Dog friendly beaches in Kent are not a dime a dozen but it’s quality over quantity here with a diverse coastline that often has the White Cliffs of Dover as a backdrop to shorelines of pebble, shingle and sand. Get yourself a map, ice cream and the right information and you really are spoilt for choice. Before you go exploring, make sure to take in our beach guide below
In Kent, dog friendly beaches provide wide-open spaces for your pooch to run around in, and rock pools teeming with marine life for them to explore. You might have tried dog-friendly beaches near Kent, such as East Sussex’s Camber Sands and Brighton Beach, but if you are holidaying here you won’t have to cross any county lines for you and Fido to get your fresh North Sea air fix.
Countryside dog walks in Kent for you and your four-legged friend can often coincide with a coastal caper as very often fields abut some beaches and there’s even a formal garden and ponds near St Margaret’s Bay, plus there are some amazing views to be seen in the south-east. There is a wide range of dog friendly cottages in Kent too, especially along the coastline, so there is no excuse to keep your visit down to a day trip.
When are dogs allowed on beaches in Kent?
You will be surprised just how many Kent dog friendly beaches allow pets all year round and the walk to them is generally easy on the paws and on the eyes with stunning views. There are some beautiful spots like Botany Bay near Broadstairs where pooches are permitted after 6 pm, which is understandable given the fact that it is so popular and becomes crowded at peak times.
Others such as Minster Leas near Sheerness don’t allow dogs during high season, which is between March and September, but its countless awards make it a desirable destination for dog owners in the off-peak season.
The Best Dog Friendly Beaches in Kent
Dumpton Bay, Broadstairs
Don’t be put off by the name, it certainly hasn’t kept other dog owners away from this sandy bay near Dumpton Gap that stretches nearly 500ft and is backed by a promenade that reaches as far as Louisa Bay. Walking in the opposite direction will find you in Ramsgate. Check the tide tables though because at high tide the beach almost disappears.
There are no rules and regulations for Rover to adhere to, other than respecting other canines and making sure his mum or dad brings poop bags to keep the beach clean. There are cafes and toilets nearby, and you can rent a beach hut too.
Despite the lack of restrictions at this dog friendly beach, remember that there are no lifeguards on duty here. No matter where you look for the best dog friendly beaches Kent has to offer, safety is a must. Keep your pets on a lead down here if you wish, but your dog will have lots of room to run around in, too.
- Seasonal Restrictions: No
- Lifeguards: No
- Address: Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs, CT10 1TD
- Facilities Nearby: Public toilets, café, and beach huts
Louisa Bay, Broadstairs
Elsewhere in Broadstairs is the beautiful Louisa Bay – a lovely name that gives way to lovely walks. This is a great little dog friendly beach that promises to be a nice trot for the whole family, as well as for your dog. However, it does again make sense to check your beach guide to make sure you and your dog are clear to land.
There’s no real dog ban here. Even though Lassie and Laddie need leads from 10 until 6 during peak season, this off-the-beaten-track beach is great for young families providing bouncy castles and seaside see-saws for the kids and a café right on the beach. What more could you possibly want? The dog restrictions here really won’t grind you down.
If your fur-baby and two-legged pups enjoy a spot of rock pooling then don’t forget to pack the bucket, spade, and net for them to spend hours collecting shells and discovering starfish and crabs in the pools. If you are feeling energetic take the half-hour walk to Dumpton Bay.
- Seasonal Restrictions: Dogs on leads from May 1st to September 30th
- Lifeguards: No
- Postcode: Louisa Bay, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 1QE
- Facilities Nearby: Promenade, beach café, disabled access and huts for hire
Hythe Beach, Romney Marsh
Fancy taking your dog somewhere bright and breezy? Beyond the likes of Kingsgate Bay and Shakespeare Beach elsewhere in Kent is the glorious Hythe Beach, ideal for all kinds of pup-friendly adventures.
Midway between Dymchurch and Folkstone this haven for windsurfing and sailing is Marine Conservation Society recommended. It has a pebbled beach that slopes steeply to the sea so make sure your salty seadog hasn’t lost his nerve when it comes to rapidly advancing waves.
It is great for fishing too, so if you are in the mood for some coastal angling then this is the place to be. It is rarely busy off-peak and there is plenty of parking spots along the promenade. For your pooch princess who prefers a sedate stroll, then there the wide esplanade has ice cream and food stands and benches for regular breaks.
Great for dog walkers looking for somewhere other than the seaside towns at Margate and elsewhere for a traditional seaside stroll. Check the dog restrictions before you visit and you’ll be well away with your pets.
- Seasonal Restrictions: No dogs between May 1st to September 30th.
- Lifeguards: No
- Postcode: Hythe Beach, Romney Marsh, Kent CT21 6DE
- Facilities Nearby: Promenade, dog-friendly pubs and sandwich bars
Isle of Grain Beach, Grain
Grain by name, grain by nature, why not head down the coast to somewhere a little calmer? If the idea of walking somewhere blissful like Warren Country Park or the Kent Downs appeals to you, then this Grain beach will give you a superb sandy alternative.
If you and your four-legged companion are crowd-shy and want to enjoy a breath of sea air without too much sharing, then this dog friendly beach in Kent is for you and your bestie. It is situated at the Watersmeet of the Medway and Thames, down the coast from Allhallows Beach. Its remote feel belies the fact that it is only 30 miles from the Big Smoke.
It is a shingle beach without lifeguards and here your pooch will have carte blanch even on the walkway above and the fields beyond that are crisscrossed with pathways. Just five minutes along a lane and you are in the village where you’ll find one of the most dog-friendly pubs in Kent and a café to refuel and refresh.
- Seasonal Restrictions: None
- Lifeguards: No
- Postcode: Isle of Grain Beach, Grain, Kent ME3 0BJ
- Facilities Near By: Parking, dog-friendly pub and shop
Palm Bay Beach, Margate
Palm Bay is one of the most popular beaches down near seaside town scenes such as Margate, and it’s not hard to see why. A great alternative to some of the quieter stretches of sand elsewhere, the walks along the coast here are wild, woolly, and always fun to behold.
If your canine likes company then this sandy beach is for her. Close to bustling Margate (one of the most famous towns in the area), it has been rated the best beach for dogs in the area, so you and your waggy tail will never walk alone here. Despite this flurry of four-legged activity, it isn’t as busy as nearby Walpole and Botany.
There is always some activity as it is a popular spot for jet skis and the eastern end is the base for Margate’s Water-Skiing Club. There is on-street parking above the beach which is accessed through a pathway through the cliffs. Once you are here can enjoy the wide stretch of sand, even at highest tide.
The best part is the fact that there are no dog restrictions in place here, meaning you can take your dogs for walks along the coast whenever you like. Check out other dog friendly walks in Kent, too.
Seasonal Restrictions: No
Address: CT9 3GH
Facilities nearby: On-street parking, water-skiing club
Providing you don’t mind keeping your dogs on close reins, there are scores of lovely sights to see along the walks at Samphire Hoe, which really puts Kent on the map as far as flora and fauna are concerned. Take your dog for walks here all year round, but as with other places in our list, make sure you pay attention to the rules.
Your waggy tail will have to just woof and wear it along this seaside folly where it’s strictly dogs on leads at all times. Having said that it is worth visiting this manmade shingle beach that came about in the 80s and 90s with the use of five million cubic metres of soil from the Channel Tunnel excavations.
It is now a multi-use nature reserve and its situation beneath the white chalk Cliffs of Dover make it great for birdwatching. It is mostly shingle and pebbles but it becomes quite rocky as the tide recedes. In ideal conditions, it has loads of rock pools to explore. It is not advisable to take a dip here as the tides can be quite turbulent.
- Seasonal Restrictions: Dogs on leads, opens at 7am to sunset
- Lifeguard Service: Yes
- Address: Samphire Hoe, Samphire Road, Dover, Kent CT17 9FL
- Facilities nearby: Wheelchair-friendly, toilets, café and paid parking lot.
St Margaret’s Bay, Cliffe
If you’re heading down to the towns and seaside stretches of Kent during off-season, then St Margaret’s Bay is sure to be the perfect pick for you and your pup. A sandy home away from home for anyone who loves to look out across the water, it’s one of the more impressive dog friendly beaches Kent has to offer right.
The drive down might be a tad precarious, steep and narrow with blind corners but once you and your pup have made it to the car park you will happy you made the effort. There are plenty of rock pools waiting for Rover to explore and space for a bit of shoreline scampering on a long lead.
On a clear day, you can see 18 miles across the English Channel to France. Near the beach, there is the St Margaret’s Museum that offers a wonderful display of wildlife and local history. Pine Gardens is in walking distance too where you can take your pup around the six acres that include ponds, a waterfall, and an organic kitchen garden.
- Seasonal Restrictions: Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 1 May to 30 September from 9am to 8pm between the southwest end of the slipway to Ness Point.
- Lifeguard Service: No
- Address: St Margaret’s Bay, Cliffe, Kent CT15 6DX
- Facilities nearby: parking and promenade
Looking for more than just dog friendly beaches in Kent? You should check out our guide to top dog pubs in Kent, too. All that wandering up and down the beaches is sure to work up a thirst!
As mentioned, there are beaches upon beaches out here in Kent, meaning it’s absolutely in your best interests to keep exploring. Far be it from us to dictate to you which beaches you should have to visit! Just make sure the beaches you do visit are welcoming to dogs when you wish to take a closer look. That goes for Joss Bay, West Beach (Whitstable), Walmer Beach, and anywhere around Margate.
Areas such as Dungeness and Whitstable West Beach give you amazing views, meaning you can walk your way around the Kent coastal map enjoying everything from rockpools to seeing fishing boats coming in and out. Some of the best dog friendly beaches have plenty of sea caves for you to explore, too. These are just a few of the terrific dog days out in Kent, and you can see our detailed guide for more great ideas.
Days out in the area simply wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of the top dog friendly beaches in Kent – great for keeping your little tyke energised and begging for more. Before you go, check out what part of the coastline is going to be best suited to you and your pup, book your dog-friendly cottage, pack up and begin your journey to a holiday to remember.
Keep in mind that our beach guide here is only the start. We’ve hunted down dog ban information on some of the top beaches in the area, and do make sure to explore wonderful areas such as Herne Bay and Tankerton Beach for more coastal fun with your dogs.