Despite some extravagant claims on its website (‘Here comes the sun’ and ‘Britain’s Copacabana’), Beach East really is quite like going to the beach at a normal UK seaside resort: some sand, some pricey fairground rides and unreliable weather. And it has the added advantage of a really big paddling pool.
So, could be worth a trip if your toddler is into sand and paddling!
We went on a cloudy day (hence moody pics) and it was quiet, but I guess it is really busy on a hot day, so maybe pick your moment (first thing in the morning?).
You do have to pay in (£2 adults, £1 children and age 3 and under free) but you can redeem the fee against fairground ride tokens and snacks, if you buy them…
Supposedly you are not allowed to take food and drink in, and there’s a bag search, but that seems silly for toddlers and I went ahead and gave Finn his lunch at one of their picnic tables without anyone telling us off. I told security staff on the way in I had food for the kids and they didn’t mind. If a group of us including adults were eating we could have had our picnic just outside in the lovely Olympic Park, anyway. See FAQs here for more info.
There are lots of fairground rides, including more than usual that are suitable for toddlers. Finn had a great time riding a fire engine on this one – and the man running it let him sit in all the cars for ages first before he chose his favourite.
The sandy beach is clean looking and the paddling pools are large but we didn’t try them as it was rather cold and windy, and so far Finn hasn’t inherited my love of swimming outdoors in unsuitable conditions.
Beach East, an urban beach with paddling pool, beach-y kiosks and fairground.
Stratford Olympic Park, near Westfield shopping centre. See here for directions to the Olympic Park.
Until September 4th, every day from 10am – 10pm
£2 adults, £1 children and age 3 and under free
Facilities and access?
There’s astroturf or board walk all the way through the fair to the beach, so it should be fine for buggies or wheelchairs. Not sure what the loos/babychanging facilities are. The issue on the day we visited was that the lift down from the Westfield level was broken so we had to negotiate the steps to get to the beach entrance – don’t know when this will be fixed but if you come from Pudding Mill Lane DLR rather than Stratford it’s not an issue.