Top Ten: urban beaches in the UK

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If you’ve got nothing booked for this summer, there’s not necessarily any reason to worry because we’re lucky enough to have a host of urban beaches scattered throughout the UK. There’s a variety of manmade and naturally occurring beaches, all within city parameters, so there’s no threat of running out of things to do.

Despite of the lack of sand, Brighton is perhaps the UK’s most loved beach, and a symbol of British summertime. Once the novelty of walking across pebbles wears off, you can go explore the city’s quirky offerings, like The Lanes, the pier and George IV’s former residence, the Royal Pavilion.

Vueling Cardiff Bay Beach
As part of Cardiff Festival, Vueling Cardiff Bay Beach runs up until September 5th and attracts thousands of visitors. It includes a host of rides and games and has teamed up to raise money for Tenovus Cancer Care.

Camden Beach
First opened four years ago, Camden Beach is back in 2015 and still going strong. Filling Camden Roundhouse’s terrace with 150 tonnes of sand and a selection of pop-up restaurants and bars, beach huts and table tennis, it’s a taste of the seaside in the middle of the city.

Nottingham Beach
Despite Nottinghamshire holding the title of being Britain’s most landlocked county, Nottingham brings in 250 tonnes of sand and a giant paddling pool to the Old Market Square. And if you get tired of all the sand you can take the short trip to Sherwood Forest to experience some authentic nature.

Derby by the Sea
Another market square transformation, one of England’s most central cities transforms into a typically British seaside, complete with ice creams, funfairs and stalls.

Beach East
Transforming the Olympic Park into the UK’s biggest urban beach, Beach East consists of an enormous 1000 tonnes of sand, funfairs, volleyball courts and beach bars, bringing 2200 square metres of beach to East London.

The Beach at Brent Cross
North London’s Brent Cross Shopping Centre has opened a beach this summer, complete with traditional seaside activities, barbeques and cocktails, providing the ultimate way to rest your feet after a long day of shopping.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach
The North’s most loved seaside resort, Blackpool thrives on tourism from its famous beach. With miles of sandy beach, it welcomes millions of visitors each year and boasts three piers and famous illuminations in the winter.

Croydon on the Beach
East Croydon’s community space, Platform, in Ruskin Square this summer hosts an Urban Beach supported by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. Admittedly, Croydon’s not quite Saint Lucia, but it does play host to a sand beach, activities, barbeques and entertainment.

Urban London Beach
Near to London City Airport and ExCeL London are London’s Royal Docks. You can take the Emirates Air Line over from Greenwich Peninsula and soak in some of London’s best views before you visit the Urban London Beach.

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