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The best beaches for a quick coastal escape

Hmmm, you’ve reached an older feature - let’s get you up to date! Read our latest Beach/coastal features here.


It’s going to be a stonking weekend by all accounts – well worth a bit of forward planning to get yourself out the door and down to a beach for the day.

I’m not a pebble beach fans so anyone who likes to contort themselves on a stony mattress had better avert their eyes now! Here are my top tips for lovely day-trip beaches from landlocked Bucks & Oxon.

Mudeford (pictured below),  a two hour hammer down the motorway for me down to Dorset, is my regular summer’s day haunt and an absolute cert for a fab time. Read my full review here.

I’d also highly recommend the National Trust-owned Studland Beach & Nature Reserve (several beaches, one with a cool little cafe), Lyme Regis Town Beach for the pretty crescent beach in front of the Cobb, right in the heart of the town; Sandbanks beach in Poole – huge swathes of golden sand, plus the fab Sandbanks Beach Cafe, a BBQ facility on the beach and watersports facilities.

Or if you really can’t be bothered to battle through the traffic to hit the hot spot on the coast, why not cheat? The Cotswold Water Park (below) has some of the best watersports facilities around, plus the largest inland paddling beach in the UK next to a picnic area.

 Ruislip Lido on the outskirts of London (below) is another brilliant bet with a lovely arc of a beach around the old reservoir, a miniature steam train, playground and picnic facilities.

ruislip lido
There are probably tonnes of other really great spots – maybe you know them. If you do, be a clever clogs and tell us about them below.

Have fun in the sun y’all.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon