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6 Beautiful Hidden Beaches For The Perfect Summer Day Trip From London

Annie Simon Annie Simon - Commercial Editor

hidden beaches near london

Hit the road with Zipcar and visit these breathtaking hidden beaches.

As restrictions ease and crowds flock to central London, we all want one thing, to flee the city and escape to a quiet beach. Far, far away from the rabble, and the blistering furnace that is the Central Line. We want less cityscape and more secluded coves, secret bays and sunny golden sands… And, thankfully, with Zipcar on hand to provide easy transportation with just the tap of a finger on their app, these seaside dreams can easily become a reality.

Through the free Zipcar car-sharing app you can search, book and unlock vehicles near you, whenever you need them. If you’re in need of a weekend getaway, just book a Zipcar Roundtrip car or van on the app and you’re good to go! Or, if it’s a spontaneous short day trip you fancy, you can also grab one of their one-way Flex cars too! They’re like a self-drive taxi, win!

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Ready to swap that city smog for the sea breeze? We’ve lined up some of the best hidden beaches that are less than three hours from London!

hidden beaches near london
Credit: Shutterstock

1. Man O’War Cove, Dorset

This stunning beach on the Jurassic Coast is far less crowded than some of its famous neighbours. Yes, this is probably a result of the fact that you can only access the beach through a steep down-hill footpath from the cliff top car park. But trust us, it’s worth it – because when you emerge onto the hidden beach, you’ll feel as if you’ve stumbled upon a secret paradise. Enjoy a peaceful afternoon paddling in the clean, shallow waters (it’s a safe swimming spot), and lazing on the beach of sand and fine pebbles. Book a Zipcar and you can be at this breathtaking Dorset beach in under 3 hours!

🚗 2 hours, 40 minutes

hidden beaches near london
Credit: Shutterstock

2. Botany Bay, Kent

Backed with dramatic white cliffs and towering chalk stalks, this tranquil beach in Kent is an absolute gem. And it’s only a two hour drive away from London – what are you waiting for? Grab your phone, and grab a  Zipcar now! At Botany Bay you can while away the hours hunting for fossils through the rock pools at low tide, or enjoy a lovely, hour-long walk along the shore to Broadstairs. It’s a great spot to soak up the sunshine in peace, but there are also plenty of watersports to try your hand at if you’re an active, restless sort! 

🚗 2 hours

hidden beaches near london
Credit: Shutterstock

3. Winterton Beach, Norfolk

One of Norfolk’s best-kept secrets, Winterton Beach boasts an absolutely huge expanse of soft sand, backed by the rolling, grassy dunes of the Martham Broad National Nature Reserve. The sheer size of it means this beach never feels crowded, and if you get bored of lazing about on the sand you can always wander through the picturesque village of Winterton-on-Sea.

🚗 2 hours, 50 minutes

hidden beaches near london
Credit: Shutterstock

4. West Wittering, Sussex

For a perfect day out from London, hop in a Zipcar and drive over to Sussex. Spend some time pottering through the South Downs before heading to West Wittering Beach to wind down and rest your weary legs. This natural, sandy beach is a wonderful picnic spot. And, the nearby sand dune spit of East Head is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest if you fancy putting your explorer hat on. Just remember, you’ll have to pre-book your spot at West Wittering beach car park! 

🚗 2 hours

hidden beaches near london
Credit: Shutterstock

5. Cuckmere Haven Beach, East Sussex

You can enjoy impressive views of the white chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters on your walk down to this hidden beach in Sussex. Nestled at the feet of the cliffs, Cuckmere Haven Beach is an isolated idyll – perfect for keen walkers, watersport enthusiasts and dedicated sunbathers alike. Just two hours drive from London, this Sussex spot is perfect for a day out or weekend away – just grab a Zipcar and you’ll be there in no time! 

🚗 2 hours

hidden beaches near london
Credit: Shutterstock

6. Worbarrow Bay, Dorset

The half moon bay of Worbarrow, near Tyneham, forms a perfect crescent, set against a backdrop of rolling downs and woodland. Visitors to this secret spot can relax on the exquisite shingle beach or explore the nearby sea caves. Meanwhile, history buffs will be fascinated by the story of the ‘ghost village’ of Tyneham. The village and its surrounding countryside were requisitioned by the British War Office in WWII – and its former residents never returned. Tyneham’s historic church and school house have been preserved as museums, and Tyneham Farm is also open to the public.

🚗 2 hours, 30 minutes

Want to visit one of these lovely secluded seaside spots? Join Zipcar online, and use their free app to search and book a Zipcar whenever you need one. There’s 3,000 vehicles near you to choose from with fuel, Congestion Charge and insurance all included in your fare, it’s the most convenient way to travel. Just book and unlock your Zipcar via the app, find the keys in the glovebox, hit the road and head to the beach!

Find out more about Zipcar and book your ride for your next road trip here.

Tags: summer