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Clacton on sea | © Wikimedia
Clacton on sea | © Wikimedia
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England's Best Beaches Accessible by Public Transport From London

Picture of Nicholas Atkins
Updated: 24 July 2017
You don’t have to hop on a plane to get some sun, sea and sand this summer. If you’re in London, you can get to all of these glorious beaches simply by hopping on a train.
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Broadstairs, Kent

To give yourself a few options, visit this town in Kent, with three different beaches to choose from:

Broadstairs, Kent

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Viking Bay

This sandy beach has a cliff top promenade, harbour pier, sea-water tidal swimming pool and boardwalk. With several pubs, cafes, kiosks and restaurants nearby, you’re all set for a day beside the seaside. Charles Dickens reputedly used to holiday here, so expectations are great.

Getting there: Direct train from St Pancras International – Broadstairs: 1hr 22mins

Viking Bay, Kent

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Joss Bay

This golden sandy beach is a surfer’s paradise. The surf school at the beach hires boards and wet suits so you can just show up and get stuck in. If water sports aren’t your thing, the beach is surrounded by fields and golf courses, or you can simply hire a deck chair and watch the waves roll in while staying completely dry.

Getting there: Direct train from St Pancras International – Broadstairs: 1hr 22mins

Joss Bay, Kent

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Botany Bay

This hidden gem has stunning views of white cliffs and chalk stacks. Sea kayaking and canoeing are favoured sports here. This is one of the most photographed beaches in the UK with good reason, so don’t forget to take your phone and fire up your Instagram.

Getting there: Direct train from St Pancras International – Broadstairs: 1hr 22mins

Botany Bay, Kent

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Camber Sands

If you have an aversion to crowds, this one may be for you. The beautiful golden sands stretch for seven miles behind a wall of dramatic sand dunes. Simply enjoy the tranquility or if you’re feeling a little more active, you can try your hand at kite surfing.

Getting there: St Pancras International – Rye 1hr 12 min + 5 min taxi to Camber Sands

Camber Sands, Sussex

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Littlehampton Beach

This blue-flag awarded sandy beach has plenty to see and do. It would be rude not to treat yourself to some fish and chips, or if you want to find out where it comes from, head out on a fishing trip from the beach. Cycle along the promenade, check out the nature reserve, or try your hand at the old-school seaside amusements at the harbour park.

Getting there: Go from Victoria – Littlehampton, 1 hr and 40 min

Littlehampton, Sussex

Priory Bay Beach

Priory bay
Priory bay | © geograph.co.uk

The Isle of Wight has lots of beaches to chose from, but this little stunner located near the opulent Priory Bay Hotel is not one to miss. It boasts crystal clear water and golden sands surrounded by rocks. A tranquil spot, made all the more peaceful as it is sheltered from wind by a barrier of helpful trees.

Getting there: Go from Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour, 1 hr and 30 min, Ferry from Fishbourne, 40 mins

Priory Bay Beach, Hampshire

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Shoeburyness, Essex

Take your pick from two Blue Flag awarded beaches: the relaxing East Beach with its mixture of sand and pebbles, or Shoebury Common Beach, which is more for the adrenaline junkies out there. It’s a hotspot for jet skiers and wind surfers.

Getting there: Direct trains from Fenchurch Street: 1hr 3 mins.

Shoeburyness, Essex

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Clacton-on-sea, Essex

This good old-fashioned seaside resort is perfect for a bit of retro summer chilling. If you get fed up of building sandcastles on the beach, there’s plenty of other stuff to keep you occupied. Drop a fishing line from the pier, take a pleasure cruise up the Thames aboard a ‘steamer’ or visit the SeaQuarium.

Getting there: Trains direct from Liverpool Street: 1 hr 26 mins.

Clacton-on-Sea, Essex

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Sunny Sands Beach, Folkestone, Kent

This beach has such amazing sand that they hold the annual Folkestone Sandcastle Competition there on July 28th. This beach is an absolute British classic. Alongside the flat, sandy beach there are rock pools, seafood shacks, fish and chips and plenty of photo opportunities.

Getting there: Direct trains from St Pancras International – Folkestone: 55 mins.

Folkestone, Kent