Kingsgate Bay

Kingsgate Bay | Dog-Friendly Beaches Kingsgate Bay | Dog-Friendly Beaches

From wide expanses of sand with seaside amusements to tiny bays with hidden coves and rock pools, there are over 50 beaches in Kent. Every time I visit I discover a new bay that's even better than the last. On this trip I found Kingsgate Bay, a real gem of a beach that's an absolute must-visit—especially if you have a dog.

Kingsgate Bay is a charming little spot nestled between Joss Bay and Botany Bay, two very popular beaches in this area. It's one of the best stretches of coastline in Kent that is well known for its sea caves and rock formations, which are some of the best in the country.

This sheltered sandy cove has a small yet beautiful beach with golden sands and crystal clear water—once you get passed the seaweed! The bay is flanked by dramatic chalk cliffs and overlooking the southern end of the beach is the magnificent Kingsgate Castle.

Kingsgate Bay | Dog-Friendly Beaches

I visited Kingsgate Bay during the height of summer. I spent the day exploring the rock pools and sea caves, swimming in the warm sea water, and playing on the beach with my dog. It was the perfect spot to relax as it was much quieter than other beaches in the area.

When I swam out into the sea and looked back at the shore, I realised just how captivatingly beautiful Kingsgate Bay is. On one side, the magnificent castle towered above from atop the cliffs, casting its shadow down onto the beach. While on the other side, natural rock formations rise out of the water like towers.

Kingsgate Bay | Dog-Friendly Beaches Kingsgate Bay | Dog-Friendly Beaches

There's a reason why Kingsgate Bay isn't as popular as the neighbouring beaches. There is no lifeguard service or facilities, and the beach itself gets cut off on both sides during high tide. It's possible to make it back up the cliffs but the route is via a steep staircase. But if you want to make it back along the sands in time, make sure to pay attention to the tide.

The closest car park is at the Captain Digby pub. Its location makes it a tempting spot to park—until you see the price!—as it provides immediate access to Kingsgate Bay. My recommendation is to park at the much cheaper Joss Bay car park and walk along the sands to get to Kingsgate.

Kingsgate Bay is a dog-friendly beach all year round but Joss Bay isn't. So long as you don't hang about on the sands, it shouldn't be an issue for you to walk with your companion from one bay to the other. There were a few of us making this trip on my last visit and nobody said a word about the dog's being on the beach.

Photographs by Jack Spicer Adams.