Thinking about your next beach holiday but not sure where to go? If you’re in London this summer, you don’t need to hop on a plane to enjoy some beautiful beaches – you can simply take the train.
From Camber Sands in East Sussex to Viking Bay in Kent, here are the best beaches near London you can reach by train:
- Camber Sands, East Sussex
- Brighton Beach, East Sussex
- Littlehampton Beach, West Sussex
- Priory Bay Beach, Isle of Wight
- Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
- Sunny Sands Beach, Kent
- Margate, Kent
- Viking Bay, Kent
- Whitstable, Kent
- Bournemouth Beach, Dorset
1. Camber Sands, East Sussex
With beautiful golden sands stretching over 7 miles (11 km), Camber Sands is home to the only sand dunes in East Sussex. Enjoy the tranquillity in this unspoilt beach, build your sandcastles or, if you’re feeling more active, have a go at kitesurfing. Camber Sands is also considered as one of the best places for beachcombing in the UK, so make sure you grab a good stick and keep an eagle eye on the sand – from precious stones to lost coins, you may even find a message in a bottle!
Getting from London to Camber Sands by train
Catch a Southeastern service from London St Pancras to Ashford International, and at Ashford, change onto a Southern service to Rye, which is the nearest train station to Camber Sands. From Rye station, take the 102 Wave bus right to the beachfront. The bus journey takes around 20 minutes. For more information, check out our dedicated guide to London to Camber Sands by train.
2. Brighton Beach, East Sussex
One of the most popular beach destinations for Londoners and tourists alike, Brighton has a great food scene, nightlife and bohemian shopping area with independent jewellers and tiny, high-end antique shops you don’t want to miss. Enjoy this British pebble beach while eating fish and chips and visit its world-famous pier, amusement park and arcade.
Getting from London to Brighton by train
If you want to get from London to Brighton quickly, take the Gatwick Express from London Victoria – you’ll reach Brighton Beach in just an hour. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, why not take a Thameslink service from London Blackfriars – it usually takes 1h 15m. For more information on how to get to Brighton from London by train, head to our guide to trains to Brighton.
3. Littlehampton Beach, West Sussex
A Blue Flag Beach, the sand and shingle beach at Littlehampton offers everything you’d expect from a long-established seaside resort, from a promenade and theme park to well-kept seafront gardens. Here, you can even find the longest bench in the UK – it’s 1,000 feet long and it can sit over 300 people, so you won’t miss it!
Getting from London to Littlehampton Beach by train
You just need to take a direct Southern service from London to Littlehampton – the train leaves from London Victoria station and the journey takes less than an hour and a half. Getting off at Littlehampton station, you’ll be only a 10-minute walk away from the seafront, ready to enjoy this Blue Flag Beach.
4. Priory Bay Beach, Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight has plenty of beaches to choose from but Priory Bay Beach is a hidden treasure you must visit. Boasting crystal-clear water and golden sands surrounded by rocks, Priory Bay Beach is the perfect place to relax and forget about the hustle and bustle of the city.
Getting from London to Priory Bay Beach by train
From London Waterloo station, take a South Western Railway service to Portsmouth Harbour, then hop on a ferry bound for Ryde Pier Head. Getting off at Ryde, take the number 8 bus right to the beachfront – you’ll be there in about 20 minutes. For more information, read our guide to London to the Isle of Wight by train.
5. Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
The jewel in the crown of the Essex coast, Clacton-on-Sea is the perfect destination for a classic British seaside holiday with your family. Along with a fine Victorian pier and a decent-sized stretch of golden sand, you’ll find plenty of seaside amusements, cafes and restaurants. Make sure you stop by the SeaQuarium or take a pleasure cruise up the Thames aboard a steamer to keep your little ones entertained.
Getting from London to Clacton-on-Sea by train
Catch a Greater Anglia train from London Liverpool Street to Clacton-on-Sea and your seaside holiday will start in less than an hour and a half. Getting off at Clacton-on-Sea station, you’ll find yourself only 10 minutes away from the beach, is there anything better?
6. Sunny Sands Beach, Kent
Located near Folkestone Harbour and the town centre, Sunny Sands Beach has such amazing sand that it’s home to the annual Folkestone Sandcastle Competition. Fuel up with some of the best ice cream and fish and chips in the area while taking in the views, with Folkestone’s famous mermaid statue looking over the shore.
Getting from London to Sunny Sands Beach by train
To get to Sunny Sands Beach from London, take a direct Southeastern train from London St Pancras and get off at Folkestone Central station. The train journey takes less than an hour and you’ll be only a 20-minute walk away from the beachfront. Check out our dedicated page to trains to Folkestone for more information on how to get there by train.
7. Margate, Kent
A classic seaside town, Margate offers all the British favourites from a sandy beach and amusement park to plenty of tempting fish and chip shops. If you’re into art, make sure you also visit the Turner Contemporary Gallery for some stunning seascapes which were inspired by this beautiful coastal town.
Getting from London to Margate by train
If you’re travelling from London to Margate by train, you can catch a direct Southeastern service from London Victoria, Charing Cross, St Pancras or Cannon Street station – you’ll be sunbathing at Margate’s sandy beach in about an hour and a half. Visit our trains to Margate page for more details.
8. Viking Bay, Kent
Located in the seaside town of Broadstairs and a favourite holiday destination for Charles Dickens, Viking Bay has it all. From a clifftop promenade and harbour pier to beach huts, amusement rides, cafes and restaurants, this stunning sandy beach is great for families and offers plenty of things to see and do.
Getting from London to Viking Bay by train
If you want to get to Viking Bay from London by train, you can take a direct Southeastern train to Broadstairs from different London stations, including London Victoria, Charing Cross, St Pancras and Cannon Street. Once you leave Broadstairs station, you’ll need to walk for only 10 minutes to get to the beach.
9. Whitstable, Kent
Located on the North coast of Kent, Whitstable has it all. Enjoy its pebble beach, treat yourself to its famous seafood – we’re looking at you, oysters! – and have a stroll down the town’s little lanes filled with bookshops, bakeries, quirky shops and traditional pubs. Whitstable beach sounds like a perfect day trip from London, doesn’t it?
Getting from London to Whitstable by train
It takes about 1h 12m to get from London to Whitstable by train. You can take a direct Southeastern service from different London stations, including London Victoria, Charing Cross, St Pancras and Cannon Street. Getting off at Whitstable train station, you’ll just need to walk for about 16 minutes to get to the beachfront. Need more information on how to get Whitstable by train? Check out our dedicated page to trains to Whitstable.
10. Bournemouth Beach, Dorset
If you want to escape the crowds, head to Bournemouth Beach – it’s 11 miles long! There is something for everyone at this beach: head to Pier Approach for fun family-friendly activities, try water sports with an artificial reef or simply make the most of the IMAX cinema, oceanarium and many restaurants you’ll find at the seafront.
Getting from London to Bournemouth Beach by train
Take a direct South Western Railway service from London Waterloo to Bournemouth and you’ll be at your seaside destination in less than two hours. Getting off at Bournemouth station, you’ll be able to reach the seafront in just 12 minutes by bus, or in about 27 minutes if you fancy walking. Visit our trains to Bournemouth page if you want to learn more about how to get there by train.
As you can see, there are plenty of beaches you can easily reach by train from London – and most of them are less than two hours away! So, what are you waiting for? Take the train and check out these glorious beaches for yourself! If you want to discover more beaches in the UK, why not check out our guide to the best UK beaches you can reach by train.