A secret beach with your own pods? Frozen cocktails at a Tulum-inspired pop-up? Not only is the capital home to some seriously sandy spots, but it’s also got summer-ready beaches with cocktail bars, street food vendors and private cabanas too. What are you waiting for? Book a day off work and make it a city staycation with our guide to must-visit urban beaches in London.
A gentleman's club through the week and an LGBTQ+ party paradise come the weekend, Metropolis is one of Hackney's finest choices for a night out. Whether you've booked a booth with its own pole or come to chill on the rooftop, make sure you head upstairs to the beach room, where a live DJ spins hip-hop and bashment in a space that's covered in sand and littered with swings.
This year, Paddington favourite Pergola is saying sayonara to its old look and ushering in an alfresco dining space inspired by the bohemian vibes of Tulum. Transporting you to Mexico's sandy shores, the sun-drenched space is decked out with tropical plants, huge cabanas and wicker furnishings. Food comes in the form of dishes from Crudo Cevicheria, Dos Mas Tacos and beach grill The Burger Shack, while the drinks list is led by margaritas, frozen cocktails and plenty of tequila.
One of the best pop-up beaches in the UK, this SW hideaway has all sorts going on. To set the scene there’s a covered pergola, flamingo bar, day beds and cosy huts. On the entertainment front? Think drag bingo and bottomless brunches, as well as Polynesian parties and Ibiza-themed bashes. To top it all off, Neverland promises live performers and bookings for large groups.
Solving all your summertime woes is The Montague On The Gardens. Taking over from their winter ski lodge, this tropical pop-up promises day party vibes, palm trees and even a jet ski. Get hands-on with a bottomless cocktail masterclass at the Mix It Bar and prepare to be transported to the Bahamas with lush decor and your own private bartender.
Back once again, Limin Beach Club has set up shop on the South Bank; armed with soft sand, a soundtrack of soca beats and Caribbean vibes. Head to the quirky summer pop-up for BBQ bites, beach parties and cocktails that arrive in pineapples and coconuts,
London Secret Garden
A hidden oasis in the centre of the city? It can only be London Secret Garden. Taking up an acre of clandestine space, this hideaway is home to domes, sun loungers and a marquee for all your relaxation needs. Whether you’re visiting in a small group or larger party, get ready for BBQ bites, cocktails, flip flops and exclusive pods opposite Gloucester Road station.
Ruislip Lido Beach
If we’re talking sandy urban beaches in London, then Ruislip Lido has to be on the list. Sandwiched between Ruislip Common and Ruislip Woods, this 60-acre lake is well worth a visit. While the beach might be currently closed to visitors, this is one to add to your post-lockdown list.
The Beach Brent Cross
Based at the Northwest shopping centre, The Beach is one of the biggest and brightest summer pop-ups in London. With activities for all the family, you can still expect sand, rides and child-friendly events. As for sustenance? There’s food in the form of doughnuts, pancakes and burgers washed down with Pimm’s and pina coladas.