The beautiful Kent countryside is a dog walker’s paradise, offering a range of popular routes along the coast, cliff tops and trails through ancient woodland.
Here are our top five local dog walks in Kent:
1. Dumpton Gap
The lovely Dumpton Gap beach is situated on the Kent coastline between the maritime towns of Ramsgate and Broadstairs.
Dogs are welcome on Dumpton Gap beach all year round, making it a popular coastal route for dog walkers. Best visited at low tide, Dumpton Gap is also perfect for families as it offers something for everyone – not just your pooch! When the tide is out, you can walk along the quiet sandy beach itself as you take in the seaside scenery with an ice cream in hand, while the children go crabbing in the many rock pools and the dogs happily explore the beach.
In the evening, it is a popular spot for walking the dogs along the beach or harbour wall from Dumpton Gap to Broadstairs.
It is possible to walk the whole 2.5 miles between Ramsgate and Broadstairs, via Dumpton Gap, should you wish to. This route will take you along surfaced paths, moderate slopes, and across the beach itself, so make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear!
Don’t forget to check the tide times, as at high tide the beach is covered by the sea. When the tide is in, you must follow the path along the sea defences, from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the blue sea. Be careful on windy days and make sure you are prepared with your waterproof jacket to avoid the splashes from the crashing waves.
2. Reculver Country Park, Herne Bay
Situated on the North Kent coast between Herne Bay and Margate is the wild and beautiful Reculver Country Park. Located in the shadows of the imposing Reculver Towers and its ruined roman fort, this extensive coastal park overlooks some of the clearest waters in the South East and is an ideal starting point for lovely cliff top and shoreline walks with the dogs.
At the eco-friendly visitor centre within the park you can pick up details for a recommended route through the park, or alternatively explore its 50 acres of open grassland, rugged cliffs and undeveloped coast for yourself, letting your furry friend lead the way!
The Park’s varied habitats attract an abundance of wildlife, including migratory birds, so there is plenty to see. But once you and the dogs have finished admiring the unique wildlife, old sea forts and pebbled shoreline, why not take a break and stop off for a bite to eat with the whole family, taking advantage of the park’s picnic facilities.
3. Riverside Country Park, Rainham
Your four-legged friend will love running around Riverside Country Park’s 250 acres of open space. This lovely nature reserve is situated alongside the Medway River Estuary and is very popular with dog walkers for its wide variety of different walks for you and your pooch to enjoy, many of which are flat and easy.
Riverside is a haven for wildlife with various habitats including open ponds, grassland, mudflats and salt marsh. Don’t let bad weather deter you from enjoying this country park, as some routes follow concrete paths so you can avoid the wet ground – although we say it’s more fun to put your wellies on and get muddy with the dog!
4. Pegwell Bay Country Park
For a bracing walk with the dogs, head to Pegwell Bay Country Park, home to Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve. This incredible reserve is a Ramsar Site of International Importance, and is renowned for incredible bird watching.
As the dogs explore the park’s trails and stunning views of the cliffs of Ramsgate and the historic towns of Sandwich and Deal, look out for wading birds in the mudflats and impressive birds of prey, such as Merlin, flying over the park.
A visit to Pegwell is a fun day out for the whole family, with the added bonus of a play area, picnic site and a café in the summer months, to keep the kids as well as the dogs amused.
5. King’s Wood, Challock, Kent
The ancient King’s Wood is one of the largest woodlands in Kent and was once a favoured hunting ground of King Henry VIII. Nowadays, it is popular with ramblers, hikers and dog walkers alike, and is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Both you and your canine friend will enjoy roaming the many walking routes through its 1,500 acres of forest, enjoying its diverse range of flora and fauna, including bluebells.
The woodland terrain is uneven and hilly at points, so make sure you are wearing appropriate walking shoes, and watch out that you don’t disturb the wildlife as deer, badgers, owls and foxes now call the forest their home.
Dog Walking Day
Explore Kent’s rural charm for yourself and meet fellow dog lovers on our very own Dog Walking Day in the stunning grounds of Kent’s historic Hever Castle this April.