If you're not jetting off on holiday this summer, don't despair: the beach may be closer than you think. In Nottingham, the Old Market Square (pictured) has been transformed into a resort with 250 tonnes of sand. There is a beach bar serving cocktails, live bands and outdoor theatre, a giant paddling pool with zorb-style balls and fairground rides (until 2 September, nottinghamriviera.co.uk).
London has several manmade beaches: Camden Beach at the Roundhouse features beach huts, a rooftop garden with a swimming pool and a tiki bar and rum shack (until 23 August, roundhouse.org.uk); and the beach at Royal Victoria docks is hosting an eclectic range of events, with an outdoor opera festival, a scratch'n'sniff cinema and limbo dancing (until 21 September, londonsroyaldocks.com).
At Bristol beach, there are sandcastle competitions, a "fun zone" for kids, and a mojito bar for the grown-ups (until 1 September, visitbristol.co.uk). In Oxford, a beach has been created in the Castle Quarter with palm trees, deckchairs, tapas and cocktails (until 15 September, oxfordcastlequarter.com). The city beach in Leeds, at Millennium Square, has a traditional seaside funfair (until 31 August, facebook.com/LeedsBeach).
Cardiff Bay beach hosts a Caribbean beach party on Mondays, sport on Tuesdays and DJs and bands the rest of the week. Rides, crazy golf and an ice-cream parlour add to the fun (until 31 August, cardiffbaybeach.co.uk). In Cwmbran, the beach at Gwent Square has free fitness classes on Wednesdays and kid's entertainment on Saturdays (until 31 August, cwmbranshopping.co.uk).