Dog-friendly beach, Kent

Dog friendly beaches in Kent

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There are so many beautiful coastlines to explore in Kent, you may not believe that you're just an hour from London. Kent is a wonderful place to explore with your dog, with plenty of shingle and pebble beaches, it's great for those pooches who aren’t fans of sand.

There’s ample space for running and in many of the beaches listed below the sea stays very shallow quite far out meaning they’re great for dogs with shorter legs! The people of Kent are as friendly to dogs as the beaches are and you will often find a water bowl with fresh water outside the cafes and shops. Yet, however much we adore our four-legged friends, they’re not always able to access the whole seafront all year round. If you’re looking for dog friendly beaches in Kent, you’re in luck! Below we have compiled a guide to the coves and bays where your pets can frolic all 12 months of the year.

Whitstable Beach, Whitstable

Whitstable Beach, Whitstable
Whitstable: a household name in the South East

Dogs allowed: all year round

Sandy beach lovers might not be so impressed with the pebbly stretch of coastline in this part of Kent, but what Whitstable Beach lacks in golden grains, it more than makes up for in atmosphere, scenery, and fun. Some people compare Whitstable’s offering to Brighton beach, but it’s a lot smaller and there is more of a traditional feel to Whitstable beach thanks to its beach huts, weatherboard cottages and fishing boats pulled up on the beach.

The mile-long west beach is a stretch of shingle divided up by wooden groynes and offers unrestricted access to dogs in an area of Kent where bylaws restricting dogs are common. The Old Neptune Pub, referred to by locals as the ‘Neppy’ sits, quite unusually, on the beach itself so when the weather’s good you can enjoy the large beer garden, and when it’s cold, there’ll be a fire inside to warm you and your dog. Whitstable town offers antique shops and retro independent stores excellent fish & chips, a craft beer brewed locally and delicious oysters to enjoy while taking in the photogenic harbour vistas. No trip to the Southeast is complete without a visit to the town and its unique and excellent dog-friendly beach in Kent.

Sandwich Bay, Sandwich

Sandwich Bay, Sandwich
Sandwich: as satisfying as the name suggests!

Dogs allowed: all year round

Sandwich Bay occupies a long inlet of the sea, which runs between Ramsgate and Deal, bordered to the north by the River Stour. The beach has plenty to discover when the tide is out, from watching the local kite pirates (a fabulous sight on a windy day), to bird spotting and fishing. The beach consists of sand flats, salt marshes and sand dunes, a varied terrain that makes for a great walk with your dog. There is also a fantastic walk to the caves which lead to Western Undercliff that your pooch is sure to love.

There are plenty of quiet and peaceful places amongst the rocks of Sandwich Bay to watch the boats on the horizon and cast your eyes across the silvery skies and glimmering sea. However, as Sandwich Bay is surrounded by several golf courses and a private estate, it can be a little more complicated to reach than it seems on the map. The best route takes visitors through a private toll road which will set you back a few quid to get access by car but it’s well worth it for a visit to one of the most peaceful dog-friendly beaches in Kent.

Dumpton Gap Beach, Ramsgate

Dumpton Gap Beach, Ramsgate
Dumpton Gap: not what it suggests on the tin...

Dogs allowed: all year round

While its name may not do it any favours, Dumpton Gap is actually a rather charming little beach, only about 150m in length but well worth the journey. Low tide reveals hundreds of rock pools for you and your dog to explore as well as one of the best walking routes to Ramsgate. However, please be aware that the beach all but disappears at high tide so you could find yourself cut off if you do not check the tide timetable beforehand.

Not as busy as Broadstairs or Ramsgate, Dumpton Gap is generally a good place to get away from the crowds. Even so, the beach is well-equipped with a lovely promenade, a kiosk, beach huts, cafes and nearby toilets. The beach is dog friendly all year round with no restrictions so feel free to take your pooch for a paddle.

Samphire Hoe, Dover

Samphire Hoe, Dover
Samphire Hoe: the cliffs glisten

Dogs allowed: all year round

With the striking background of the famous White Cliffs of Dover, this secluded beach is part of a largely pebble and shingle area which becomes rockier the further the tide goes out. While this may mean that Samphire Hoe is not so well suited for swimming and paddling, it’s a great spot for rock pooling, walking, cycling, fishing off the seawall (a daily licence is needed), as well as bird watching. The beach is massively dog friendly but please follow the on-lead policy!

Samphire Hoe in its current form dates back to the 1980s and 90s when it was built using nearly 5 million cubic metres of spoil from the Channel Tunnel excavations. The beach is now rich in biodiversity and is equipped with toilets and a café, along with ample parking (paid, but reasonably priced).

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