Margate Kent England 1986 Martin Parr Magnum Photos

© Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Easy day trips from London to the beach

A trip to our seaside is the perfect summer activity, especially if you want to experience some of the most typical elements of British culture. Read on to discover how to explore the country’s coast – both in and near London. 

If a stroll along the Thames won’t satisfy your love of the sea, you can get a taste for the Great British seaside at the National Maritime Museum this summer. The historic Greenwich site has collected over 100 images from popular British photographers, which perfectly communicate British culture over the last 80 years. Including short films and funny scenes, the display is open until the end of September 2018.

If you want to see the Great British seaside for yourself however, read on to find out where you can go for a day trip from London. 
Brighton beach United Kingdom
Brighton 
If you asked a UK resident to name the most gay-friendly place in the country, they’d probably say Brighton. This southern seaside destination feels like a small town, but Brighton has a cultural scene that competes with far larger cities. 
Train: Blackfriars or Victoria station, approximately one hour to Brighton 
Southend On Sea pier United Kingdom
Southend-on-Sea 
This town is the classic Great British seaside experience: it’s old-fashioned, full of quirky locals and certainly not glamorous. But this is about the beach, and Southend's City Beach is a beauty. Southend Pier is so long that is has its own train to the end, where you’ll find the modern and attractive Royal Pavilion, which has a large sun terrace.
Train: Fenchurch St or Liverpool St station, approximately one hour to Southend Central 
Whistable bay United Kingdom
Whitstable 
This cute little harbour town is famous for its oysters and fresh seafood. Tankerton Beach is popular with windsurfers and when the tide is out, you can walk along an elongated strip of sand which goes right out to sea. Prefer sitting? Then you’ll love Whitstable West Beach, because there’s a pub almost right on it. 
Train: Cannon St, St Pancras or Victoria station, approximately 80 minutes to Whitstable
Whistling Sands Aberdaron David Hurn Magnum Photos
Discover things to do in Brighton with our special feature


Top image: Margate, Kent 1986 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
Final image: Whistling Sands, Pothoer, Aberdaron, 2004 © David Hurn / Magnum Photos

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