Shoreside Paradise: Exotic Beach Getaways near London

The idea of a sandy beach and the sound of gentle waves crashing in is enough to make anyone long for a mini break away. Luckily, Londoners don’t need to travel far to feel the sand between their toes. Within two hours of the capital, swathes of gorgeous beaches await with picturesque vistas and all the classic seaside treats like rock sweets, fish and chips and ice cream.

There are plenty of lovely exotic beaches near London to choose from but if you’re seeking something with a little more exotic flair, we recommend heading to the south coast. From the dazzlingly white sand of Kynance Cove in Cornwall to the Arabian-looking beauty of Camber Sands, there are some truly stunning locations that offer the perfect place to soak up the sunshine and get your tan on.

Known for its quaint, pretty fishing villages and picturesque coastline, East Norfolk is the ideal spot to get a tan and enjoy some rest and relaxation. The soft, golden sand of Blakeney is backed by an array of wildlife and the picturesque village of Sheringham is home to some of the best fish and chips in the country. The area also boasts a great range of activities such as cycling, walking and bird watching.

If you want to take it a step further, why not stay at one of the great beach hotels in East Norfolk? You’ll find a wealth of options here including The Hopton, the award winning boutique hotel with its own private beach.

Further up the coast in Kent lies Shellness – a quieter and more secluded alternative to its louder neighbour Leysdown-on-Sea. This shingle beach is adorned with rickety shacks and weathered black clapboard cottages, and it’s actually Britain’s only desert beach.

The sand at Shellness is a tad more coarse than its cousins but it still makes for an excellent spot to build sandcastles and kick back with a good book. The cliffs behind the beach are littered with fossils and shark’s teeth so there’s something for everyone to discover. The town itself is a hive of activity too with a plethora of cafes and restaurants, including the excellent Seafood Café.

Brighton beach is a hot favourite with Londoners and tourists alike and is the embodiment of the quintessential British seaside experience. With its fun-packed pier, rides for the kids and a wide choice of traditional fish and chips places to tuck in to, Brighton is the perfect destination for family fun by the sea.

The beautiful thing about Brighton is that it’s easy to get there, too – just under an hour on the train from St Pancras or Victoria. So, go ahead and grab your bucket and spade, pack some ice cream and let the sun shine on this iconic beach.