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 the best 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. To top it all off, Fulham Beach promises unlimited rosé on Saturdays and bottomless brunch on Sundays.
London City Beach
Planning a sandy soiree? London City Beach has you sorted. Available for private hire, this city centre pop-up is returning with 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.
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.
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.
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.