The hottest early May bank holiday on record saw thousands of people flock to their local beach – but what about those poor people who live miles away from the sand and sea? It might have been too hot to get into the car or squeeze onto a packed train but now you don’t even need to leave the city to pretend you’re on holiday thanks to urban beach pop-ups appearing across the UK.
We’ve probably already had our three days of summer for the year but just in case – here’s our pick of Britain’s best urban beaches for next time temperatures start to rise:
Seaside Quayside, Newcastle
The Quayside is worth visiting any day of the year but the summer months see it transformed into a spectacular seaside resort with 350 tonnes of sand, deckchairs and plenty of entertainment on offer.
Returning for its 7th year, the urban beach is popular with those enjoying a day out in the city and is particularly good for families thanks to its new playground area.
While there are plenty of restaurants around, the urban beach is also hosting popular pop-up restaurant The Little Fishy, which offers delicious fish and chips to enjoy under the idyllic palm trees.
While lots of the beaches on our list don’t open for another few weeks, this one has been going since the end of April and there’s never been a better time to visit one of Britain’s best urban beaches. The Great Exhibition of the North is also due to take place in the region from 22 June to 9 September, promising a packed programme of live performances and exhibitions right across the city.
Fulham Beach Club, London Neverland
Located beside the Thames, Neverland is a perfect way to spend a summer Saturday doing something a little bit different.
Live DJs create a true holiday atmosphere and if you need a break from sunbathing on the urban beach there are plenty of activities to get stuck into, from prosecco pong to yoga and plenty in between.
The venue also offers a bottomless brunch for £25 on Sundays, including limitless prosecco, ciders and of course, frozen pina coladas and is also offering cocktail masterclasses as part of its programme of activities.
If you’re after a bit of luxury, there are daybeds and cabanas on offer and there’s even a private dining room if you want to host your own summer party on the urban beach.
Nottinghamshire is apparently the most landlocked county in England but its locals don’t have to miss out on a good old fashioned day at the beach.
A beautiful urban beach pops up in the city’s Old Market Square from 4 July and is always a big hit thanks to its paddling pool, traditional arcade games and various rides – with last year’s surf board simulator showing you don’t need to be on the coast to try your hand at water sports.
Promising its biggest and best year yet, it’s easy to see why this is one of Britain’s best urban beaches – especially when you factor in the variety of cocktails on offer to help you cool down in the heat.
Southbank Centre Beach
Back for another year, Southbank Centre Beach is the perfect place to soak up the sun and catch the rays in one of the capital’s most iconic locations.
Whether you’re heading out for a bite to eat or en route to the theatre, why not stop-off at the urban beach for a breather and get involved in some of the activities on offer?
It might not be the biggest or most glamourous of beaches but there’s something nice about feeling the sand between your toes without having to leave the city.
The Southbank Centre itself offers a whole host of activities across the summer months – and if you want a picnic without sandy sandwiches there’s also the option of heading up to the lovely roof garden.
Enjoy the sunshine at an urban beach
Those hot, summer days might be a bit of a rarity in England but next time the sun arrives you don’t need to waste those precious moments thinking about where to go. Grab your towel and head to one of Britain’s best urban beaches – you’re guaranteed a great day out.