Beach, please! Behold the golden sands of Ruislip Lido.
There are beaches near London, but then there are beaches IN London! Just the one of them, mind you…
Ruislip Lido is a 60-acre lake sat on the edge of a lovely 726-acre nature reserve – that’s twice the size of Hyde Park, stats fans. Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve is, as you might guess, mostly bucolic ancient woodland.
Head through the forest to reach the lake…
And on the southern edge you’ll find a miraculous beach!
Dating back to the 1950s, this tropical spot has had it’s ups and downs over the years, lapsing into some heinous disrepair during the ’70s before returning to its current glory in the 2000s. Now it’s a popular spot for families, locals and anyone looking for a bit of faux-seaside fun.
And that’s not all. As well as climbing frames, play areas and a little café for ice creams, there’s even a miniature train that’ll take you on a fun little trip around the lake. Transit goals!
It’s an indisputably cute reason to push your Oyster Card to the limits and head out to Zone 6 – it’s an hour from central London, door-to-door, with a tube journey to Ruislip Station, and then a choice of two buses to take you the rest of the way.
There are just two things we ought to point out before you grab your bucket and spade: swimming and boating are not currently permitted at the lake (consider a trip to one of London’s outdoor pools if you want to splash around) and on a sunny bank holiday, let’s just say it gets a little bit busy…
Location: Ruislip Lido, HA4 7TY. Nearest station is Ruislip on the Piccadilly and Metropolitan lines; then catch a H13 bus. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: from 9am, seven days a week; closing times vary seasonally, but until 9pm in the summer months.
Entry: free! (See more free things to do in London.)
More information: on their website.