This weekend was a scorcher! 31 degrees (centigrade) in London. With that, the pollution, congestion, and pollen count shot up too. So I decided I needed to cool off and get my arse out of the city.

I proceeded to google ‘best beaches near London’, as I was not in the mood to be travelling for hours to spend an hour on the beach before I have to head back home. Plus I had left it late in the day to start the journey.

A lot of the result were suggesting spots near Sussex and Kent. I knew Kent would be easier for me so I narrowed that down. The beach that kept appearing on the results for ‘Best beaches near London’ was Botany Bay. It wasn’t the first time I heard it’s a great calm sandy beach with white cliffs, so with that in mind I was sold.

Botany Bay is a coastal area in the town of Broadstairs. Broadstairs has a couple of beach spots along it’s coast so it’s a good choice if you want options ranging from chilled walks to buzzing beaches.

Trains to Broadstairs from London start at £20 for an Adult return ticket and are on the South Eastern train line.The journey ranges from 1.5 hours to 2 hours. The perfect time to sit through a couple of episodes of This is Us, my current favourite binge.

Viking Bay

The closest beach to Broadstairs station is Viking Bay. So you can imagine it is the busiest. It was filled with families and I suspect quite a few none locals. As I arrived mid afternoon I settled on it. I found a nice spot that didn’t look like it’ll attract seagulls and bathed in the bareable heat, that still had a slight breeze.

Although it was busy it didn’t feel overcrowded and was quite clean! Seagulls are present so keeping your snacks discreet is a must if you don’t want to be sharing it with the whole clan.

As the sun cooled down and my quick trip was approaching the end I realised I wouldn’t be able to do the 1 hour walk to Botany Bay and make my train back.

Stone Bay

So I strolled along path making my way to the next beach, which was Stone bay. Stone bay really felt like a relaxed coastal beach with its white cliffs above, beach huts lining the bay, paired with the crashing waves and crisp sands. I really should have spent my time there versus Viking Bay as it would have given me even more chilled vibes.

There aren’t a plethora of food choices by the beaches, but for sure there is the bog standard fish and chips, which was just alright. I’ve had much better. Plus it’s not even local fish! If you’re looking for more sit down dining choices head along Albion Street. Pizza, Indian, Italian… it’s all there.

Unfortunately Botany Bay didn’t happen for me this time round, but now I have got the perfect excuse to go back, with a Dickens classic in tow as my beach read and with every intention to visit the Charles Dickens museum. Charles was always hanging out in Broadstairs and felt inspired by the place, which is evident in the novel David Copperfield. Think I need more of what he got and I can see why Broadstairs would have that effect on him.

Broadstairs is definitely a must for a cheeky London escape that isn’t Brighton, is seeped in some culture and history, as well as favoured by nature.

Would love to check out more hidden coastal gems in the UK, to give me some light relief from the city.  I’ll report back of course with my top spots and don’t bothers. So if you have any recommendations pop it in the comment box below and I can make it happen during this freakish consistently warm summer in England.

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