Lumley Beach

Top choice in Sierra Leone

This wide sweep of beach has lost some of its atmosphere since the 2015 demolition of dozens of bamboo and thatch food shacks, and the numerous, ugly construction projects lining the beach road don't add to its appeal. During the week it feels deserted, save for a few joggers pounding the paved beach walkway, but it comes into its own on weekends and public holidays, when Freetown's residents come out to relax and party on the golden sands.

If it's a clean swimming beach you're after, however, better to head out of town to River No 2 or one of the islands.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sierra Leone attractions

1. Lighthouse

0.97 MILES

This 19th-century lighthouse was refurbished in 2010.

2. Indian Temple

1.15 MILES

A functioning temple serving the city's Hindu population.

3. King's Yard Gate

3.48 MILES

The ancestors of nearly all present-day Krios passed through King's Yard Gate, atop Tower Hill in the strategic military Martello Tower, built in 1805…

4. St John's Maroon Church

3.56 MILES

St John's Maroon Church is a squat white building with big windows built around 1820. An example of the area's Krio architecture, it was built by returned…

5. Sierra Leone National Museum

3.62 MILES

There are two galleries inside the Sierra Leone National Museum – one housing a collection of cultural and historical artefacts, including Temne Guerrilla…

6. St George's Cathedral

3.63 MILES

Built in the early 1800s, this grand cathedral provides welcome respite from hectic downtown Freetown, as well as an interesting insight into the city's…

7. Cotton Tree

3.64 MILES

Freetown's most famous landmark is the fat Cotton Tree, which looms large over the buildings of central Freetown. Rumoured to be hundreds of years old, it…

8. Law Courts

3.66 MILES

The ornate Law Courts have been beautifully restored following considerable war damage. Located immediately east of the Cotton Tree.