England

7 beach getaways less than 2 hours from London

The great British seaside may seem a world away from the hustle and bustle of London, but in fact, a weekend at the beach is a lot closer than you think

You’re getting sick of the crowds, the noise, the smell of other people’s sweat as you wait for the Tube, all you’re craving is a weekend by the sea. And guess what, you won’t have to venture far with these beaches near London.

In less than 2 hours by train, you can have sand between your toes, the sea breeze in your hair and the prospect of cosy night’s stay at a beautiful coastal hotel.

Special tip: Looking for the “best weekend ever” ? With trivago Weekend, discover new places to go, exciting things to do and great deals on places to stay in your nearby area. Check it out and make every weekend fresher than the last!

 

Margate: a white sandy beach near London with fast rail links

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Margate is one of England’s most beautiful beachside towns and has recently undergone a revival to restore it to its former glory. Everything from the scenic Victorian promenades to the seafront mansions and vintage tea shops have enjoyed a wealth of regeneration, making it a perfect beach break.

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Where to stay in Margate

A gorgeous boutique hotel overlooking Margate’s beachfront, The Sands is ideal for a weekend getaway of seaside glamour. Each of the bedrooms is luxuriously fitted with every effort made to use only natural materials such as silk sprung mattresses, Egyptian cotton bed linen and duvets filled with pure jasmine silk.

Opt for a superior sea view room – as well as being light and airy, you’ll be able to take in the waves with your own private balcony and comfortable outdoor seating area.

Hotel Sands

Top rated
Margate
9.8 Excellent (87 reviews)

Hastings: a cool and beautiful seaside town

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Having undergone a £14 million renovation, Hastings‘ pier is a must-visit. From walking along the boardwalk, booking yourself in for a lesson at the town’s new cookery school, and enjoying a date night at the movies with the summer film festival, English summer has never sounded so good.

Let’s not forget the artisan shops and farmer’s markets that have made Hastings is a cool seaside town for both relaxing and window shopping. The shopping is linked by Twittens (lanes) with boutique clothes shops, flower shops, specialist cheese shops, and of course chic restaurants.

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Where to stay in Hastings

The White House is a beautiful accommodation located on a hill overlooking Hastings town and the surrounding sea. Set in beautifully landscaped gardens, this elegant hotel is within easy walking distance to town and there’s even an outdoor swimming pool to make the most of the sunny days.

Each of the rooms are individually designed and colour coded according to the décor theme. Huge bay windows, free-standing baths, plush upholstery, and Victorian fireplaces are some of the main features, alongside conventional amenities such as tea and coffee making facilities, wine cooler, and complimentary toiletries.

The White House

Top rated
Hastings
9.6 Excellent (164 reviews)

Broadstairs: a quaint town by the sea

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Broadstairs is a smaller town than its neighbouring Margate and Ramsgate. But that doesn’t mean you should write it off, the town has a wealth of beachfront cafes and restaurants, plus 1950s style ice cream parlours and chic boutique shops.

If you want to learn to surf, head over to neighbouring Joss Bay or for smaller waves, stick to the town’s main beach, Viking Bay, where the Kent Surf School can assist you.

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Where to stay in Broadstairs

An elegant seaside hotel, The Royal Albion is directly on the beach front, so you can enjoy views over the surrounding bay and out to sea. The outdoor terrace is the perfect place to sit and have a drink, bathe in sun rays, and make the most of the view.

The hotel features 21 spacious bedrooms either facing the sea or the town, and some even feature private balconies or sun terraces. All the rooms are designed to make your stay a memorable one, with the colours mirroring the tones of the sea and sky outside your window.

The Royal Albion Hotel

Top rated
Broadstairs
8.8 Excellent (986 reviews)

Ramsgate: a gold sandy beach with energetic vibe

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Further down the coast from Margate and a little more charming, Ramsgate is the only Royal Harbour in Britain and its busy port atmosphere gives it a bustling, energetic vibe.

Ramsgate Main Sands is a golden sandy beach surrounded by white chalk cliffs and protected by environmental sanctions, keeping the waters clear and the beach clean.

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Where to stay in Ramsgate

The Albion House At Ramsgate is a delicate balance of chic and carefully preserved historical features, reimagined rather than retro. Indulge in activities such as Afternoon Tea, featuring homemade fudges, cookies, brownies, macarons, honeycomb and of course freshly baked scones and clotted cream.

The rooms and suites vary in size but the Super King is somewhere between a standard room and a suite and boasts gorgeous French windows leading out to a regency balcony. The room is nicknamed the ‘Little Victoria room’ after the young Princess Victoria recuperated in this room in 1835.

Albion House At Ramsgate

Ramsgate

Whitstable: a beach trip from London with a reputation for great seafood

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Whitstable’s main claim to fame is its oysters. Whether you get them from the harbour-side fish markets or in any of the surrounding restaurants and pubs, this delectable gastronomical delight is part of the town’s character.

If you crave a dose of culture during your beachside getaway, or simply to spend a weekend incognito amongst cobbled lanes and coastal paths, Whitstable tends to win-over all its guests.

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Where to stay in Whitestable

The Marine Hotel is a red-brick and white-panelled seafront hotel. The rooms feature large sea-view windows, Victorian fireplaces, and a palette of nudes and greys creating an ambience of utter relaxation.

The restaurant features brunch favourites such as smashed avocado, griddled asparagus, seared scallops and of course oysters! For dinner picture cod and chips, half-pound burgers topped with bacon and cheese or slow braised ham hock.

Marine Hotel

Top rated
Whitstable
9.1 Excellent (686 reviews)

Folkestone: a seaside town that's perfect for families

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Cobbled streets, hipster cafes and an array of galleries and boutiques make Folkestone feel quaint and unique, with its Creative Quarter building a name for itself amongst designer-makers and specialist retailers.

It`s a perfect spot for families getaways – you will find activities that will delight all ages.

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Where to stay in Folkestone

An oasis of calm set inside a Georgian mansion house, The Relish is a contemporary retreat boasting Hypnos beds, invigorating high pressured showers, crisp white bed linen and large fluffy towels.

This seaside spot overlooks an attractive private parkland and an outdoor terrace is a perfect spot to soak up a few rays whilst enjoying a glass of wine, or watching the kids play in the four-acre park.

The Relish

Top rated
Folkestone
9.0 Excellent (525 reviews)

Dover: a unique place in UK with its famous White Cliffs

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You can’t talk about beaches near London without mentioning this seaside town. Dover`s iconic white cliffs that so many consider a symbol of home are just a short walk away, a sprawling 2000-year-old castle strategically placed on a hill, and of course the nearby Dover Harbour, Shakespeare Beach and, a little further along, Lyddon Spout: With so much to do, you may even stay longer than a weekend.

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Where to stay in Dover

The White Cliffs is a beautiful, white, clapboard style 16th-century inn. Think country hotel with oak four-poster beds, floral wall paper and crisp cotton linen. The kitchen prides itself on fresh, coastal, Kentish food, all using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.

Whether you choose to eat in the restaurant or on a bar stool in the pub, enjoying food at The White Cliffs is as much a part of the experience as the surrounding scenery.

The White Cliffs

Top rated
Dover
8.7 Excellent (87 reviews)