When the sun comes out, most of us have the urge to head to a park, rooftop bar or… the beach. However, this can cause issues with the capital being a couple of dozen of miles from the nearest seaside. Fortunately, in the past few years, urban beaches have been cropping up around London. Some are patches of sand accompanied by water, while some have a full-blown beach club so you can close your eyes and imagine you’re on the French Riviera. However, if sand isn’t your thing and you just fancy a swim, you can always visit one of the city’s lidos or swimming ponds.
- 3 May – TBA September : Fulham Beach Club
The popular Neverland has had a summer makeover, featuring day beds, private beach huts and cabanas, two bars, Jimmy Garcia’s BBQ Club pop-up, live DJs, croquet, beer pong, shuffleboard and ping pong. They also host special events include bottomless brunches, yoga classes, fancy dress parties and sports screenings. Open Wed-Fri 6pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-9pm. Entrance starts from £5 (free to SW6 residents all days except Sat). Neverland, 364 Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, SW6 2TY. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town. For more information, visit the Neverland Fulham website.
- 21 May – 21 September : Beach Bar @ The Montague Hotel
Pop-up beach bar returns to the gardens of The Montague Hotel. Featuring real sand, beach hut, tropical cocktails, palm trees, BBQ and jet ski selfie area. Open Mon-Sun 12pm-10pm. Packages start from £50. The Montague Hotel, 15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BJ. Nearest station: Russell Square or Holborn. For more information, visit The Montague Hotel website.
- 25 May – 9 September : Southbank Centre Beach
The popular mini beach returns to the South Bank opposite the skate park. The area is surrounded by food and drink vendors. Open 10am-10pm. Free entry. Southbank Centre Beach, South Bank, SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 26 May – 2 September : The Beach Brent Cross
Pop-up beach returns featuring a huge beach of imported sand, water to paddle in, rides, entertainment and food and drink vendors. Open Fri 4pm-9pm. Sat-Sun: 12pm-9pm. Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Hendon Central or Brent Cross. For more information, visit The Beach Brent Cross website.
- 1 July – 2 September : Hampstead Beach
The Jewish Community Centre is hosting a two month-long pop-up beach, featuring lots of sand, cocktails, food and special events. Open Sun-Thu 9.30am-8pm, Fri 9am-3pm. Sat closed. Free entry. JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, Hampstead, NW3 6ET. Nearest station: Finchley Road and Frognal or West Hampstead. To book, visit the JW3 website
- 18 July – 2 September : Urban London Beach
Sandy beach by the River Thames underneath the Emirates Air Line cable car. Sit on a deckchair, watch your kids play in the sand or enjoy an ice cream. Open daily 10am-8pm. Free entry. Urban London Beach, 27 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Docks, E16 1FA. Nearest station: Royal Victoria (DLR). For more information, visit the London’s Royal Docks website.
London’s lidos and swimming ponds
If you’re not a fan of sand, perhaps you’d like to cool down in one of the capital’s alfresco swimming spaces instead.
Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, SE24 0PA. Nearest station: Herne Hill.
Tooting Bec Lido, Tooting Bec Road, Tooting Bec, SW16 1RU. Nearest station: Streatham.
Charlton Lido, Hornfair Park, Shooters Hill Road, SE18 4LX. Nearest station: Charlton.
Serpentine Lido, Hyde Park, South Carriage Drive, W2 2UH. Nearest stations: Hyde Park Corner, South Kensington, Marble Arch.
Parliament Hill Lido, Heath Lodge, Highgate, NW5 1NA. Nearest station: Gospel Oak.
Hampstead Mixed Bathing Pond, Hampstead Way, Hampstead Heath, NW5 1QN. Nearest station: Hampstead Heath.
Finchley Lido, Chaplin Square, Finchley, N12 0GL. Nearest station: West Finchley.
Park Road Pools & Fitness, Park Road, Crouch End, N8 8JN. Nearest stations: Hornsey or Highgate.
London Fields Lido, London Fields West Side, Hackney, E8 3EU. Nearest stations: London Fields or Hackney Central.
Hampton Pool, High Street, Hampton, TW12 2ST. Nearest station: Hampton.
For a guide to London’s pop-up and roaming cinemas this summer, click here.
For a guide to what’s on in London in August, click here.
Find out where London’s nearest lavender fields are.