The Garden of England is home to picturesque views, rolling hills, and quaint towns – yet the Kentish coastline is just as impressive as the county’s inland scenery.
Within easy reach of London, the South-East has long been a favourite among those looking for a quiet weekend away from the hustle and bustle of big city life. Boasting a little bit of everything, it’s not hard to see why so many people flock to the beautiful county of Kent for a quintessentially British getaway!
However, Kent isn’t just a great destination for those on two legs. Your four-legged friends are sure to love exploring the many dog-friendly beaches Kent has to offer, from sandy stretches to more wild shores.
Here’s why the Kent coast will make a great destination for you and your pup if you’re planning a UK staycation this year!
From the infamous white chalk cliffs at Dover to the strangely captivating bleakness of Dungeness, the Kent coast has it all. While there are certainly some classic golden sandy beaches, much of the coastline is photogenic for a different reason. From clifftop walks and breath-taking views to bustling harbours and secluded bays, Kent is a paradise for explorers and walkers – of both the two and four-legged varieties – alike.
A little further inland, you can visit the beautiful cobbled streets of Canterbury and marvel at the wonder of the city’s famous cathedral. The whole family are sure to love a day out at the Kent and East Sussex Railway, or alternatively, your pooch is sure to love discovering the rolling green hills of the Kent Downs – the perfect spot for a walk!
While the Kent coast boasts plenty of beaches, it’s worth bearing in mind that many have restrictions in place for dogs – especially during the peak season and the summer months.
Similarly, as this is a popular holiday hotspot, you are less likely to find a quiet, dog-friendly beach in Kent than in other parts of the country, such as Yorkshire, but the Kentish coastline is ideal for enjoying family-friendly fun with your pooch.
That being said, there are still plenty of dog-friendly beaches for the whole family to enjoy along the Kentish coast, including:
While the beach at Reculver Bay may not be golden and sandy, the area is full of fascinating history to learn about. The beach itself is comprised mainly of shingle, but you can always combine a visit to the beach with a walk in the nearby Reculver Country Park. As well as plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching, you can visit the remains of the Roman fort on the site, as well as the imposing ruins of the Saxon church whose towers can be seen reaching up towards the sky.
Situated between the seaside resort towns of Broadstairs and Ramsgate, Dumpton Gap is a sandy beach that is dog-friendly all year round. With beach huts, toilets and a café, the beach is ideal for the whole family, and if you’re feeling adventurous, it is possible to walk along the beach to Ramsgate at low tide. If you do fancy the walk, make sure to check the local tide timetable before setting out.
Scenic and picturesque, Kingsgate Bay is also dog-friendly all year round. The beautiful sandy cove is sheltered by white chalk cliffs that are arguably just as impressive as those at Dover, just along the coast. However, the bay’s main attraction is the sea caves in the cliffs behind the beach – reportedly some of the best in England. If you are planning to bring the family to Kingsgate Bay, it’s worth keeping in mind that there is no lifeguard service here.
Although it may be hard to believe, the beach and country park at Samphire Hoe were only created in the 1980s and 1990s when almost five million cubic metres of chalk were excavated from the newly-dug Channel Tunnel. Aside from its unique origins, the beach offers excellent views of Dover’s infamous White Cliffs and is also a great spot for the little ones to try their hand at rock pooling.
Kent’s very own desert (yes, really!) Dungeness really is a beach like no other. This vast expanse of shingle beach extends out into the sea, sheltering nearby Romney Marsh from the worst of the elements. Dungeness is well worth a visit thanks to its uniqueness – if nothing else – and luckily, this intriguing beach is dog-friendly. Don’t miss a chance to see the fascinating cottages and gardens of salvaged driftwood along the beach.
Other dog-friendly beaches in Kent include:
Of course, these are far from the only beaches in Kent, but if you are visiting with your pooch, these are all great options to visit. If there is a particular beach you want to visit but you are unsure if dogs are allowed, it’s always best to do your research before visiting, just in case.
If you are considering visiting Kent for a dog-friendly getaway this year, there are a number of preparations you need to make before you head out.
Don’t forget to pack all your pooch’s essentials and their favourite toys to ensure an enjoyable, stress-free getaway for you both. Similarly, it’s also a great time to check that your dog’s pet tag and microchip are updated with all the relevant information and your current contact details. This way, should the worst happen, you and your pet should be able to be reunited quickly and easily.
No matter where you choose to go in Kent, rest assured that the county’s coastline is a firm favourite and a great choice for two and four-legged adventurers alike!