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Britain's best urban beaches
  • Nottingham’s popular urban beach, The Deliveroo Beach, on the Old Market Square returns this summer from 22 July to 4 September 2016, to bring all the fun of the seaside to the heart of the city. The attraction is free to visit and hosts a number of fantastic events, including live music performances and entertainers. With 250 tonnes of sand, a paddling pool for children, deck chairs, seaside rides, food vendors and a beach bar, the beach attracts thousands of families and visitors to the city. New for 2016 is a high-flying Around the World swing ride, offering a thrilling ride above the city with great views of Nottingham in the sunshine.

  • This large urban beach returns to London until 30 August 2016, bringing with it over 200 tons of sand, street food, a bouncy castle and weekly Zumba sessions. Urban London Beach, which sits directly beneath the Emirates Cable Car on the embankment of Royal Victoria Dock, invites you to relax in deckchairs, enjoy ice creams, build sandcastles and experience hanging out in a very unique urban space overlooking the spectacular landscape of the Royal Victoria Dock and iconic city skyline. The stretch of sandy beach provides a free, family-friendly day out for those wanting to experience the urban seaside. The weekly Zumba classes run every Tuesday at 10.30am and there is a bouncy castle every weekend.
  • Portobello Beach, just a few miles from Edinburgh's city centre, is a seaside suburb, with two miles of golden sand making it perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The beach draws large crowds in good weather and, along with the promenade, hosts a number of popular events, including the annual Big Beach Busk, international volleyball competitions and triathlon events. There are several bars and cafés on the promenade, with more options on Portobello’s bustling high street, including independent restaurants and gift shops.
  • Voted one of the top ten city beach break destinations in the world, Brighton and its beachfront cool are legendary. With the famous Brighton Pier as a backdrop, daytime traditional seaside fun mixes seamlessly with night time funky beachside club culture. Despite being ravaged by fire in 2003, Brighton’s West Pier still attracts thousands of visitors. You can also glide up the world's most slender tower, the British Airways i360 to see Brighton in all its glory. Stroll along the bustling Brighton promenade and soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere at one of the cafes and bars, relax on the famous pebble beach or try your hand at one of the many beach and water sports or sailing activities.
  • BeachEast returns to London from 23 July to 4 September 2016, bringing more sand, attractions and surprises and making it Britain’s Copacabana this summer. The large urban beach features a vast area of fine, deep sand, two paddling pools, funfair rides, two beach bars and a host of sporting events and activities. One thousand tons of sand will be there for you to enjoy at East London’s sizzling summer attraction on Stratford Waterfront, near Westfield and the Olympic Stadium.

  • On this non-bathing beach, there are areas of soft sand and mud and a risk of changing tides. However, visitors can walk along the beach and the coastal path and take in spectacular views of the sea, the Wirral and North Wales. Visitors come from far and wide to see Antony Gormley’s Another Place – a hundred cast iron life-sized figures that dot the bay’s wide sands, each gazing out to sea from a different point and becoming increasingly submerged as the tide comes in. The figures are all casts of Gormley’s own body, standing upright, hands by his side. You can touch them, photograph them, stand next to them, or simply join them in their peaceful contemplation of the watery horizon.
  • Margate’s deep golden sands arch right round the bay from the railway station, past Dreamland retro theme park to the Turner Contemporary Gallery and the Harbour Arm, with its ultra-cool eateries and bars. The seaside town is currently about the hippest place to be beside the sea, home to bijoux art galleries and quirky artisan shops in the revitalised old town. The beach is a peach - no wonder the artist J M Turner painted more canvasses here than anywhere else - and one of the best views are from the Sands Hotel.

  • Urban beaches don’t get more iconic than Blackpool Pleasure Beach. With its famous Tower and Promenade, seven miles of award-winning golden beaches and the magic of illuminations; it’s time to take a fresh look at this popular British seaside town. With a host of takeaways, you’re never far from a fish and chip shop for a supper on the sands.
  • From 22 July to 4 September 2016, Cardiff Bay welcomes the return of Cardiff Bay Beach, creating its own seafront scenery throughout the summer months to entertain families the traditional way. The beach includes food, drink, rides and attractions, such as Water Zorb Balls, Bumper Boats and a Pirate Party. There is a giant child-friendly sandy beach, a shallow water play area and deck chairs for chilling out in the summer sun at the free attraction.

  • For the ultimate summer day out, pack your summer essentials and head down to Brent Cross shopping centre to relax at a city beach. Open until 4 September 2016, The Beach at Brent Cross has over 350 tonnes of golden sand and a beach covering a whopping 2,500 square metres. Ideal for thrill seekers, there are a range of rides and slides the whole family can enjoy, from the daring Thriller Coaster to the feel-good Merry Go Round. For the first time, the beach will also screen this year's sporting highlights, including all the Olympic action from Rio. There is also a wide variety of food and drink options to savour in the sunshine, from traditional seaside fish and chips to all the fairground favourites, including gourmet popcorn and sweets.