It's 60 acres of gorgeousness: a lake and sandy beaches surrounded by woods, there's plenty to do from feeding the ducks and birds to playing on the children's pirate ship climbing frame. While there's no swimming in the lake, kids will enjoy the water splash pad (open from April-September) and making castles in the sand. For the train-obsessed, there's a mini gauge railway to take you on a journey around the lake. Choo-choo!
The Montague Beach Bar
The Montague on the Gardens is a beach party ready destination whenever you need one, with cocktails in coconuts, palm trees, sand beneath your toes and a beach hut design. Fool your friends into thinking you're in the Caribbean (instead of Bloomsbury) - there's an on-site photo booth to ensure you can do just that. Food includes BBQ and - what else? - ice cream cones for dessert.
With cabanas, daybeds and a covered, jungle-inspired pergola, Neverland is Fulham's answer to the urban beach with plenty of on-site entertainment like shuffleboard, table tennis, mini golf, Saturday beach yoga, Tuesday night cinema sessions and tropical-themed bottomless brunch. They also host events for large parties, so if you've been in search of a fun new birthday venue, you're welcome.
Byrney's Beach Bar
Wake Up Docklands offers plenty of activities for the urban adventurer, from paddleboarding to hydrofoiling. Reward yourself after your exertions with a drink at Byrney's Beach Bar, a Hawaiian-themed grass-roof hangout with deck chairs and water views.
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