The best beaches near London have been named

The weather is slowly warming up and opportunities to enjoy a day out at the seaside are growing. Londoners are lucky in that some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK are just a short journey away by train, bus or car. With so many pretty sandy or pebbly spots to choose from, it can feel difficult to decide which is the best place to head to.

Luckily, Travel and Leisure have put together a brand new list of the 18 best beaches in the UK, many of which are close enough to London to make a day trip possible. Here at MyLondon, we have put together a list of these beaches which are closest to the capital, and they certainly won't disappoint. From Kent and Sussex, to Norfolk and Dorset, Londoners really are spoilt for choice.

: The world's best beaches have been named and these are the 3 that are in the UK

Whitstable seafront

Whitstable Beach, Kent

When it comes to attractive beaches, it simply doesn't get much better than Whitstable Beach in Kent. This gorgeous pebbled stretch attracts tourists from miles around, and is famed specifically for its quirk and charm. The area around the beach is known for fine dining, and there are a number of shops and tourist attractions waiting to be explored.

The beach also boasts a number of iconic beach huts, and the sea is the perfect place to take a dip - especially when the sun is shining. Travel and Leisure describes this scenic beach: "Most head to this seaside destination for the oysters and pretty beach huts. While stone beaches are not for everyone, the town itself is well worth exploring, especially come lunch or dinner."

Londoners can get to Whitstable in roughly 1 hour 40 minutes by car, via the A2 and M2, or in even less time on the train. Direct trains to Whitstable run from London Victoria and London St Pancras, and the quickest ones will get you there in 1 hour 14 minutes.

West Dunes, Camber Sands, East Sussex

The best beaches near London have been namedThe combination of white sand beaches and grassy plains dotted with wildflowers make Barra and neighbouring islet Vatersay is exceptionally beautiful

Next up we have Camber Sands in East Sussex. This stunning beach is so eye-catching that it is a regular film crew destination.

The Theory of Everything, the original 1958 Dunkirk film and Netflix's Afterlife are just some of the big and small screen hits that have been filmed on the seafront. The coast's powerful winds have also made the town a hotspot for water sports. Power kites are a common sight and their bright colours often make the town look like a festival.

The charming village of Rye is also only a 12-minute drive from this beautiful beach. According to Travel and Leisure: "This place is home to rickety houses on the coastline, armies of ice cream trucks, and golden shores filled with couples and families wearing rolled-up trousers as they walk along the beach. Note that dog-watching is non negotiable."

West Dunes, Camber Sands, is just 1 hour and 40 minutes by train from London St Pancras International to Rye, with a change at Ashford and a short bus ride to the beach. Those living in South East London can get to Camber Sands within one hour and 30 minutes by car and there are parking facilities giving direct access to the beach.

Hunstanton Beach, Norfolk

The best beaches near London have been namedYou can spot seals!

A three-hour drive from London lies Hunstanton in Norfolk, which is so beautiful it previously earned TripAdvisor's Travellers' Choice award. Appropriately nicknamed 'Sunny Hunny', the town's beach consistently receives great comments and has placed in the top 10 percent of all attractions that TripAdvisor covers.

Aside from a relaxing day of sunbathing, if you're lucky you can even spot seals on this beach. What's more, the beach is just a walk away from Hunstanton town centre, which has something for everyone, restaurants, amusements, and of course, seaside fish and chips. If a close to home seaside day out or holiday is what you are after, 'Sunny Hunny' provides the perfect option without the need for too much travel.

Travel and Leisure describes this beach as "quintessentially British, with rows of cute tea shops and even adorable pony rides along the promenade, this slice of Norfolk paradise is one for the families and couples". You can reach Hunstanton by train from Kings Cross station in just over three hours, or by car via the M11 or A10 with a three-hour drive.

Cuckmere Haven, Seaford, East Sussex

The best beaches near London have been namedWalk along the cliffs between two pretty towns and end up in a top pub - what's not to love?

The views at Cuckmere Haven in East Sussex are simply spectacular, with the magnificent Seven Sisters cliffs standing tall over the quiet, often deserted, beach. The Seven Sisters cliffs rear above and the River Cuckmere alongside you as you walk through the Seven Sisters Country Park...and that's only the route to the beach.

When you arrive at East Sussex's stunning shores, check out the coastguard cottages. Built in 1882 on the western cliffs - they are the definition of living life on the edge. All in all, when it comes to staggering views, Cuckmere Haven will not disappoint.

"If you're visiting London and pressed for time, this is one of the closest beach destinations to the capital," Travel and Leisure said. "But Cuckmere Haven is not for the faint of heart, as it's also one of the wildest beaches on England's south coast. The Seven Sisters are the main draw, and the adventurers who make it here will be treated to beautiful views of the chalk cliffs." You can drive to this esteemed spot from London in just over two hours, or catch the train to nearby Seaford in 1 hour 26 minutes.

There is free parking at Seaford Head, at South Hill Barn. The nearest post code is BN25 4JQ and it's a stunning walk down to the beach.

Holkham Beach, Norfolk

The best beaches near London have been namedHolkham beach is four miles of beautiful white sand

Holkham Beach is one of the most unspoilt beaches in the country - and it's only 2 hours 30 minutes' drive from North London. Behind the shoreline lies a semi-circular basin, which at high tide fills to form an incredible shallow lagoon.

What's more, this beach has royal links - Prince Louis - the youngest of Prince William and Kate Middleton's brood - beamed from ear to ear in recent snaps to mark his fourth birthday. Taken by the Duchess herself, she made sure to take in the raw natural appeal of the beach, which isn't far from their home at Anmer Hall. As Travel and Leisure states: "The Norfolk seaside gem is often voted one of the best sandy patches in the UK. -- and for good reason: It makes you feel light-years away from civilization.

Enormous and windswept, it's backed by a grassy nature reserve filled with excellent walking trails that were made to help dust off all those cerebral cobwebs." From Central London, you can reach this gorgeous beach by car in just over three hours via the M11. Alternatively, you can hop on a train in that direction from Kings Cross but it'll take longer.

Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

The best beaches near London have been namedViews from the cliffs over Compton Bay on the Isle of Wight

Hopping over the Solent to the Isle of Wight, Compton Bay is known as one of the Isle's best kept secrets, located in West Wight.

This dreamy beach offers a two-mile stretch of golden sand, with idyllic chalk cliffs in the distance. This beach has an unmistakable Cornish feel about it, and is popular with surfers. The facilities are second to none, and there are a number of quaint shops and cafes at your fingertips if you get bored of sunbathing.

"The summer months can see Compton Bay lined with spritz-sipping visitors, but there's also a treasure trove of geological wonders that make this England's real-life answer to Jurassic Park," Travel and Leisure describes. "When the tide goes out, make your way to the east side of the main car park and head for Hanover Point." You can reach this pretty beach by car via the M3 from Central London and a ferry in just over three hours, or by a four hour train journey and ferry ride starting at London's Waterloo Station.

Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast, Dorset

The best beaches near London have been namedDurdle Door is one of the most recognisable and photographed landmarks in Dorset - and Britain

Last but not least, we have one of the most famous beaches in the UK - Durdle Door in Dorset. The stretch of coast has been named by the Royal Geographical Society as one of the Seven Wonders of Nature in the UK, which brings together all the beautiful and unique geological sites Britain has to offer.

The Jurassic Coast is a stunning 95-mile stretch of coast that extends from Orcombe Point in Exmouth, Devon to the Old Harry Rocks, near Swanage in Dorset. The gorgeous piece of British coast is England's only natural World Heritage Site, and was inscribed by UNESCO in 2001 for the outstanding universal value of its rocks, fossils and landforms. The Jurassic Coast is great for exploring the geographical features of the dramatic coastline, and allows visitors to discover millions of years of history.

Visitors can enjoy a spot of fossil hunting and explore 185 million years of the Earth's history through prehistoric remains. Travel and Leisure describes: "This is one of the most famous beaches in the U.K., if not the world, thanks to a century's worth of guidebooks and social media stardom. Crowned by a spectacular arch -- nicknamed the Durdle Door -- it's a truly remarkable corner of the South West Coast Path."

To reach this idyllic beach from London, head towards Exmouth via M25 to Junction 12 and then join the M3 heading towards Southampton. At Junction 8 of the M3 and take the A303 exit to Andover/Salisbury. You will then eventually merge onto the A30.

It takes about three hours.

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