The beautiful county of Kent is well-known for its iconic white cliffs and the exquisite Kent Downs which make a wonderful backdrop to any holiday, particularly to breaks requiring lots of outdoor adventure to entertain energetic pups! This region is also only a couple of hours away from London, so easy to reach if you fancy travelling by public transport for a holiday in Kent.
Between the towering cliffs and wildlife reserves all along the coastline, you’ll discover some of the best dog-friendly beaches in the South East. There’s a wide variety of coastal landscapes for you to choose from, whether you and Fido prefer remote wildlife walks or fun-packed days on the sand.
Put your best paw forward and visit Kent on a dog-friendly beach holiday with man’s best friend and you might find yourselves exploring the UK’s only desert or enjoying an ice cream along Whitstable’s buzzing seafront.
If you and Fido are still undecided on where to go on your next UK beach break, explore our guide to a few of the top dog-friendly beaches across the country.
Get sandy toes and sandy paws on a trip to one of our favourite dog-friendly beaches along the Kent coast…
1. West Beach, Whitstable
Backed by the exciting resort town of Whitstable, offering miles of sand for racing about on, and with a dog-friendly pub practically on the sand, your dog will go barking mad for a day at this Kent beach! Sit back with a pint to enjoy the sea view and people watch while your dog explores the shingle shoreline or snoozes at your feet.
Why your dog will love it: If your dog is super sociable and likes showing off, they’ll enjoy the buzz of activity offered by this town beach which is often busy with walkers due to its location in the heart of one of Kent’s top seaside destinations.
Good to know: Pub, slipway, beach huts – shops, toilets and other amenities in town.
Stay at: Sunset Beach House, Whitstable | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs
2. Dungeness, near Lydd-on-Sea
Said to be the only desert in the UK, this unique stretch of coastline offers wide open spaces and dramatic views with abandoned boats sitting alongside architecturally intriguing homes. Let your four-pawed pal off the leash at one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Kent with long walks among this otherworldly landscape which often inspires local photographers and artists – so don’t forget to bring your camera with you for some artsy snaps of Fido doing his best strut!
Why your dog will love it: Lots of intriguing objects to sniff out in the shingle including abandoned lobster pots and wildlife trails make this particular walkies super interesting for your doggo.
Good to know: Train station and food outlets – due to its remote nature, there are few facilities at this beauty spot.
Stay at: Smiths Loft, Camber | sleeps 4 and 1 dog
3. Tankerton Beach, Whitstable
This shingle beach on the north Kent coast is another classic seaside escape with east Whitstable set just behind offering a superb choice of food, drink and other amenities to keep you fuelled during your day at the beach. Tankerton Slopes is a grassy nature reserve the Whitstable end of the beach perfect for kids to run up and down, and a sandy spit appears at low tide known as ‘The Street’ which is pleasant to walk along among the lapping waves.
Summer restrictions mean that dogs cannot go on the beach between Pier Avenue and The Street from 1 May to 30 September. Dogs must be kept on a lead on the promenade during these dates too.
Why your dog will love it: Playful pups will have a great time racing about on the grassy slopes or treading along the shingle spit.
Good to know: Beach huts, accessible facilities, beach shop, bar and pub – more amenities available nearby in town.
Stay at: The Mooring Post, Whitstable | sleeps 6 and 2 dogs
4. The Warren, Folkestone
Backed by iconic Kent white cliffs, The Warren is a sandy dog beach in Kent that draws fossil hunters searching for ammonites, belemnites and shark teeth! The rocky geology of this destination also makes it a wonderful place to go rock pooling with youngsters and offers plenty of interest for canine companions. The Warren Country Park just behind is home to a wide variety of wildlife and the clifftops provide extraordinary views out to sea.
No dogs allowed between May 1 to September 30.
Why your dog will love it: Your dog can enjoy all the fun of the beach before heading into The Warren Country Park for a long walk.
Good to know: Promenade, toilets, nearest food outlets and shops are in Folkstone (1 mile).
Stay at: Kings Cottage – Sandgate, Folkestone | sleeps 6 and 1 dog
5. Kingsgate Bay, Margate
Known for fantastic sea caves that are just waiting to be explored, towering white chalk cliffs, and overlooked by the impressive Kingsgate Castle, this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Kent for you to enjoy with your dog by your side. The cliffs also keep this bay sheltered and you may be surprised to hear that, despite its idyllic scenery, it’s often fairly quiet.
Why your dog will love it: Energetic hounds could play hide and seek or just run in circles around the incredible chalk stacks.
Good to know: Beach hut hire, pub, cafes, public toilets, car park at nearby Joss Bay.
Stay at: Seapoint, Broadstairs | sleeps 5 and 1 dog
6. Herne Bay, Whitstable
Colourful beach huts, fish and chip shops and summer ice cream vans all make Herne Bay a delightful seaside retreat for you and your canine companion to discover together. It’s not the most dog-friendly beach on our list, with various restrictions in place throughout the entire year, however, it’s a top spot for families with a playful pup in tow to experience a classic seaside day out.
Dogs are not allowed on part of the beach at any time of year and must be kept on a lead on the promenade. Summer restrictions apply.
Why your dog will love it: There’s a great chance of tasty leftovers with the number of eateries lining the beach.
Good to know: Food outlets, shops, beach huts, car parks, public toilets.
Stay at: Arbour House, Whitstable | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs
7. Dymchurch Beach, Dymchurch
Part of the Romney Marshes collection of beaches and just down the coast from the remote flatlands of Dungeness sits the wide-open spaces of Dymchurch Beach. Divided up by wooden groynes, it’s a sand and shingle dog-friendly beach in Kent where sandcastle building and moat digging is encouraged and the vast space welcomes beach games.
Dogs are banned on part of the beach during 1 May to 30 September, between Sycamore Gardens to the Martello car park.
Why your dog will love it: Dogs can have a great time chasing frisbees on this expansive sandy beach.
Good to know: Cafes, restaurants, pubs, amusements, car park.
Stay at: Greycot, Dymchurch | sleeps 5 and 1 dog
8. Walmer Beach, Dover
A quiet retreat from urban life, Walmer Beach near Dover offers a peaceful spot for a stroll or racing about with no one to bump into. It’s a continuation of bustling Deal beach next door, however, while Deal beach has summer restrictions, Walmer Beach has none and is much quieter. The English Heritage-managed Walmer Castle is a 16th-century coastal defence from the reign of Henry VIII and overlooks the beach.
Why your dog will love it: There’s plenty of space to run and run and run…
Good to know: Shop, beach cafe, car park, more amenities in town – promenade, pier, public toilets and more food outlets can be found next door along Deal beach.
Stay at: Gore Cottage, Sandwich | sleeps 5 and 4 dogs
9. Palm Bay, Margate
Near the exciting seaside resort of Margate sits beautiful Palm Bay, a sandy Kent beach that welcomes dogs all year round. A great place for pups to dig, splash through waves and greet other dog walkers on their morning stroll, you and Fido will both have a wonderful time at this Margate beach. This spot is also a superb place for jet skiers so don’t be surprised to see a few racing about out on the water.
Why your dog will love it: It’s a popular dog-walking beach – said to be one of the top dog-friendly sandy beaches in Kent – so your pup may get to meet a few friends during your visit!
Good to know: Promenade, café, public toilets – more amenities in town behind the beach.
Stay at: 3 Beach Mews, Broadstairs | sleeps 8 and 2 dogs
10. Mary’s Bay Beach, May’s Bay
One of the five popular Romney Marsh beaches, St Mary’s Bay is one of the most popular for families and sunbathers in the summertime and becomes a walker’s paradise during the cooler months. Spend time down on the sandy shores, picnicking and paddling in the sea, before enjoying a wildlife walk through the marshes themselves.
Dog restrictions apply from 1st May to 30th September.
Why your dog will love it: Your canine companion will enjoy sniffing wildlife trails in the marshes and keeping an eye out for the birds and mammals that live here.
Good to know: Promenade, cafés, public toilets, car park, and there’s a pub in the village behind the beach.
Stay at: Greycot, Dymchurch | sleeps 5 and 1 dog
Get the whole pack over to Kent for a wonderful beach holiday in a region famed for its white chalk cliffs and exciting seaside resorts, it’s always a good choice for a break.
Begin browsing through our collection of dog-friendly cottages in Kent and find yourself and your pampered pup a great seaside escape.
For more information on where to go and what to get up to during your dog-friendly holiday to this fantastic part of the country, take a quick look through our full Canine Cottages guide to Kent.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.