A Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Whitstable, Kent

A Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Whitstable, Kent

Famous for its oysters, pebble beaches, and secret alleyways, Whitstable is a quintessential seaside town—and one of the prettiest on the Kent coast. It's just over an hour's train ride from London, making it an easy choice for a dog-friendly day trip.

Multi-coloured beach hunts lead the way from the beach into the town, where fishing boats bob in the water surrounded by seafood stalls and oyster catches lining the harbour. It's a delightful place, especially when the sun is shining.

This charming fishing town has it all, from incredible sea views and expansive beaches to independent shops with sustainable crafts. It's the perfect location for a long-weekend break, not least because it's one of the most dog-friendly towns in Kent.

A Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Whitstable, Kent

What to Do in Whitstable, Kent

Stroll Along the Harbour

Whitstable Harbour is a real joy to stroll along. It's a popular spot that gets incredibly busy, particularly during the height of summer. It's worth it to enjoy the sights and sounds of a working harbour. Ropes, buoys, lobster pots and oyster shells are strewn all along the paths, overlooked by the traditional black fisherman huts towering above.

If your dog is a fan of seafood—as mine is—treat them to a fresh catch from one of the many stalls. Whelks, cockles, and oysters are all safe for dogs to eat, as is fish, lobster, and crab.

Visit Whitstable Castle and Gardens

The walk up to Whitstable Castle and Gardens from the harbour takes less than half an hour and provides some of the best sea views in the area. The historic site is set on the top of a winding road, a mere 5 minutes walk from the beach.

The dog-friendly gardens are beautifully kept and well cared for. There's a small tea room, garden shop, and plenty of cute photo opportunities! From here, it's easy to join a coastal trail or head back into town.

Walk Along the Clifftops

There are numerous routes you can take in and around Whitstable. The Tankerton Slopes lead onto the Crab and Winkle Way. This 7.6-mile cycle route between Canterbury and Whitstable harbour passes through the ancient woodland of Blean Woods.

If you want to travel even further afield, head to the Reculver Towers. These are the ruins of a 12th century church, which overlooks a quiet shingle beach that joins up with the Viking Coastal Trail. It's a great trail perfect for dog-walking.

A Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Whitstable, Kent

Head Down to the Beach

While some might be disappointed to discover Whitstable's pebble beaches, others will rejoice at the lack of sand working its way into, well, everywhere! It's one of the most dog-friendly beaches in Kent due to its unrestricted access.

The beaches in Whitstable are a mix of sand and pebbles, divided up by wooden groynes with rock pools and a promenade. Dogs are free to run off leash with no restrictions, whatever the time of year.

Explore the Local Woods

Just a few miles outside of Whitstable is the ancient woodland of Blean Woods. It's a popular destination for nature lovers who come to explore the many trails and unique wildlife. The woods are home to a herd of bison, ponies, long horn cattle, and iron age pigs.

There are several walking and cycling trails, ranging from short, easy walks to longer, more challenging routes. The location is ideal for dog walking and a quiet oasis away from the busy harbour and town.

A Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Whitstable, Kent

Where to Eat in Whitstable, Kent

Being one of the most dog-friendly towns on the Kent coast, Whitstable isn't short on places to eat. What might be a little tricker is finding somewhere with vegan options on the menu as the town is famous for its seafood.

There are a few dog-friendly places serving vegan dishes so you won't go hungry in Whitstable! Just don't expect too much from the menus.. My recommendations include Harbour Street Tapas and Farm & Harper.

A Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Whitstable, Kent

Where to Drink in Whitstable, Kent

Whitstable is a lot more traditional than other seaside towns in Thanet. Unlike Margate where modern taprooms and cocktail bars are easy to find; the bars here are almost all exclusively traditional English pubs. But some of them are lovely and most are dog-friendly.

The Old Neptune sits right on the water's edge with plenty of space outside to enjoy a drink in good weather. It's a popular spot and a great place to let dogs off their leash. If it gets too busy—and it will!—head around the corner to Smack Inn or The Twelve Taps.

A Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Whitstable, Kent

Where to Shop in Whitstable, Kent

Harbour Street is full independent shops with pretty shop fronts. It's a good place to start if you want to do a little souvenir shopping. Browse colourful homewares, vintage-inspired clothing, sustainable gifts, and local artwork by local makers.

Whether your companion is let in or not depends on the shop and dog in question. Ask at the door and don't feel too put out if you're not allowed in—window shopping can be just as fun!

Photographs by Jack Spicer Adams.

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A Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Whitstable, Kent A Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Whitstable, Kent