Copy of London on Sea by Sarah Guy

The guide to 50 days out on the coast

Date published: 31 Jul 18

London on Sea by Sarah GuyThis prize draw is now closed.

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside! Head for the fresh seafood of the Kent coast and leave the eels of the East End behind, get the wind in your hair and sand between your toes at the Witterings as a change from Green Park’s grass.

Written by former Time Out editor Sarah Guy, London on Sea offers 50 fun days out* on the coast, enticing you to head for the best beaches within close proximity of London. There’s nothing quite like it, especially the gently old-fashioned air that clings to some of our lesser-known seaside spots. Sarah also gives insights into great walks in each area, places for the perfect panorama, our wonderous whacky buildings and local specialities that are distinct in each place.

Refresh, rejuvenate and restore with sea air, a bracing breeze and a chilly dip in the briny. We all have childhood memories of ginger beer, windbreaks and soggy sandwiches. Along with those towels that had elasticated necklines for changing under. Very character building no doubt!

How to win a copy of London on Sea

Tell us about your favourite UK beach in the comments section below and why you would recommend it. The competition closes on 31 August 2018, and we’ll advise the winner in early September.

*Destinations include: Southwold, Walberswick, Thorpeness, Aldeburgh, Walton-on-the-Naze, Frinton-on-Sea, Clacton-on-Sea, Southend, Leigh-on-Sea, Whitstable, Herne Bay, Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate, Sandwich, Deal, Dover, Folkestone, Hythe, Camber, Hastings, St Leonards, Bexhill, Eastbourne, Seaford, Rottingdean, Brighton, Worthing, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, East & West Wittering, Bournemouth.

Limestone rocks by the sandy beach in Botany Bay near Margate, Kent by VisitEngland/Diana Jarvis

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Other Members' Thoughts - 13 Comment(s)

  • Rowsie
    7 months ago
    Viking Bay in Broadstairs has always been my favourite British beach. We grew up in Broadstairs and often go back there. It has hardly changed in 60 years. It is not at all commercialised and I have such fond memories. Our parents ran a guest house and we used to take the children of our visitors down to the beach with us and show them all the sights. I can remember entering the weekly summer competition at the bandstand and I usually won as I used to sing "All I want For Christmas are my Two Front Teeth" (I had no front teeth at that time so everyone thought it was very cute!).
  • LH
    7 months ago
    Kimmeridge is a wonderful different place to visit - with black ledges to climb on, and the oil donkey going on the headland, where there are wonderful views as you climb the Dorset coast path. You can look for fossils in the slate and split it quite easily with a stone to see what you can find. I went often as a child with my parents and enjoy revisiting now.
  • you
    7 months ago
    How can one choose a single line of Coast ? Every area is special in a different way....Everything depends on what you as an individual looks for and needs in an area ....It would be a very boring world if everyone wanted to find the same things in life....
    Best just to go and explore and find out for yourself what is all around our little Island.
  • PamN
    7 months ago
    My favourite is Llanbedrog beach on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales where we went too every year when we were young. We used to catch lobsters there at the time of the very high spring tides - Dad poked under the rocks in the sea and my sister and I stood on the other side of the rock with our nets and out came the lobster! I'll never forget it - wonderful fun!
  • Caroly
    7 months ago
    Barmouth Beach sits on the idyllic west coast of North Wales and is nestled between craggy mountains and the often crashing sea. The beach is located in Snowdonia National Park and has a harbour area crossed by the impressive Barmouth Bridge which marks the beginning of the Mawddach Estuary. As you would expect, you can go fishing here as well as take a trip around the estuary by boat. Barmouth Beach is also known for being the most popular beach in all of the southern Snowdonia area. And I love it.
  • Hunter
    7 months ago
    Saunton Sands, North Devon. With its untamed beach, rare plants and butterflies as well as sand dunes, it is the perfect seaside haven. Huge Atlantic rollers sweep on to the vast beach which add to the excitement and atmosphere.
  • ValRS
    7 months ago
    My favourite beach has to be on the Isles of Scilly and is called Pelistry Bay on St Marys. Its somewhere we visit most years, a true little haven of peace and beauty. We stay at Mount Todden and can wonder down a footpath directly to the beach below - the best time is early evenings when the seals are feeding in the bay and pop their heads up from time to time to see who is watching!
  • yorkshirecat
    7 months ago
    I loved visiting Frinton-on-sea as a child in the 60s. Lovely golden sandy beaches, a greensward to fly kites, egg sandwiches crunchy with sand. If we were lucky, we'd have walk into the tHigh Street to buy new buckets and spades and a fishing net - not that there was ever any chance of catching a fish! My dear dad preferred Frinton to nearby Walton-on-the-Naze and Clacton as Frinton had no funfair or amusements, no pubs, no traders. We spent long, happy days making sandcastles to be washed away by the incoming tide, searching for shells and dashing in and out of the sea. I think that little has changed there over the past 50 years. You can still park for free, some of the toilets sre still free and although there are now some pubs in the HIgh Street, the beach remains gloriously unspoilt and is kept very clean.
  • LizinFinchley
    7 months ago
    The coastal path between Margate and Broadstairs is wonderful at low tide, especially in the winter. Try it!
  • GypstWanderer
    7 months ago
    Wells In Norfolk is a lovely little seaside town. The front has the usual kiss me quick shops and cafes and there is a small train to take you down to the beach and there the magic starts. Don’t head straight onto the beach but walk through the pine forest, enjoy the smell of the trees, and take a small track onto the beach and sand dunes. You will be away from the crowds but beware, you may come across a few nudists, not many. The sandy beach goes on for miles and you can walk over half a mile to get to the sea when the tide is right out. But watch out for the incoming tide. Know the tide times. Don’t get cut off sunning in the nude on a sand dune as the tide comes in!
  • DRSask
    8 months ago
    With so many beaches to choose from around the UK, it’s difficult to choose just one. I could go with my hometown beach in Southport because of childhood memories with my family. The running joke was that the beach was a mile long – out to sea that is – because in those days you rarely saw the sea it was so far out. Or I could go with Crosby Beach, just a few miles south of Southport, with its Antony Gormley installation “Another Place.” It’s quite something to see all the statues facing out to sea with the wind farm in the distance and the ships sailing by in and out of Liverpool. But I think my favourite these days is probably Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland. The views of the beach from the castle are amazing and my last image of the beach last spring was of wind surfers riding the waves and kite surfers being swept along in the wind with the majestic Bamburgh Castle in the background.
  • reader_1
    8 months ago
    Our local beach of Stokes Bay in Gosport is great for the view over the Solent to the Isle of Wight. There is always something to watch ferries, hovercraft, wind surfers, yachts, liners or kite surfers. so never a dull moment
  • SueH53
    8 months ago
    Bournemouth beach is hard to beat. So many happy memories of childhood holidays here.