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Lumley Beach

Lumley is the main urban beach in the capital, located in the northernmost part of the Freetown Peninsula. The beach especially comes alive during weekends, when locals visit to go swimming, jogging, play beach volleyball or just spend time on the beach. It’s also a popular nightlife destination, with many restaurants and beach bars.

How to get there?

Lumley is located about 10 km drive from the centre of Freetown, but getting there might take between 20 and 30 minutes depending on traffic. Taxis are the easiest way to get there – a typical fare from the Cotton Tree area in central Freetown would cost around Nle20. It is also possible to reach Lumley Beach by moto taxi or poda poda (minibus) – ask your accommodation what’s the best route to take. If it’s a nice day, Lumley Beach is also close enough to central Freetown to walk there, taking about two hours.

About the Beach

Lumley Beach stretches from Aberdeen, on the northernmost part of the Freetown Peninsula, all the way to the estuary of the Lumley River, approximately 5 km south. The beach is wide and comfortable, with plenty of space to lie around, with calm turquoise waters and palm trees bordering the seafront promenade. Lumley is the kind of place that changes completely depending on when you visit – during the week it’s very quiet, but at the weekends it comes to life as it’s the main place Freetown locals head to when they want to enjoy the beach.

In recent years, construction work has been ongoing on Lumley Beach, with modern buildings replacing the traditional thatched bamboo huts selling street food. In the evening, the atmosphere on Lumley beach is as buzzing as it’s always been, with street performers, beach clubs and bars selling drinks and people partying until the wee hours of the morning.

Things to do

Lumley is a wonderful urban beach, more about its atmosphere than its pristine beauty. All along its 4 km length, there are plenty of places where you can go swimming or simply relax lying in the sun. However, it is recommended not to swim after 5 PM, and never get too far from the shore if you’re not a confident swimmer.

All along the beach there are also beach volleyball and beach basketball courts, and locals especially enjoy beach football and are always happy when visitors join them in a game. Halfway along the beach there is an arts and crafts market, a smaller version of Freetown’s popular Big Market, where you can pick up a wide variety of souvenirs from Sierra Leone.

Lumley is also a popular place to go jogging and walking, or to exercise, especially in the early morning or late afternoon. Those who enjoy golf can also find the Freetown Golf Club, with 18 holes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the southern end of Lumley Beach.

Another appeal of Lumley Beach is the wide choice of places to eat and drink – from Lebanese to traditional Sierra Leone specialties, from pizza to Chinese food, you’re sure to find some kind of food to enjoy. The same goes for bars and nightclubs – you can watch street performers, have a sunset drink at a beach bar, or dance the night away at a club.

Places to Stay

On the northern end of Lumley Beach, the Radisson Blue Mammy Yoko Hotel is the best upscale hotel in the area, with colourful, recently renovated modern rooms, a popular happy hour at Baw Baw Bar, and contemporary West African cuisine at The Deck Restaurant.

About 2 km south, Roy’s Hotel and Restaurant is another reliable midrange hotel, with bright rooms facing the beach, and excellent food and drinks from restaurant across the road, well known for its Lebanese cuisine and great cocktails.

Close to the southern end of the beach, Gigibontà Ice Cream is an Italian-owned restaurant serving the best pizza and gelato in Freetown, as well as a range of other Italian specialties like pasta and fritto misto (mixed fried seafood). All along the beach there are also several options for places to enjoy Sierra Leone specialties – Papa Cleff and Olive’s Garden are two of the best rated.

Other Beaches in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Brand