(Disclaimer: please do not visit Kent until things go back to normal. The post describes a visit from 2019 and belongs to the “Travelling from my sofa” series, where I write about my past travel experiences as a way of coping with our new reality).
Are there any nice beaches near London?
I think most Londoners have googled this question at least once.
If you live in the Big Smoke, I’m sure you’re familiar with the following scenario: on a random summer morning, you wake up and make yourself a nice cup of coffee. You get your mobile and check the forecast for the upcoming weekend. To your surprise, it says the weather might be quite nice. You don’t dare to believe it, because -well, England. But then the day comes -and wonders never cease- it’s actually pretty sunny and warm!
Naturally, you immediately feel like going to the beach, but you can’t plan a trip to Málaga in 15 minutes or drive 5 hours all the way to Cornwall and back.
Then you consider going to either Bournemouth, Poole or Brighton. All excellent options, if you ask me, but there is a great alternative to those classics: Botany Bay Beach near Margate.
I had heard about Margate before visiting in 2019, from a couple of friends who used to live there, but I completely forgot about it.
Until last summer. On one of those extremely nice days, I decided to google Margate. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I checked the hashtag #margatebeach and #botanybeach on the “recent” section on Instagram (the best way of finding what a place really looks like, in my humble opinion). The pics showed a sandy beach, crystal clear waters and some very Instagrammable spots.
Our visit to Botany Beach
I convinced my husband to give it a try, and we headed there with a couple of beach towels and a bottle of SPF50, not knowing what to expect. Was it going to be really nice or were those pictures extremely photoshopped?
Long story short: we were not disappointed. Botany Bay Beach is gorgeous! The sand is gold, the water is a beautiful blue and the white cliffs make the whole place look quite epic.
We spent a great afternoon laying on the sand, sunbathing and catching up on our reading. We only dipped our toes in the water; we visited in June, so the sea was still pretty cold!
We also took a lovely walk along the beach. To put it simply, it was a perfect beach day 🙂
So, are there any nice beaches near London? The answer is definitely yes! You should totally give Margate and Botany Bay a chance, once things return to (the new) normal.
Margate’s Main Sands beach is also very pretty. We enjoyed some fish and chips there while looking at the sunset, before heading back home. Just remember to protect your chips from the seagulls!
How to get there
If you drive, the journey would take you around 2 hours from central London. Yet, I’d recommend taking the train instead. Parking can be a bit of a nightmare, particularly during busy periods.
Southeastern runs a direct service from both London Victoria and London St Pancras International to Margate. The tickets start around £10 when you book in advance. The trains can take from 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the time of travel and the departure station.
The best thing about taking the train? Margate Beach is just a few meters away from the station! To get to Botany Beach Bay you’d have to take a cab (15 minutes) or walk (around 40 minutes).
Guys, I hope you have enjoyed this last post of London in Translation (part of the “Travels from my sofa” series), and if you liked it, remember to share it with your friends and family.
See you at the beach!