Dog-friendly days out in Kent holiday cottages

Days out

Dog-friendly days out in Kent

Ed Roberts 30 November 2022

Take a holiday with your dog to Kent, it could well become your dog’s happy place. Kent is full of ultimate dog-friendly days out to enjoy, from visitor attractions to beaches, nature reserves and natural landmark features. 

Kent is known as the ‘Garden of England’ because of its lush rolling hills and valleys of the High Weald AONB. Throughout the centuries, it has also been the front line of defence against invaders and for those with an interest in the past, it is full of fortresses, castles, and bunkers to visit. This gifts Kent with a host of things to do with your dog.

Stay at one of our self-catering dog-friendly holiday cottages in Kent. Why not browse our collection for inspiration? Click the button below to view our pet-friendly accommodation in Kent. Follow us for a breakdown of Kent’s dog-friendly attractions to visit from Dungeness to Whitstable and back again.

The best dog-friendly day out for brave dogs

Romney, Dymchurch & Hythe Railway

The best dog-friendly day out for brave dogs Romney, Dymchurch & Hythe Railway

Powering along 13.5 miles of track between the coastal Kent town of Hythe and the gorgeously alien outpost Dungeness, the miniature (one-third scale) steam and diesel Romney, Dymchurch & Hythe Railway is one of the county’s main visitor attractions. 

Your dog is welcome to accompany you aboard the train to see the curious landscapes file past. There are cafes at New Romney, Hythe and Dungeness for light lunches and snacks. Hythe is great for a walk along the town’s beach or the canal, Dymchurch has fish and chips, a long beach and amusement arcades galore, and see below the endless sights and delights at Dungeness.

Why your dog will love this: Dogs are very welcome aboard the trains and it's ideal for pups and older hounds who don’t fancy long walks.

Good to know: Tickets can be bought at the stations. The train only operates at the weekend during the winter months.

Stay nearby: Greycot | sleeps 1 dog + 5 humans 

The best dog-friendly day out for strange landscapes

Dungeness Nature Reserve

The best dog-friendly day out for strange landscapes Dungeness Nature Reserve

Dungeness is said to be the closest thing the UK has to a desert. It certainly looks like one with its otherworldly yet pleasant open expanses of shingle and sparse vegetation. Characterised by its single road lined with distinctive fisherman’s huts and large fishing boat haul outs, lighthouses, artist Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage, a decommissioned nuclear power station, and the immediacy of the sea, Dungeness is a place to discover like no other. 

In and out of the bramble mazes your dog will pick up the scents of rabbits and foxes not to mention seafood. Grab fish and chips at dog-friendly pubs, The Pilot, and The Britannia Inn, or some freshly landed seafood from a store on the beach. It’s a dog wonderland.

Why your dog will love this: This is nature at full-throttle and there really isn’t anywhere else in the UK quite like it.

Good to know: Go to Dungeness on a weekday to avoid the throngs of visitors. Enjoy coffee at the End of the Line and buy a small-scale model of Prospect Cottage to build.

Stay nearby: Dunescape | sleeps 2 dogs + 4 guests

The best dog-friendly day out for hidden wonders

The Sound Mirrors, near New Romney

The best dog-friendly day out for hidden wonders The Sound Mirrors, near New Romney

Created in the 1920 and 30s, the concrete sound mirrors can be found in several locations across Kent. They were developed as an early warning system for detecting air raids. Made from concrete and varied in shape and size, they were obsoleted within a short span of years by the arrival of radar. 

The best and most accessible sound mirrors are located at Greatstone-on-Sea near New Romney; take your dog along the gravel tracks to the viewing points around the huge lakes. The closest view is by the swing bridge; we’d also recommend watching Derek Jarman’s film The Garden for close-ups of the largest of the Sound Mirrors which is 2000 feet wide. Other sound mirrors can be found in Hythe and Folkestone.

Why your dog will love it: There are some great walks and photo opportunities out by the sound mirrors. It’s a stark and beautiful landscape.

Good to know: Keep an eye out on the RSPB site for rare open days where you can go right up to the sound mirrors on a guided tour. 

Stay nearby: Number 98 | sleeps 2 dogs + 8 humans 

The best dog-friendly day out for cool waterside walks

The Royal Military Canal, Hythe

The best dog-friendly day out for cool waterside walks The Royal Military Canal, Hythe

Equally perfect for a hike or an easy-going level stroll with your four-legged friend, the Royal Military Canal runs for 28 miles through the Kent countryside near the coast and Romney Marshes. Built as an inland line of defence against Napoleon’s forces in the early 1800s, these days the canal makes for a very good place to enjoy a stroll. The canal originates at Hythe and ends at Iden Lock in Sussex. A shorter section exists in Sussex too near Winchelsea - both sections are linked by the rivers Rother and Brede. 

The most popular section of the Royal Military Canal can be joined close to Hythe Railway Station. It is cool and shady and a great choice for summertime strolls. Visit the canal when the weather is rainy too - there is lots of tree cover at the Hythe end; it is also a great place to go nature spotting and to see all kinds of wildlife and birds. Along the Hythe section you will also encounter a few sound mirrors, one of which is high up on a nearby hillside, and the other is along the quay path. 

Why your dog will love it: Whether it’s a hike or a dawdle, the canal provides easy terrain for dogs big and small.

Good to know: You can buy a Royal Military Canal Walks pack from Dover District Council. 

Stay nearby: Pebble Paws | sleeps 1 dog + 2 humans

The best dog-friendly day out for endless sea views 

Folkestone Warren Beach

The best dog-friendly day out for endless sea views  Folkestone Warren Beach

Folkestone Warren Beach is a hidden treasure where you can find a seemingly endless stretch of coast that runs at the base of towering chalk cliffs with fantastic views of the English Channel. Alternating between sandy beaches and huge concrete boardwalks, Folkestone Warren seems like a secret place that has been dreamt up by giants. It really is one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Kent.

Scour the shoreline with your dog for precious flotsam and jetsam on the beach below the Martello Tower, before heading north to a point in the cliffs, which opens out on to another bay where you can see the ferry port and the White Cliffs of Dover in the distance. Folkestone Warren is a great place for long walks, solitude, beauty and the best sea views around. Don’t tell anybody it’s there though.

Why your dog will love it: There is lots of safe, car-free space for your dog to charge around unrestricted.

Good to know: There are no facilities at Folkestone Warren. Bring food and drink, and on hot days be mindful as there is very little shade beyond the first beach.

Stay nearby: King’s Cottage | sleeps 1 dog + 6 humans

The best dog-friendly day out for boats and ships

Historic Dockyard Chatham

The best dog-friendly day out for boats and ships Historic Dockyard Chatham

The Historic Dockyard in Chatham is one of Kent’s best-loved visitor attractions, and although there are some restrictions, it is dog-friendly. Home to one of the largest collections of ships and boats, there is a cold war submarine, a Victorian sloop, and a WW2 destroyer to name a few of the vessels you can see. 

Sadly dogs aren’t permitted on board the ships, but they can access the shipyard and the pet-friendly café - there’s just as much to enjoy seeing the exterior of the ships anyway. It’s a fantastic place for an easy-going day out which is both educational and fun for all the family too.

Why your dog will love it: The shipyard and cafe are good places for your hound to hang out and enjoy watching the world go by.

Good to know: The shipyard is closed for most of the winter. Check the website for opening days.

Stay nearby: Anchor Light Cottage | sleeps 3 dogs + 6 humans 

The best dog-friendly day out for iconic landscapes

White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover are a dog-friendly attraction with miles of walks and elevated views across the English Channel; they are as emblematic of Great Britain as Big Ben or the Tower of London. We think they make a wonderful place for a day out in Kent with your dog. 

On clear days you can see the north coast of France. Pick a bench and watch the ferries make their way across the waters, it’s very peaceful. Take the Saxon Shore Way that traces the edge of the land and look out for traces of military defence remnants that dot the landscape. The White Cliffs of Dover are ripe with photo opportunities to take pics of your dog sat on top of the world, so don’t forget your camera.

Why your dog will love it: The Saxon Shore Way offers miles and miles of trails for them to enjoy.

Good to know: Some of the site is grazed by cattle and Exmoor ponies. Please adhere to the signs and keep your pet on a lead.

Stay nearby: Rockmount | sleeps 2 dogs + 5 humans 

The best dog-friendly day out for exploring ancient ruins

Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre, Sandwich

The best dog-friendly day out for exploring ancient ruins Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre, Sandwich

Dogs can accompany you for a day of scampering about the ruins of this ancient castle near Sandwich. These days Sandwich is inland but at the time of the Romans, Sandwich lay at the coast. Richborough Roman Fort is thought to mark the spot where the Romans hit land during their invasion in AD43. The castle was continuously occupied by the Romans until they departed in 410AD. 

Today you can see the remains of the mansion, a monumental arch, a significant amphitheatre, walls and earthworks. The site is now open-air and the perfect place for a doggy day out.

Why your dog will love it: All dogs love being king or queen of the castle, don’t they?

Good to know: There is a picnic area at Richborough, so bring a snack with you to share with your pooch.

Stay nearby: Gore Cottage | sleeps 4 dogs + 4 humans

The best dog-friendly day out for unique nature reserves

Samphire Hoe, Dover

Samphire Hoe in Dover

Samphire Hoe was built on reclaimed land made from the excavations of the Channel Tunnel. Situated at the foot of the White Cliffs of Dover, this dog-friendly park is an engineering wonder as well as being a lovely natural space for rare plants, seabirds, butterflies, orchids, livestock and wildlife. There aren’t too many places along the Kent coast where you can marvel up close at the White Cliffs of Dover. 

Dogs are to be kept on leads to protect the plants and wildlife, but that shouldn’t restrict your enjoyment of the park. There is a network of pathways and even a sea wall to wayfare, as well as a tea kiosk to relax at with your four-legged friend after a good walk.

Why your dog will love it: For hounds of all ages and abilities, this is extremely dog-friendly for well-behaved pets.

Good to know: Samphire Hoe is both wheelchair and pushchair friendly.

Stay nearby: Liverpool Lawn House | sleeps 1 dog + 9 humans 

Stay at a self-catering holiday cottage in Kent

Choose a holiday home in Kent for you and your dog. We have a range of superb pet-friendly escapes in the South West for you and your loved ones. Click the button below to search our collection for your perfect dog-friendly holiday rental in 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.

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