It will come as no surprise that the ‘Garden of England’ provides a great holiday destination for dog owners with over 4000 miles of wonderful walks to enjoy with your four legged friend. Fantastic sandy beaches, wide open skies, dramatic coastal paths, marshes teeming with wildlife and historic towns and pretty villages just waiting to be explored.
Kent also has a great selection of attractions to visit and just because you’re taking your dog on holiday, there’s no need to miss out. Whilst some do not allow dogs, there are plenty that do so we have put together a list of some of Kent’s top dog-friendly attractions to help you plan your holiday.
- The Historic Dockyard – As a Winner of the ‘Best Large Tourist Attraction in the South East’ award, The Historic Dockyard in Chatham is popular with tourists of all ages. Sitting on a huge 80 acre site, visitors are able to explore the most complete working dockyard in the world, providing a wonderful insight into our maritime heritage (costume guided tours are highly recommended). It’s an exciting journey of discovery with fascinating buildings, warships and museum galleries to explore. Dogs are welcome to enjoy this great day out with you but must be kept on a lead and are restricted from the galleries (you may need to take it in turns when viewing these!). Allow yourself a full day at the dockyard as there are so many fascinating things to see and do from learning about rope making to walking in the footsteps of famous actors as you try to spot the buildings used in the film sets of Les Miserables, Call The Midwife and Sherlock Holmes to name just a few.
- Hever Castle – a great day out for romantics and lovers of fine houses and gardens. As the former home of Anne Boleyn, one of England’s most famous queens, this beautiful double moated castle welcomes dogs on lead within its grounds including the magical Rose, Tudor and Italian Gardens. There are also lovely lakeside walks to enjoy or why not hire a rowing boat and take in the beautiful setting of Hever Castle from the waters edge (dogs are normally allowed on boats). For those who want to explore the splendours of the castle itself, there is a place where dogs can be left in the castle courtyard (overlooked by castle stewards). The cafe and restaurants both also have posts where you can tie your dog should you want to enjoy refreshments inside (or alternatively there are facilities to eat outside with your dog on a sunny day).
- Kent and East Sussex Railway – Everyone likes to relax on holiday, even your dog! Why not sit back with your dog and explore the Kent and Sussex countryside on the country’s most wonderful light railway. This nostalgic trip starts from the Cinque Port town of Tenterden and allows you to travel back in time as it winds its way through the unspoilt picturesque Rother Valley, with the sight of spectacular Bodiam Castle greeting you at the other end. Dogs are welcome into the grounds of Bodiam Castle and there are places to tether your dog outside the ticket office should you want to explore the castle itself.
- A City Tour of Canterbury – As one of the country’s oldest cities, Canterbury is a must to visit and the hustle and bustle of city life shouldn’t put you off visiting with your dog. Enjoy Canterbury from a more sedate aspect and book a river trip to explore the cities magical sights. Punting is such a relaxed way of travelling around the city’s waterways and there are a number of different guided tours you can book yourself on (dogs go free!) whether you are looking for a romantic cruise, a scary affair or even an activity for a rainy day (canopy provided), the Canterbury Punting Company provides a fun way for you and your dog to enjoy some city life without the crowds or stress!
- Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest – Located in Goudhurst, Bedgebury Pinetum is home to the world’s most impressive collection of conifers and offers plenty of activities for a full day of fun for all ages. A great place for outdoor enthusiasts, you can enjoy walking, cycling and even a tree top adventure for the younger ones at Go Ape. Dogs are welcome to enjoy the forest walks with plenty of space for them to enjoy some off-lead exercise but they must be kept on lead in the Pinetum and also when near the children’s play area.
We hope we have provided you with some great days out to enjoy with your dog when you next visit Kent. Hopefully we can also help you find the right accommodation. Self-catering is such a good choice for dog owners with plenty of space to relax and unwind at the end of an exciting day exploring the area and we have a great selection of dog-friendly cottages to choose from with many both inland and around the coastline of Kent.