Top 8 dog-friendly beaches in Kent

Coastal, Pet friendly, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Ed Roberts on 9th October 2020

Kent coastal dog walker

Kent is known as the Garden of England for its lush countryside and alluring coastline, and dogs love nothing better than having one big garden to play and relax in. With nearly 125 miles of fantastic coast to enjoy, we have sniffed out a handful of our favourite dog-friendly beaches in Kent. Give your dog the holiday of their lifetime by introducing them to a whole host of new beaches. Imagine your hound tearing along the shoreline or enjoying a simple game of fetch or frisbee; it’s pooch heaven! Well, come to Kent: it has some lovely, large scale beaches on which you and your four-legged chum can realise your holiday dreams.

Our guide features a varied collection of town and rural beaches for you and your dog to enjoy. We have picked beaches where year-round dog bans are unheard of yet one or two may enforce restrictions during the peak spring and summer periods.

Kent dog-friendly cottages


Greatstone Beach

Greatstone Beach is a lesser-known beach close to Romney Marsh, Dymchurch and Dungeness. When the tide rolls out, there are miles and miles of open sands to uncover together. Partially fringed by sand dunes and enjoying wide views across the bay to Folkestone in the north and Dungeness in the south, it’s a great choice for unfettered fun. Take a short walk inland to the Sound Mirrors, a WW2 relic once used to guard against coastal attacks. Dogs are also allowed aboard the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway, so take a narrow-gauge steam train down to Dungeness for fish and chips.  

Location information: WCs, shops, parking, pub. The beach can be accessed directly from the car park, or via pathways through the dunes. No lifeguard.

Dog restrictions: Dogs are banned on two sections of the beach between 1 May and 30 September each year. Both sections are clearly signposted. 

Stay nearby: Greycot | Sleeps: 5 guests plus 1 dog


Walmer

Walmer

Walmer is a village characterised by the presence of its 16th-century Walmer Castle; it was built for Henry VIII as part of Kent’s coastal defences. The beach is essentially a pebbly extension of Deal’s beach. Whereas Deal has restrictions, dogs are free to wander and play everywhere on this beach. The further south you venture towards Kingsdown, the quieter the beach becomes. See if you can see any masts of the shipwrecks on the Goodwin Sands; on a clear day it may be possible. There are no dog restrictions on Walmer Beach.

Location information: Parking, shop. The beach can be accessed from the roadside. No Lifeguard.

Dog restrictions: No

Stay nearby: Gore Cottage | Sleeps: 5 guests plus 4 dogs


The Isle of Grain, near Rochester

Close to the Kent town of Rochester is this cool, sand and shingle beach located on the confluence of the River Thames and the River Medway. Even though the Isle of Grain is found within 30 miles of Central London, this has the feel of somewhere far remoter. The beach is northwards-facing with vistas out over the Thames and the North Sea in the far distance. Also, look out for the Grain Tower Battery which strikes a cutting silhouette on the horizon at sunrise. There are lots of rough pathways hewn across the open fields that line the beach where you and your dog can play in peace. A pub and local shop can be found nearby in the village of Grain. There are no dog-restrictions on the Isle of Grain.

Location information: Unpaved tracks across the fields will take you down to the waterside. There are no facilities - please take all your rubbish and dog-waste away with you. No lifeguard.

Dog restrictions: No.

Stay nearby: Ascot | Sleeps: 2 guests plus 1 dog


west beach

West Beach, Whitstable

West Beach in Whitstable is a peaceful shingle beach where you can see windsurfers and small boats out on the water. Take heart in familiar seaside sights like rows of coloured beach huts, fishing boats, and seabirds on the wing. There’s a pleasant dog-friendly pub, The Neptune, at the beach if you fancy a drink after your walk. As the beach faces westwards, you can appreciate one of the finest coastal locations for catching the best sunsets in the county; the sun sets behind the majority of Kent’s other beaches. There are no dog restrictions on West Beach.

Local information: Parking, WCs, pubs, restaurants. Paved access and level pathways from the car park on to the beach. No lifeguard.

Dog restrictions: No.

Stay nearby: Arbour House | Sleeps: 4 guests plus 2 dogs


Fulsam Rock

Fulsam Rock Beach, Margate

Fulsam Rock Beach  is our pick for the top beach for old dogs and puppies as there is a nice, wide promenade. The tide comes all the way up to the walkway but at low tide, a sandy beach does present itself. The beach is nice and close to the heart of Margate and it is just below the very pleasant Winter Gardens and the Gina Malick Memorial Garden. There are no dog restrictions at Fulsam Rock.

Local information: Ramp and staircase access available. Parking. No lifeguard.

Dog restrictions: No.

Stay nearby: Seapoint | Sleeps: 5 guests plus 1 dog


Westbrook Beach

Westbrook Bay Beach, Margate

Westbrook Beach is further east and closer to the centre of Margate than Fulsam Rock. It’s a great choice for young families as it never gets as busy as the town beaches, plus there is a lifeguard service during the summer. There are rock pools along the sandy shore where you and your dog can enjoy a spot of exploration.  At Westbrook, you will find lots of shops and cafes, as well as deckchair hire. The beach has a designated water sports area for water skis too. There is a lifeguard service - visit the RNLI site for dates.

Local information: Deckchair hire, WCs, parking, cafes, shops, mini-golf. Ramp access and promenade access.

Dog restrictions: Dogs are banned on the central section of the beach between 1st May and 30th Sept from 10am to 6pm.  

Stay nearby: Sea Renity Cottage | Sleeps: 6 guests plus 1 dog


Shakespeare Beach

Shakespeare Beach, Dover

Now re-open to the public after the sea wall was destroyed in a winter storm back in 2015, Shakespeare Beach is a long shingle and pebble beach close to Dover Harbour. Backed by chalk cliffs and hemmed into the sea by the railway line, this beach is accessed by a walkway above the tracks. Shakespeare Beach is where those that are attempting to swim across the English Channel embark from. It’s a nice beach for those that wish to get away from it all, explore rock pools and watch the cruise liners leaving the nearby port. There are no dog restrictions at Shakespeare Beach.

Local information: Via a bridge across the railway, or 100 steps from the cliff tops above.There are no facilities - please take all your rubbish and dog waste away with you. No lifeguard.

Dog restrictions: No.

Stay nearby: Kings Cottage | Sleeps: 6 guests plus 1 dog


Dungeness

Dungeness

Dungeness is a superb choice for a walk with the dog as there is so much space, in fact, the whole place is a ‘kind’ of beach. Dungeness is the largest shingle bank in Europe and is also home to a bird reserve and nuclear power station. One of the most striking and unusual looking places in the county, you’ll discover lighthouses, fishing boats, a narrow-gauge steam railway, designer homes, fishing huts, Derek Jarman’s former home (Prospect Cottage), and two dog-friendly pubs that specialise in fish and chips! Look out for wild rabbits, so once you’re past the lighthouses, keep your dog on the lead - they are everywhere! There are no dog restrictions at Dungeness although estate owners are requested to keep pets at heel as the houses have no property boundaries.

Local information: The beach can be accessed via a boardwalk found near the Britannia Pub. Parking, pubs, café. Dogs are not allowed in the RSPB Dungeness reserve. No lifeguard.

Dog restrictions: No. Although pets need to be under strict control because of wildlife and the absence of physical property boundaries.

Stay nearby: Stonihoe | Sleeps: 4 guests plus 1 dog


Kent’s best beaches on a map


More inspiration

Discover the Kent Coast Path or walk along the promenades of some of England’s best-loved seaside resorts. Kent has so many beaches to discover, so whether you have an athletic bounder of a dog or a puppy, there’s a place for you and your pet. Find even more inspiration in one of our other Kent guides too.


Stay with us in Kent

Explore Kent with your dog by staying in one of our fantastic dog-friendly cottages. We have around 50 dog-friendly coastal properties in Kent to choose from, many of which are close to some of the UK's most famous beaches. Take a look at our full collection below to find your perfect pet-friendly accommodation in Kent.

Kent dog-friendly cottages



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.