Just because your holiday hasn't gone to plan this year, doesn’t mean that summer can’t be saved. Not only is the capital home to some seriously sandy spots, but it’s also got pop-up 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 8 must-visit urban beaches in London.
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 jungle-covered pergola, flamingo bar, day beds and cosy huts. On the entertainment front? Think minigolf, shuffleboard, beer pong and socially-distanced yoga, as well as full moon parties and Ibiza-themed bashes. To top it all off, Fulham Beach promises unlimited rosé on Saturdays and bottomless brunch on Sundays.
Solving all your summertime woes is The Montague On The Gardens West End beach bar. 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.
This year, Knightsbridge favourite The Berkeley is saying sayonara to lockdown with an alfresco dining space inspired by the country's iconic and foodie seafronts. Transporting you to the sandy shores of Whistable, the hotel has a menu of oysters, lobster, fancy twists on the 99 Flake, and retro cocktails. Blowing the budget? These luxury private beach huts accommodate up to 6 and carry a minimum spend of £500.
Limin Beach Club
Brand new for 2021, 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, mouthwatering prawns 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 beach games opposite Gloucester Road station.
London City Beach
Planning a sandy soiree? London City Beach has you sorted. Available for private hire and exclusive events, this city centre pop-up is fronting food stalls and craft beer alongside games and music. If you’re looking to go all out, then make a beeline for the VIP beach huts with a few cocktails to keep you going.
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. Sticking to social distancing guidelines, the team have had to close a few attractions, but 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.
For more summer staycation inspo, take a look at our guide to the UK’s most beautiful beach bars and restaurants.