‘I finally found Bermondsey’s gorgeous hidden beach but there was one glaring problem with it’ – Tom Haynes

Okay let’s get one thing straight: I know it is not beach weather. The time for beach content has passed and it will be at least another six months before anything other than a thick coat is acceptable outdoor attire in London.

But, reader, I do not care. In July this year, I was given a mission to find South London’s best-hidden beach, supposedly located along Thames Path, but the endeavour ended in misery.

Sadly, despite it being a gorgeous summer day, these irritating things called ‘the tides’ ruined my efforts by concealing Bermondsey Beach beneath a thick layer of murky Thames water.

I was fuming. My editors berated me. My peers shunned me. But I refused to be beaten.

READ MORE: ‘I’ve found knives, human poo and a London bus, cleaning West London streets 40 weekends of this year’

It might be a bit nippy for a sunbathing session

Months later, hungover, bored, and with the bleach all out of my hair, I set off for Thames Path to try and rectify my mistake.

As the autumn chill turned my eyes red and my skin pasty white, I reached The Angel, a delightful little pub with a view across the Thames.

I decided not to have a pint, but peering over the ledge I spotted something that blew my mind. Despite it being mid-November at around midday, the beach was there in all its glory.

0 beach3jpeg

There was all sorts strewn about on the ground

I’m not sure how the tides work because I am a journalist. But the last time I had been at the beach it had been at the same time on that summer day and there was nothing to even stand on.

This time, however, there was enough room for a whole party of people to gather on the pebbles, set up a barbeque, have a few pints, and lie on some towels.

0 GettyImages 639998364

Do you want to stay up to date with the latest news, views, features and opinion from across the city?

MyLondon’s brilliant newsletter The 12 is absolutely jam packed with all the latest to keep you keep you entertained, informed and uplifted.

You’ll get 12 stories straight to your inbox at around 12pm. It’s the perfect lunchtime read.

And what’s more – it’s FREE!

The MyLondon team tells London stories for Londoners. Our journalists cover all the news you need – from City Hall to your local streets, so you’ll never miss a moment.

Don’t skip a beat and sign up to The 12 newsletter here.

The view was gorgeous. From my spot on the beach, I could see the best skyline South London has to offer, including the Shard and Tower Bridge. The sky was a vivid blue and there was not a cloud to be seen.

It was, by all accounts, a perfect beach day. But there was one issue: it was offensively cold.

0 beach5jpeg

It was a spendid view but the breeze was a bit much

As I said earlier, it was late November by the time I returned to see my nemesis in all her glory, but by that time the temperature had dropped from the mid-20s to the… well mid 0s.

My breath fogged up in front of me, my hand shoved deep in my pockets for warmth, my hangover was threatening to eat me alive.

Even if the weather had been better, the pebbly beach was a) soaking wet and b) gross. The idea of getting my kit off and lying down here was not a nice one.

0 beach2jpeg

Maybe this beach simply wasn’t meant to be relaxed upon

I strolled up and down the stretch of land available to me, admiring the view across the water, pondering whether it would ever be possible to use this as a real beach.

There is precious little information about how the tides work in such a confined area of London. But I’m assuming the tides don’t work the same way in summer as they do in winter, which would suggest the only times in summer you can access the full beach are at, like, 6am.

So even though the space was free for me to use, my dreams of a beach party in South London were simply never going to happen. But it did make a nice spot to ponder life while listening to Frank Ocean, so swings and roundabouts.

Do you want the latest crime, sport, or breaking news in London straight to your inbox? Tailor your needs to suit you here .

Read More
Read More


Recommended For You