What?: Basically, we went down the steps in front of the Gourmet Pizza Company to the bit of ‘beach’ where you sometimes see sand artists sculpting sad dogs. That’s it. Why? Well, we thought it might be nice. We were still in lockdown and amusements were scarce. It turns out though that you need an actual licence (get yours here) to do any digging and take your finds home, and we were more than likely breaking the law by letting the kids build sandcastles down there. Oh, and we definitely should have all worn gloves to prevent us from getting Weil’s disease. We didn’t though. We just sat and ate our picnic like we weren’t (probably) sitting in rat piss.
I don’t generally like offering ‘tips’ as such for fear of coming across as patronising, but if you do fancy heading riverside then I definitely have some, although they’re less tips and more just things we should have done but didn’t/shouldn’t have done but did. The first is to check the tide times (link below) – we actually did do this. Second, even if you know roughly when the tide will be coming in, for the love of God keep an eye out anyway and make sure you can get back to the steps quickly should you need to – actually we did this too and went right at the beginning of the tide-out window for fear. Third, don’t dig anything up. Fourth, don’t remove anything unless you have a licence. Fifth, don’t touch anything without gloves – and absolutely never touch anything without gloves and then eat a huge slab of birthday cake with your hands (God, we’re stupid). Oh, and remember to take a shit ton of hand sanitiser and apply it liberally and frequently to be on the safe side.
Where?: There are loads of little ‘beaches all along the Thames’. This one is probably your best bet, but Pelican Stairs in Wapping looks like a good spot too.
When? It’s up to the moon. You can check tide times here.
Where to next?: Depends which bit of beach you’re heading for, but if you go for the Bankside portion there are literally hundreds of things you could do afterwards. Tate Modern is an excellent place to start.
Roro explores the foreshore at Bankside.