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The Canine guide to Whitstable  holiday cottages

Towns and cities

The Canine guide to Whitstable

Kate W 13 November 2020

A classic seaside town, dog-friendly Whitstable is a true gem of the Kent coastline and a wonderful place for a holiday with your faithful friend. 

Although people often think of oyster bars and bucket ‘n’ spade holidays when considering this coastal retreat, Whitstable also hides a surprising wealth of beauty spots and historic spaces that you can uncover with your four-pawed pal. 

The outdoor delights of dog-friendly Whitstable make it a marvellous destination for pups and their humans to roam, with forest walks, marsh habitat, and a choice of wild west-facing beaches where you could watch the sunset at the end of each day.

Dog-friendly Whitstable

Get to know all the best places to go and things to do with your dog in Whitstable by reading through this guide full of useful ideas for your next break.

Or, if you are keen to go racing off to this fantastic seaside setting, browse our choice of cottages for dog-friendly holidays in Whitstable.

What have we got to get tails wagging?

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🐶 Top days out

🐾 Top walkies

🏖️ Top beaches

🍴 Top dining spots

🌿 Towns and cities

🏡 Top places to stay

Great dog-friendly days out in Whitstable

Mount Ephraim Gardens

Mount Ephraim Gardens

Best for a serene walk surrounded by nature: With over 800 acres of woodland, pasture and fruit farm to explore, you and your four-pawed friend can spend the entire day traversing this great privately owned estate. Let Fido race around the woodland, picking up sticks and digging through fallen leaves, for a fun-packed dog-friendly day out near Whitstable.

Ensure you begin your day at the glorious gardens where enchanting terraces, roses, orchards and a small lake can be found. Dogs are even welcome in The West Wing Tea Room where humans can dine on afternoon tea while the pup snoozes at your feet.

Why your dog will love it: It’s a great place for bounding through grassy verges and sniffing out the floral fragrances.

Oare Marshes Nature Reserve

Oare Marshes Nature Reserve

Best for wildlife-spotting on The Swale: For more outdoor adventures, visit the marvellous landscape of the Oare Marshes Nature Reserve where remote scenery interspersed with flitting warblers and soaring nighthawks offers a fantastic Kent dog-friendly day out for the whole pack.

It’s wheelchair-friendly too so ideal for an accessible day out with the dog by your side! See Highland and other cattle and horses grazing around the site, bird hides around the landscape where you can sit and watch the natural world pass you by, and circular walking trails to follow with your dog on a lead. The landscape itself is made up of a mix of wetland, mudflats, grassland, sea and reedbeds.

Why your dog will love it: Your faithful friend won’t know where to look! With birds overhead and scent trails crossing your path, this place will excite your pup with a host of intriguing sights and smells.

Whitstable Castle

Whitstable Castle

Best for a little history of the area: In the heart of this coastal town sits the fairy-tale turrets of Whitstable Castle. The perfect place for a relaxing walk or family-friendly day out, you could spend a lazy morning strolling around the attraction. Wander along the path to the grand water feature, sit outside for views of the area on warm days, or see the place lit up on a December walk around the grounds.

Originally built as a private home in the 1790s, this exquisite property passed into the ownership of the Whitstable Council in 1935, opening up to the public for the first time. It’s been the site of dances and concerts, and they still run special events so keep an eye on their calendar.

Why your dog will love it: Dogs on leads can wander the grounds beneath the imposing structure, sniffing out rabbits and sharing a picnic on the grass with their human companions.

Investigate these top dog walks around Whitstable

Blean Woods National Nature Reserve

Blean Woods National Nature Reserve

Best forest walk near Whitstable: This ancient woodland is an enchanting place for stretching your legs and encountering a wealth of local British wildlife.

It’s an RSPB reserve so you’re sure to see birdlife darting about between the trees; you might even glimpse the red crown of a woodpecker or hear the song of a nightingale while here, and there is often fungi to be found growing out of old wood around the forest floor.  

Why your dog will love it: There’ll be a host of trails to sniff out in this wildlife-rich woodland in Kent, and plenty of sticks for a game of fetch too.

Chestfield Walk

Chestfield Walk

Best countryside trail near Whitstable: If you fancy some time out from the excitement of the coast, head inland to the tranquil village of Chestfield and discover the idyllic Kent countryside. At 3.8 miles long, it’s a relatively short and easy ramble to follow, perfect for those days when you want to unwind, and will take you through the village's conservation area past mock Tudor-style properties.

You’ll stroll by the golf course, and the cricket and rugby grounds on your trails, and you might like to pop into The Chestfield Barn at the end of your walk, a thatched 14th-century pub that welcomes well-behaved dogs and their humans.

Why your dog will love it: If you have an old dog at your heels, they’ll have a lovely time on this gentle walking route and they’ll no doubt enjoy a brief nap in the pub afterwards too.

Whitstable to Herne Bay

Whitstable to Herne Bay

Best coastal walk in Whitstable: Endless horizons across the sea, craggy rocks and wide, flat beaches can all be encountered on this coastal walk from Whitstable to Herne Bay. There are a couple of nature reserves dotted along this route, the first being the grassy lands of Tankerton Slopes, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and popular picnic area being right on Whitstable Beach.

Next, you’ll come to Long Rock Nature Reserve and headland where you might be able to spot the remains of WW2 gun emplacements off the coast. You’ll pass Studd Hill Beach and Hampton Beach, before finally arriving at beautiful Herne Bay.

Why your dog will love it: There are many beaches and grassy places along the way your dog will love to explore and, although Herne Beach itself is not dog-friendly, there are cosy pubs that welcome canines and their human companions in Herne Bay.

Best dog-friendly beaches for you and your pup

Whitstable’s West Beach

Whitstable’s West Beach

Best for watching the sunset: Right by town, this is the ideal beach for daily dog walks if you’re staying in a cottage in Whitstable. At around 1 mile long, it isn’t the longest dog-friendly beach in Whitstable but it is one of the best with plenty of character and charm, and a host of amenities nearby. Wooden groynes divide up the shingle shoreline, while fishing boats are sat along the beach waiting to head out on the sea, and beach huts add vibrant colour to this wonderful coastal spot.

It’s popular for windsurfing and sailing, although you may rather just enjoy a picnic and watch the sun go down on this west-facing beach.

Why your dog will love it: At this Whitstable beach, dogs are allowed to run free all year so your pampered pup will feel very welcome at this delightful seaside spot.

Seasalter Beach

Seasalter Beach

Best for peace and quiet: Just next to Whitstable West Beach you’ll find this beautiful shingle beach, set right on the mouth of the River Swale. The wonderful Seasalter town sits behind and spills along the shore, where stylish windswept beach houses line the coast. Again, water sports are a big draw to this section, with a sailing club, water ski club and a slipway to the west.

Flat sand and a peaceful atmosphere create a sense of ‘remoteness’, making this dog-friendly beach near Whitstable a perfect place to get away from it all during your holiday.

Why your dog will love it: Your pup will have a grand time splashing through the sea, digging in the sand, and meeting other dogs and their owners.

Hampton Pier - West Beach (Stud Hill)

Hampton Pier - West Beach (Stud Hill)

Best for picnics and games of fetch: On the edge of the small seaside settlement of Hampton-on-Sea, Hampton Pier offers up views of the Thames Estuary and a host of places to eat and shop nearby. Best of all, it’s backed by a long promenade and grassy parkland, providing further open space to run and play with your faithful friend during your great day out to the beach.  

Why your dog will love it: This dog-friendly beach near Whitstable will be a real draw to your canine companion; with a choice of shingle or parkland to traverse, it’ll be non-stop exploration on your beach adventure.

Dog-friendly pubs, restaurants and cafes for evenings out

The Old Neptune

The Old Neptune

Best for beachfront dining: This cosy, traditional pub can be found on Whitstable West Beach, meaning you could catch the sunset over the sea while dining at this welcoming eatery. Head to this dog-friendly pub in Whitstable and mouths will begin to water at the array of classic pub grub on the menu.

Tuck into pie and mash, a burger or fish and chips, all hearty British food best enjoyed in a lively pub atmosphere, or get a takeaway and sit down on the shore. The Old Neptune even has live music so why not stop by for dinner while one of the local bands play?

Why your dog will love it: A walk on the beach before or after dinner will be the cherry on the cake of an evening out for your four-pawed pup.

Birdies

Birdies Whitstable

Best for trying the locally caught seafood: This super-friendly and stylish eatery is an excellent choice of dog-friendly restaurant in Whitstable. It has a wide range of seafood on their menu for you to try – go for the oysters, lobster or hake during your dining experience with Birdies.

You can sit inside or out in the front garden with your dog and soak up the beautiful coastal surroundings during your meal.

Why your dog will love it: Your faithful friend will no doubt go crazy over the tasty smells wafting from the kitchen and will be thrilled to find a couple of titbits left in their bowl.  

The Umbrella Café

The Umbrella Café

Best for community spirit and baked goodies: Head to The Umbrella Café to be part of their community and savour the sweet and sugary cakes and locally brewed coffee. They’re a not-for-profit community café and exist to reduce ‘social isolation, food poverty and food waste in [their] local area’. It’s a fully accessible café with a cosy indoor space and wonderful community garden where you could sit out on a warm day.

Our four-pawed friends are very welcome at this dog-friendly cafe in Whitstable. Foodie favourites at this café include freshly-baked huffkins, the classic grilled cheese with Kent Chilli Farm jam, and a great selection of vegan options – they even make their own vegan butter!  

Why your dog will love it: The Umbrella Café is a social space so chances are your pup might get a bit of fuss while at this dog-friendly place to eat in Whitstable, and the community garden is just the spot for tired dogs to laze about on warm days.

Towns and villages near Whitstable to visit

Faversham

Faversham

Best for soaking up the country air: Wander the streets of this delightful market town before venturing into the exquisite outdoor spaces all around. One of the best places to visit in Faversham has to be the Oare Gunpowder Works Country Park, a hidden gem and serene parkland where you can walk past the series of old gunpowder buildings and canals while looking out for the local wildlife.

The scenic Oare Marshes Nature Reserve is just out of Faversham and, when you’re done walking with your dog, this town has lots of welcoming country pubs to stop by to rest weary legs and paws, and refuel with a hearty meal.

Why dogs will love it: Anyone say walkies? Coastal walks, country walks, trails, rivers and wildlife to sniff out; it’s the ideal place for four paws to get moving.

Canterbury

Canterbury

Best for culture and history: A pilgrimage site for over 800 years, since the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170, Canterbury is of religious and historical significance with many architecturally beautiful buildings and ruins for you to admire as you explore the city streets.

A few of the best ways to take in dog-friendly Canterbury is with a boat ride with Canterbury Historic River Tours, a visit to the ruins of Canterbury Castle, or a stroll alongside the ancient Roman Canterbury city walls.

Why your dog will love it: History-loving hounds will have a great time investigating the ancient places around Canterbury.

Margate

Margate

Best for traditional seaside fun: This coastal town offers fantastic family beaches and attractions that you and your faithful friend can both enjoy, and the surrounding coastline is perfect for dog adventurers too.

Enter the magical, mysterious, shell-lined tunnel known as Shell Grotto in Margate with your dog by your side, see the towering chalk cliffs and stacks of Dumpton Gap and Kingsgate Bay in Broadstairs, and enjoy a stroll and take in views from Princes Walk park.

Why your dog will love it: With beautiful beaches and coastline to traverse, sights to see, and pet-friendly attractions, it’s a lovely place to visit with your dog.  

Pet-friendly holiday cottages for your next retreat

Saltway House, Whitstable | sleeps 2 dogs and 7 humans

Saltway House, Whitstable | sleeps 2 dogs and 7 humans

Best cottage retreat for a big family: This contemporary property has plenty of space for a big family or group of friends to escape on a dog-friendly getaway to Whitstable. Modern design has created a warm and welcoming space for every generation to relax and unwind on your break.

There is children’s play equipment in the triple bedroom and garden play equipment too. There are also board games so everyone can gather around the dining room table for a family games night.

Why your dog will love it: The charming, enclosed garden, complete with grassy area, offers a wonderful space for pups to potter around each morning.


Sunset Beach House, Whitstable | sleeps 2 and 4 dogs

Sunset Beach House, Whitstable | sleeps 2 and 4 dogs

Best for a beachfront break for coastal getaways: Set on Seasalter Beach, this coastal property is the ideal place for beach bums – dog and human alike! Incredible floor-to-ceiling windows with French doors ensure you have an unbeatable view of the sea any time of day or night, and you can step out of your door and straight onto the beach whenever you need a hit of fresh sea air.  

Colourful furnishings, a skylight and whitewashed walls ensure this beach house remains bright and fresh. When evening falls, sit out on the terrace and delightful front garden to watch the sunset from this west-facing beach.

Why your dog will love it: Dogs can jump out of their bed and scamper free across the sand each morning, or enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea before evening’s cosying up in front of the wood burner.


Arbour House, Whitstable | sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans

Arbour House, Whitstable | sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans

Best stylish townhouse for a seaside retreat: Exuding style and comfort, this impressive getaway is a sumptuous choice for a small family or two couples to retreat for a break in Whitstable. It’s in the centre of town with easy access to the harbour, beaches and local pubs, and it has a quaint patio space where you can enjoy a BBQ evening together under the stars.

Navy and charcoal furnishings, alongside colourful artwork, create an effortless beauty and show just how much work has gone into finishing this property to a high standard.

Why your dog will love it: With underfloor heating and an open fire, your dog can dry their paws and fur and will soon be snug as a bug in this cosy cottage after exhausting days full of seaside escape.


Ready for an adventure to the south coast of England? 

For more dog-friendly days out and things to do, enjoy perusing our Canine guide to Kent and you can explore the beautiful region best known as the ‘Garden of England’.

Take a look through our holiday cottages in Whitstable to begin planning your next tail-wagging getaway.


 

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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