How to go to the beach this summer – without leaving York

Seven year old Rhiannon Commins is the first to try out the beach at the Coppergate Centre
3 Aug 2016 @ 3.46 pm
| Entertainment

There’s nothing nicer than a trip to the beach on a warm summer’s day – and now you can do just that without leaving York.

No fewer than three beaches have sprung up in and around the city this summer.

Your first stop is at the Coppergate Centre. Or as it is now known, the Coppergate Strand.

Build a Coppergate castle
Build a Coppergate castle

Fifteen tonnes of sand, wind breaks, a host of buckets, spades, windmills and sand moulds and a deckchair or two have turned the middle of the shopping centre into a classic British beach scene.

Fittingly for the home of the Jorvik Centre, the name – Coppergate Strand – is of Viking origin, as ‘strond’ is the Norse word for ‘beach’. London’s famous Strand was a sandy area by the riverside during the time of the Vikings, and its name has stuck for over 1,000 years.

“The benches in Coppergate are always a popular place for people to sit during the summer, so we thought that creating our own urban beach was a great way to give families some chill-out time in the city centre this summer,” said Coppergate Centre manager Pippa Unwin.

“You can even cool down with cold drinks and ice creams available – perfect for anyone who wants the beach experience without having to face the traffic jams on the A64!”

Have a cheeky tiki tipple. Photograph: Fulford Atlantic Beach on Facebook
Have a cheeky tiki tipple. Photograph: Fulford Atlantic Beach on Facebook

One thing Coppergate doesn’t have is a beech bar. For that, you need to head up Fulford Road and call in at the Fulford Arms.

Where once stood its beer garden is now the Fulford Atlantic Beach. The pub teamed up with Sharp’s Brewery to create the sandy stretch, complete with tiki bar, deckchairs, sandcastles and family-friendly outdoor games.

Children play in the sand at the York Maze. Photograph: Jonathan Pow/ jp@jonathanpow.com
Children play in the sand at the York Maze. Photograph: Jonathan Pow/ [email protected]
The Water Feature Tower, incorporating the big water wheel, maze of channels and a giant Archimedes screw, is a new addition to the York Maze sand and water play area in 2016
The Water Feature Tower, incorporating the big water wheel, maze of channels and a giant Archimedes screw, is a new addition to the York Maze sand and water play area in 2016

And our final destination is the York Maze. In addition to its usual puzzling attractions, on Saturday, August 6 it will be holding a beach party and barbecue.

The giant sand play area at the Elvington maze will host the party which comes with a surf simulator, limbo dancing, music and barbeque. Then cool off in “water wars” where everyone can get a soaking.

So what are you waiting for, beach boys and girls..?