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  • Writer's pictureGregg Maflin

HIDDEN LONDON [3] Tower Bridge & "Ernies" Beach on the Thames.

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

It’s been very hot in London this last couple of weeks, and you may long to lie on a sandy beach sipping a cool drink away from the crowds, but you can’t get to Southend or Brighton as there both too crowded and too far.

Well you don’t have to go that far, you want to take a walk on “The Strand” go down to Tower Hill , and wait for the tide to recede. Yes, twice a day for a few hours a small sandy beach appears on the bank of the Thames

Originally the beach was introduced in the July 1934 after 1500 tons of sand was laid down by decree of King George V so that East Londoners with little time or money could relax and play.

It was built just north on the foreshore near the Tower of London and in its heyday on the 1950’s was a place of wonder with ice creams, carts plying their trade, deck chairs and even rowing boats for hire, allowed to go under Tower bridge and back again.

Today if you are lucky and the tides right you could still spend an hour relaxing on the sand, that’s if you could reach it, sadly there is not much sand due to tidal erosion, but if you look carefully it's still there. A better bet would be to head along to the Southbank Centre and sit on the sandy “Ernies Beach“ [named after a local campaigning resident] with easy access and soft sand, though you’re not allowed to pick anything up on the foreshore as that’s classed as “Mudlarking” which requires a permit, but that’s another story.

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