Yes, you read that right. Going to the beach in London. So you just don’t have the time for a holiday. Or even a day trip to the seaside. So where can you go for a fix of sand and water?
Going to the beach in London: Ruislip Lido
Yes, that’s right, Ruislip Lido. Ok, so it is a reservoir rather than the sea. But it is on the tube, so I can’t really complain. The reservoir was dug in 1811 to supply drinking water to the Paddington area of London. In the 1930s, it was renamed the ‘Lido’ and boating, swimming and fishing were available to attract Londoners to the beach. These days it doesn’t look as though swimming is allowed. Although unless you are a hardcore, wetsuited triathlete I doubt it would appeal anyway.
The attraction now is the sandy beach, which Daisy enjoyed building sandcastles on. There is also a playground on the beach, which was a big hit. We visited in the midst of stormy weather, so it was plesantly quiet. And the cafe was a great escape when the heavens inevitably opened (England…beach…of course it will rain). We sampled the courgette and avocado cake, which had the advantage of appearing healthy whilst tasting fab. Who knew courgette and avocado cake was a thing?
Unfortunately the high winds had closed the 12 inch gauge railway (Britain’s longest, the information boards tell me). This would have been a fun little thing for a toddler to do, so we will have to go back. We contented ourselves with the mile or so walk around the lido. Watching out for windswept falling branches…
I am also keen to return at a time of drought. Apparently then you can see the remains of some dwellings that formed the hamlet of Park Hearn, now submerged by the water.
Going to the beach in London: Getting There
We travelled on the London Underground using the Central Line to West Ruislip. From there it is a 35 minute walk. Or you can walk to Ruislip in 10 minutes and hop on the number H13 bus.