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Not so far away from the urban chaos of London (that is to say the constant streams of traffic, militant shoppers patrolling Oxford Street and ceaseless noise!) lies another world entirely. As fine a city as the capital undoubtedly is, residents love nothing more than to disperse to the nearby coastlines to get away from it all, be it for a week or just a couple days’ respite. With some beautiful, yet largely unheralded, beaches scattered around the surrounding area, it’s clear to see why they’re popular among locals; but the wider world is as yet relatively unaware.
The main beauty of such retreats is that, by and large throughout the years, they have managed to maintain a quintessentially English disposition. The Brits have never been ones to miss an opportunity where the weather is concerned, so the slightest hint of sun instantly makes donkey rides, ice cream cones and Kiss Me Quick hats the order of the day.
Top five beach resorts in South East England
Beach holidays in Margate
The archetypal seaside resort to end them all, and a fine example of glorious traditions that have been at the forefront of such tourism for over a century. Everything is represented in Margate, from the typical quantity of amusement arcades and bingo halls to the winsome eccentricity of the Mad Hatter's Tearoom. The beach itself is something of a revelation, with a sweeping stretch of soft golden sand fit to grace the shores of any popular Spanish retreat.
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Beach holidays in Brighton
Stealing – or certainly poaching – the crown from Margate in more recent years, Brighton has become the seaside port of choice for most holidaymakers in the south of England. The beach is pebbly but pleasant and atmospheric, and a quick stroll down the Palace Pier will yield a whole batch of commodities for all ages to enjoy. Whether you want to grab an ice cream, hop on a fairground ride or visit the world’s oldest functional aquarium, you can’t go wrong here. Those feeling brave enough, meanwhile, have the option to set it all free on the nearby nudist beach.
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Beach holidays in Southend-on-Sea
No good seaside resort is complete without a good old pleasure pier – and in Southend-on-Sea they proudly boast the longest in the world! As well as the usual suspects, the pier is home to an intriguing museum and cultural centre, as well as the annual Thames Barge March and fireworks display. Aside from the beach, the historic Kursaal building is the town’s one-stop shop for entertainment, incorporating a number of rides, bars and a futuristic bowling alley.
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Beach holidays in Lowestoft
You won’t find the Suffolk town in many holiday brochures. You certainly won’t hear your friends or colleagues raving about the wonderful week they spent there last summer. Rest assured this is no bad thing; it simply contributes to Lowestoft being one of southeast England’s best-kept secrets. The plush beaches here are of Blue Flag quality, regularly claiming awards for their beauty yet still managing to avoid being overcrowded. The area north of Claremont Pier is generally the most vibrant, with just the right blend of hubbub and tranquillity.
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Beach holidays in Eastbourne
Vera Lynn may have entertained troops in the ’40s with ditties about the White Cliffs of Dover, but she neglected to mention that the famous old landmarks are also a staple of Eastbourne. Instead, the south coast port has settled on being renowned for preserving its proud beachfront heritage, shunning the glitz and glamour of other resorts in favour of its scarcely changed Victorian frontage. The mesmerisingly colourful Carpet Gardens along the promenade are worthy of a visit, as is the towering Beachy Head chalk cliff.
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South East England Holiday Homes
'High Tide' is a delightful three bedroomed seaside home with loggia and decked terrace, overlooking the Solent. Located in the charming seaside village of Seaview, on the Island's east coast, the cottage is an ideal retreat for a family beach h...
Seaview is a charming unspoilt seaside village which is popular for family beach holidays, sailing and fishing and year round walking. This three bedroom holiday home is part of a well-maintained high quality development right on the seafront with...
Stone Cottage is a charming Grade 2 listed cottage and is just yards from Whitstable beach and the tennis courts. It has been beautifully restored to provide modern comforts but retains its traditional charms.
Spread over 3 floors the style of th...
6 Island Wall is a beautiful Whitstable fisherman's cottage just yards from the beach and sleeps up to 5 people (4+1 sofa bed). It has been completely renovated throughout to an exceptionally high standard.
Spread over two floors the style of th...
The Sea House is a stunning, recently renovated 4 bedroom home situated in one of the most desirable roads in Whitstable with beautiful sea views. This spacious home sleeps up to 10 people (8 + 2 sofa bed) and is equipped to the very highest stand...