Greenwich gets an Olympic-size beach

Greenwich Beach, set to be the longest artificial city beach in Europe, will open in May with an Olympic-size volleyball court and plans for a restaurant and live events stage catering for crowds of up to 5,000
Paris beach
© EPA
Paris has had a sandy summer beach since 2002
Paris has one, so does Berlin, and now Greenwich is to join the cool kids down on the shore.

The idea for a sandy beach in the shadow of the O2 centre has been approved by Greenwich council, with the Paris-style pop-up plage expected to open each summer for five years.

Greenwich Beach, set to be the longest artificial city beach in Europe, will open in May, with an Olympic-size volleyball court and plans for a restaurant and live events stage catering for crowds of up to 5,000.

The development site, known as Delta Wharf, overlooks the Thames and covers almost four acres. It is owned by the Housing and Communities Agency and will eventually be redeveloped as housing.

Until then, local residents of one of London’s biggest new-build housing sites will be able to enjoy the delights of the seaside courtesy of developer Peninsula Festival.

“This will be London’s first long-term beach, offering sand, entertainment and beach games,” explained Frank Dekker, managing director of Peninsula Festival. “In fact, we have been told it is the largest man-made beach in Europe. It will bring to London a facility for both local residents and visitors, enjoyed in other cities such as Paris and Berlin."

“Children and young people in the city will have an opportunity to get the sand between their own toes. The Olympic standard beach volleyball court will offer young people the opportunity to exercise in an interesting, novel way, he says.”

The new beach will be created using tons of sand ferried to the site by barge from North Norfolk. Other beaches planned for London include one at Victoria Park, Hackney, and the restoration of a beach popular in Edwardian times on the Thames at Bishops Park, in Fulham.

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