Your Dog is Welcome in Dog Friendly Kent!

dog friendly kent canterburyDog friendly Kent.

Looking for the legendary dog friendly Kent?  Did you know that Yorke Lodge welcomes dogs? And dog friendly hotels UK don’t come much friendlier than Yorke Lodge. So if you’re looking for dog friendly holidays in Kent look no further!  You’ll find your “best friend” doesn’t have to miss out! Dogs like gardens. And what better garden for your dog to unwind in than the actual Garden of England! 

There are loads of places for dog walks in Kent. Plus plenty of watering holes. These can be found at the start, the middle and the end of almost every walk! And all those mentioned below welcome dogs. Oh, and their owners too!

There are long walks, shorter walks, historic walks and even a ghost walk. There are gardens, woodlands, beaches and orchards. All just waiting for you and your four legged friend to sniff out and explore! So what’s stopping you? Walkies!

What follows is a list of dog friendly places to visit in Kent. None is more than a 30 minute drive from Yorke Lodge. Depending on traffic of course. But we’ll start this look at dog friendly Kent with dog-friendly Canterbury.

Dog friendly Canterbury

Dane John Gardens, Watling Street CT1 1YN 

22 minute walk from Yorke Lodge

Dane John Gardens are within the city walls. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead. There is a lovely walk shaded by lime trees. Also a bandstand, fountain and sundial. Great for a good sniff! While you can enjoy spectacular views of the city from the 1st Century burial mound. There is also a tearoom here.

Further information at www.canterbury.co.uk 

Westgate Parks Comprising Westgate Gardens, Tannery Field, Bingley Island and Toddler’s Cove

10 minute walk from Yorke Lodge

Dogs are allowed into all these gardens but “must be kept under control at all times”.  There is a river walk in Westgate Gardens. A sculpture of a bull in Tannery Field marks the site of the old tannery. While Bingley Island is a haven for wildlife and is also a nature reserve. At Toddler’s Cove there is a play area for children. So there’s a great deal to see and do on this walk. It may get quite crowded though with everything that’s going on!

For more information visit www.westgateparks.co.uk

St Augustine’s Abbey, Longport CT1 1PF – 01227 767345

28 minute walk from Yorke Lodge (but it’s worth it!)

For a more historic dog walk there’s the site of St Augustine’s Abbey. Together with Canterbury Cathedral these ruins form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins are dangerous with sheer drops so you shouldn’t climb on them. But feel free to explore them with due care and attention! There is a picnic area and a gift shop. As you would expect at such a special place dogs must be kept on a lead.

Further information is available at: English Heritage website

Canterbury Cathedral, 11 The Precincts, CT1 2EH

21 minute walk from Yorke Lodge

One of the most recognisable landmarks in England! Dogs are not allowed inside. But you and your furry friend, on the end of their lead, can soak up the atmosphere outside. Wander through the grounds and visit the various stalls on offer. There are also cafes for refreshments.

More information awaits you at www.canterbury-cathedral.org 

Canterbury Ghost Tour – meets outside Alberrys Wine Bar, St Margarets Street, CT1 2TY

19 minute walk from Yorke Lodge – Tel: 0845 519 0267

Conducted by “Kent’s Award Winning Ghosthunters”. These tours explore the historical hauntings of Canterbury. But they have a humorous twist too! Dogs are welcome to help sniff out the ghosts! Meets at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays as above. Or a private tour can be arranged.

Tour the website for full information: www.canterburyghosttour.com or call the number above.

The White Hart Inn, Worthgate Place, CT1 2QX – Tel:  01227 765091

20 minute walk from Yorke Lodge

This pub boasts the largest beer garden within the city walls. Relax here after a glorious walk through Hambrook Marshes along the River Stour. It’s the perfect place for a pint and a bowl of water! Dogs are naturally welcome.

Feel refreshed at www.whitehartcanterbury.co.uk

The Old Coach and Horses, Church Hill, Harbledown, CT2 9AB – Tel: 01227 766609

13 minute walk from York Lodge

So far we’ve mostly gone south from Yorke Lodge. Harbledown is to the north. This pub is opposite Kent’s oldest apple orchard. It’s a perfect place for dog walks with two large playing fields adjacent. It has a large garden with water bowls for dogs. But dogs are allowed in the bar. For full info go to: www.theoldcoachandhorses.co.uk You can also join the Crab and Winkle Line from here…

The Crab and Winkle Line – runs from Canterbury West to Whitstable

Canterbury West is a 12 minute walk from Yorke Lodge. The Crab and Winkle Line is approx 7 miles in length. Taking about 2 hours 15 minutes to walk.

The Crab and Winkle Line opened in 1830. It was the first regular passenger railway service ever! And only the third railway line to be built. Until then only goods had been moved by rail. It took people from Canterbury for a day out at the seaside. The line was closed in 1952.

Today the Crab and Winkle Line is Route 1 on the National Cycle Network. But it’s also popular with walkers and dog walkers. However, depending on how good your dog is with cyclists, you may need to keep them on a lead. Your dog, that is, not the cyclists! The line takes you through many areas of interest including Blean Woods. Dog friendly places to visit in Kent abound at both ends of the line!

For full information about the 11 square miles of woodland that include Blean Woods visit www.explorekent.org     

If you don’t fancy the walk back trains still run between Whitstable and Canterbury. Please check www.nationalrail.com for full information and train times.

Winkle out a leaflet about the Crab and Winkle Line from www.crabandwinkle.org.

And for more walks in the Canterbury area www.walkinginkent.co.uk is a good source. While www.explorekent.org has even more information for dog walkers.

Dog friendly Whitstable

And so we’ve arrived in Whitstable. But you don’t have to walk here! It’s about a 20 minute drive from Yorke Lodge. There’s a glorious dog friendly beach. And after a bracing walk loads of places to enjoy a snack and reviving cuppa! Or perhaps a meal with a tipple. And dogs don’t miss out either! Here’s just a couple of options, but many more are available:

The Old Neptune, Marine Terrace CT5 1EJ – Tel: 01227 272262

A weatherboarded building. The Old Neptune is right on the beach. There’s a barbecue every day in the summer. Perfect for dogs and their owners in all respects! Dive into www.neppy.co.uk for full details.

The Rock Lodge, 15-17 Oxford Street, CT5 1DB – Tel: 01227 770079

Just a short walk from the beach. But with a definite alpine twist! There’s a menu especially for dogs – and it’s free! But humans can eat here too, although they do have to pay! Visit www.therocklodge.co.uk

The Bears Trading Company, 134 Tankerton Road, Tankerton CT5 2AN – Tel: 01227 264950

20 minute drive from Yorke Lodge

A little further up the coast from Whitstable is Tankerton. And The Bears Trading company is a must in dog friendly Kent. There’s a tea room and ice cream parlour. Plus a gift shop with something for everyone! Tankerton is on the Saxon Shore Way.

For the bear facts check out www.thebearstradingcompany.co.uk

The Saxon Shore Way

The Saxon Shore Way is 160 miles long! It starts in Gravesend, in North West Kent. And runs all the way round the Kent coast to Hastings in East Sussex. But you’re not expected to walk the whole thing! Whitstable to Reculver via Tankerton and Herne Bay is nearly 8.8 miles. It takes 2 hours 51 minutes. With lots of dog friendly stopping places on the way! But it’s not for the faint hearted!

By definition the walk is along the sea shore. So it’s quite gentle for you and your dog. But you, or your dog, might only want to walk one way! So Whitstable to Herne Bay, or vice versa, is your best route. You can always get the train back! Please check www.nationalrail.com for full information and train times. Although if you get as far as Reculver there’s lots to see!

There are the remains of an important Roman Fort, built in 43AD. Also, the towers that you will already have seen from far away. These were built in the 12th Century and are all that remains of a ruined church. You can also stroll through Reculver Country Park. You might ponder on your stroll that Reculver was a mile inland when the Romans were here! There’s no train station at Reculver but busses run from Beltinge to Herne Bay and Whitstable. Search www.moovit.com for timetables.

For further details of the Saxon Shore Way visit www.explorekent.org and search Saxon Shore Way. Faversham is also on the Saxon Shore Way.

Dog friendly Faversham

Heading west from Yorke Lodge, Faversham is a 16 minute drive via the A2. A medieval market town with timbered houses Faversham has its very own creek! There are lots of dog friendly things to do in and around Faversham. Below is just a taste.

Faversham Two Creeks Walk

In the Middle Ages Faversham was a leading port. Today the boatyards are still busy and the walk takes you past moored boats. But the medieval bustle is no longer. Joining the Saxon Shore Way the walk follows the course of Faversham Creek. The adjacent marshland teems with wildlife and migrating wetland birds. The walk ends near the 850 year old Davington Priory.

For further details of this and other walks in Faversham go to www.faversham.org and search walks.

The Anchor Inn, 52 Abbey Street ME13 7PB – Tel: 01795 536471

The perfect place to drop in to after a good dog walk around the The Two Creeks. And it’s “very dog friendly” according to TripAdvisor! Abbey Street is a lovey tree lined street with delightful houses. So it’s worth a trip just to see these! Visit www.anchorfaversham.co.uk for more information.

Faversham Stone Chapel, London Road, ME13 8RX – Tel: 03703 331181

Run by English Heritage their website describes the Faversham Stone Chapel as follows. “… the only Christian building in England to incorporate within its fabric the remains of a 4th Century Romano-British pagan mausoleum”. So it is fascinating. There’s a short walk across a field to reach the chapel. The site is exposed so it’s advised to dress accordingly! Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a lead.

For full details visit www.english-heritage.org.uk

Mount Ephraim Gardens, Hern Hill, ME13 9TX – Tel: 01227 751496

Gorgeous gardens incorporating 9 acres of topiary, woodland, a lake and Japanese rock gardens. Fabulous views and walking paths for dogs on leads.  Full information can be dug up at www.mountephraimgardens.co.uk

Dog friendly Dover

30 minute drive from Yorke Lodge

We can’t leave dog friendly Kent. Or dog friendly places to visit in Kent without mentioning Dover. Half an hour might seem a long way to drive for a dog walk. But it’s a dog walk neither you nor your dog will forget! With the magnificent White Cliffs of Dover and Dover Castle perched high above the town. It’s the view that has welcomed visitors to Britain for centuries.

Dover Castle, Castle Hill CT16 1HU – Tel: 01304 211067

Dogs are not allowed in the castle. But you can stroll around the grounds before setting off for a cliff top dog walk. Parking is free and refreshments are available within the castle walls. Dogs must be kept on leads.

Check out the website for full details: www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/dover-castle

White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Centre, Langdon Cliffs, Upper Road CT16 1HJ – Tel:01304 202756

It is about a 37 minute walk from Dover Castle to Langdon Cliffs. And it’s on the Saxon Shore Way. This is a fabulous walk with stunning views across Dover Harbour. And on a clear day you can see France! When you get there the Visitor Centre has much to offer. From morning coffee to light lunches and cream teas the cafe has it all. There is also a National Trust gift shop as well as a picnic area.

Please note that this is a 5 minute drive from Dover Castle. There is a fee paying car park at the Centre should you choose to drive there. The following walk to South Foreland Lighthouse may tip the driving balance!

For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-white-cliffs-of-dover

South Foreland Lighthouse

This was the first lighthouse to use an electric light bulb! Now owned by the National Trust the lighthouse is no longer in service. But it’s a great place to visit! Although there’s no direct access. So it’s a 45 minute signed walk from the White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Centre. As you would expect there are breathtaking views. Wildflowers abound underfoot, while falcons circle in the sky above. There are lots of butterflies as well.

It’s one of the best dog walks in Kent. But dogs must be kept under control and in sight at all times. Between March 1st and July 31st, however, they must always be on a lead. This is because of the ground nesting birds. There are also sheep and ponies grazing in some places. Look out for the signs!

When you arrive at South Foreland Lighthouse there’s a treat in store! Mrs Knott’s 1950’s style tearoom. With everything from china cups and saucers. China teapots with boiling water poured over loose leaf tea. And tea strainers at the ready! Homemade cakes and fresh sandwiches! They’ve thought of everything to give you that vintage teatime experience!

Dogs can’t go inside but there are places outside where they can be tied up. There are also water bowls. And there’s a picnic area.

To find out much more and why the tearoom is called Mrs Knott’s investigate at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/south-foreland-lighthouse 

St Margaret’s Bay

30 minute drive from Yorke Lodge via A2

We’re throwing St Margaret’s Bay in for free! Largely because you might not fancy the 45 minute walk to South Foreland Lighthouse. Parking is available here and it’s only a 19 minute walk to the Lighthouse! Equally there’s the lovely St Margaret’s Bay itself. A shingle beach it has wonderful views of the cliffs and across the English Channel. A great place for a dog friendly picnic.

The Coastguard Pub and Restaurant, The Bay St Margaret’s Bay, Dover CT15 6DY – Tel: 01304 851109

Very dog friendly. The Coastguard has “fine fare and spectacular views”. It describes itself as “Britain’s nearest pub to France!” Et voila!

For details of car parks at St Margaret’s Bay go to www.dover.gov.uk 

So there you have it. Dog friendly Kent in a nutshell! That said this is only a taste of dog friendly holidays in Kent. There’s lots more dog friendly places to visit in Kent for you to discover! And we think you’ll agree dog friendly accommodation Kent doesn’t come much better than Yorke Lodge!

Don’t forget to clear up after your dog! Most marked walks, gardens and grounds have bins and bags available for this task. But do take some bags along just in case! Keep your dog on a lead where stated and always in sight and under control. Don’t leave your dog in the car – especially on a warm day. Remember to take some water with you if you’re visiting somewhere that doesn’t supply it. And please check the websites of where you’re going for up to date information.

Lecture over! Have a wonderful time with your dog in dog friendly Kent.

If you need any other ideas, ask Vicky or another member of the Yorke Lodge team.