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15 Captivating Dog Walks In Kent

15 Captivating Dog Walks In Kent
Dog Walks

Kent, also known as “The Garden of England”, is one of the most beautiful counties you can visit in the country. In fact, a huge 28% of the county is marked out as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Stretching from Greater London to the coast, it is also a region of unique variety, with landscapes ranging from the enchanting Kent Downs to expanses of ancient woodlands, and the dramatic white cliffs of Dover. This means whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find the paw-fect backdrop for your next dog walk.

In this article, we’ll be sharing 15 of the best dog walks available in Kent for you and your pup to enjoy. Dogs are welcome across a lot of the countryside and county, so there will be plenty of opp-paw-tunities for a great day out together.

Both you and your beloved pooch will love exploring and enjoying the countryside in Kent. The pair of you will benefit physically and mentally from exercising together, not to mention the beautiful surroundings you will admire.

As with any walk with your pup, remember to be respectful. Pick up after them, and make sure you keep them on a lead where appropriate. Keep them under control whenever you encounter livestock or children, as well as potential hazards such as rivers and roads. In addition, be aware of the Countryside Code and remember to “respect, protect, enjoy” the country. The code generally means to be aware of others and their own enjoyment of the countryside and to leave areas as you found them.

Countryside & Country Park Walks

Shorne Woods Country Park

Shorne Woods Country Park dog walk

This 292-acre country park has a lot to offer, from fairytale-like pools and glades to majestic ancient woodland and their award-winning eco visitor centre.

Be aware that dogs must be kept on a lead in certain areas, and that bins are only provided at the centre or on the orange walking trail. If your pup fancies more than a stroll, there’s also a pond where dog swimming is allowed. Ideal for some extra excitement and exercise for your furry friend.

  • Walk Length: 1km to 10km.
  • Difficulty: Easy to medium
  • Starting Point: Visitor centre
  • Terrain: Woodland, flat open parkland
  • Free Parking? No - £2-£3 charge.
  • Address: Brewers Road, Shorne, Kent, DA12 3HX

More information: Kent.gov

Selling & Surroundings

Selling & Surroundings dog walk

This longer walk nestled in the North Downs is a real tour of the English countryside. Along this circuit walk, you can enjoy views of the open country, orchards and working farms as well as quaint villages that look like they’ve been plucked straight from a picture book.

You can start from anywhere along the route, but we recommend beginning and ending your journey from The White Lion in Selling, which happens to be very dog-friendly. They offer towels for mucky paws and treats for your pup to enjoy while you treat yourself to a tipple.

There’s no need to worry about parking either, as there is plenty of space and the pub welcomes walkers to park there for their adventures into the country. You’ll also pass other pubs in the villages along this route should you and your pooch need a pit stop.

  • Walk Length: 14.75km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: White Lion, Selling
  • Terrain: Farmland, rural villages, bridleways, hills
  • Free Parking? Yes
  • Address: The Street, Selling, Faversham, Kent, ME13 9RQ

More information: Explore Kent, Dog Friendly

Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle dog walk

One of the many National Trust sites in Kent, Most of which are dog-friendly, Scotney Castle offers a more regal walk for you and your furry friend. Dogs aren’t allowed in the castle itself but are welcome in the shop, gardens and vast 780-acre estate. They are welcome in the covered outdoor seating at the tea-room should you and your pup feel peckish.

Water bowls are available at all facilities, and the reception team even have free poo-bags in case you’ve forgotten yours, so you can be sure your canine companion is catered for.

There are also two woodland areas, Nap Wood and Sprivers Wood where your dog can roam. Roadside parking is available there, but the addresses for these locations are different to that of Scotney Castle.

  • Walk Length: 14.75km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: Scotney Castle
  • Terrain: Gardens, flat open estate, woodland
  • Free Parking? No, £3 per day
  • Address: Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 8JB

More information: National Trust

Harvel Hike

Harvel Hike dog walk

Hike by name, and hike by nature! This walk has a few challenging slopes, but you’re rewarded with great views over the exquisite North Downs. The chalk grassland here is a hotspot for bluebells and butterflies in spring, which will no doubt delight your pup who might take an interest in the insects fluttering past.

During your walk, you will pass through the sleepy hamlet of Harvel. Harvel is itself a home for dogs and their lovers, with a greyhound rehoming centre tucked away in the tiny village, along with a village green and a pub. (Which, unsurprisingly, is also dog-friendly.)

  • Walk Length: 10.6km
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Starting Point: Trosley Country Park
  • Terrain: Grassland, steep slopes, steps
  • Free Parking? No, £1.50 to £2.50 per day
  • Address: Waterlow Road, Vigo, Kent, DA13 0SG

More information: Kent.gov, Explore Kent

Teston River Walk

Teston River Walk dog walk

The Teston River Walk is one of several stunning riverside walks available in Kent. The walk allows you to enjoy a waterside walk as well as a wander through the park and is focused around the rustic ragstone bridge which has existed since the end of the medieval period.

With amazing views of the gorgeous Medway Valley, this walk is also great for wildlife spotting and you may catch a flash of brilliant blue as your spot a Kingfisher streak up the river.

There is an alternative start to this walk in Wateringbury and the train station there. This means that this is a walk you can enjoy whether you drive or don’t.

  • Walk Length: 4.8km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Teston Bridge Country Park
  • Terrain: Riverside, grassland, woodland, mostly flat but one steep hill
  • Free Parking? No
  • Address: Teston Lane, Teston, Maidstone ME18 5BX

More information: Explore Kent, Kent.gov

Reculver Country Park

Reculver Country Park dog walk

Offering both stunning countryside and coastline, Reculver Country Park is a fabulous location for walking whether you’re human or dog. This walk is especially magical in winter as thousands of migrating birds flock to the shoreline to escape the arctic freeze. With on-site refreshments and a picnic area, it’s easy to make a day out of a walk in the park.

If you fancy venturing further, you can visit the site of a Roman fort or the striking ruins of St. Mary’s church. You can even wander onto the long-distance pathway and walk along the Saxon Shore Way. (At a total of 163 miles long, you certainly can’t tackle it in a day!)

  • Walk Length: 5.6km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Reculver
  • Terrain: Flat
  • Free Parking? No, 2 pay-and-display car parks available
  • Address: Reculver Lane, Reculver, Herne Bay, CT6 6SS

More information: Visit Kent, Explore Kent, Canterbury, Visit Reculver

Coastal Walks

The White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover dog walk

Who wouldn’t want to take a walk along the most iconic landmark in all of Britain?

The white cliffs are a National Trust site, and as such, benefit from amenities such as plentiful parking and a visitor centre with a gift shop and cafe. If you take the longer walk to the lighthouse, you will also find a celebrated tea room.

Sadly, dogs aren’t allowed inside at the visitor centre or tea-room, but there is outside seating and water bowls in both locations, so you and your pooch can still sit together and enjoy some refreshments. And if you find you’ve forgotten your poo bags, not to worry, because the visitor centre is happy to provide some for free.

The main walk is the coastal path towards South Foreland Lighthouse. Just remember to put your dog on their lead when you reach the top, as the cliff is unfenced. There is also a short walk available from the visitor centre to the cliff viewing point that is wheelchair and pushchair friendly.

  • Walk Length: 3.2km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: National Trust visitor centre
  • Terrain: Grassland, hills
  • Free Parking? Free for National Trust members and Blue Badge holders, £5 for non-members
  • Address: Langdon Cliffs, Upper Road, Dover, Kent, CT16 1HJ

More information: National Trust

Sandwich Bay

Sandwich Bay dog walk

This predominantly shingle beach out on the east coast is a quiet, beautiful option for a seaside stroll with your dog. There are no facilities once you are on the beach, but you are very close to the stunning town of Sandwich.

This atmospheric and historic town and its half-timber buildings offer a glimpse into the past, as well as plenty of good pubs, several of which are dog-friendly, local shops and cafes.

Be aware that the beach is on a private estate, so you will have to pay £7 to drive your car up to it. (But you can come and go all day after paying.) Alternatively, you can park closer to the town and walk down. You can also find great pet-friendly accommodation at Stour Cottage nearby.

  • Walk Length: Up to you!
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Car park
  • Terrain: Beach, shingle, sand
  • Free Parking? Yes, but there is a fee for cars to access the beach
  • Address: Guilford Road, Sandwich, CT13 9PF

More information: Tourist Trail, The Beach Guide

Dungeness

Dungeness dog walk

The deserted landscape of Dungeness carries an eerie beauty, the likes of which you will struggle to find elsewhere in the UK. That’s because the landscape here, although a shingle beach, is classified as a desert.

Punctuated by two lighthouses, the beach itself is largely empty. You’ll wander along wooden walkways and be able to find old timber huts and a handful of abandoned boats, all watched over by the hulk of the nearby nuclear power station.

The area feels quiet and empty and definitely has to be seen to be believed, as it truly is a unique landscape. Walking here feels like being on a movie set, and we’re sure your dog will appreciate exploring this strange new world as they can roam free and enjoy this vast dog-friendly beach while you drink in the extraordinary surroundings.

There are plenty of areas of interest on and around the beach, including a steam train to the lighthouse, and filmmaker Derek Jarman’s cottage and it’s quirky driftwood garden.

  • Walk Length: 13.5km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Dungeness light railway station
  • Terrain: Beach, Shingle
  • Free Parking? Yes, at Lade and Park Street
  • Address: Dungeness Light Railway Station, Dungeness, TN29 9NA

More information: The Romney Marsh, Parkopedia, Discovering Britain, The Guardian

Kingsgate Bay

Kingsgate Bay dog walk

Between Margate and Broadstairs, you’ll find Kingsgate Bay. This quiet, sandy beach framed is by monumental white chalk cliffs and sea arch and watched over by a handsome 18th-century castle. All in all, it makes for a walk you won’t soon forget.

The bay is entirely dog-friendly, so your pup can frolic in the waves or race across the sands to their heart’s content while you bask in the beauty of this secretive little beach.

The Captain Digby Inn is a short walk away, but sadly only allows dogs outside. However, perched on a cliff nearby is the Botany Bay Hotel, a hotel, bar and restaurant with dog-friendly rooms should you fancy staying.

  • Walk Length: 0.6km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Captain Digby pub
  • Terrain: Beach, Sand
  • Free Parking? No, there is a private car park at the hotel or customer parking at the Captain Digby
  • Address: Kingsgate Bay Rd, Broadstairs CT10 3QL

More information: Explore Kent, Captain Digby

Woodland Walks

Hamstreet Woods

Hamstreet Woods dog walk

This wild and enchanting woodland walk is both family and dog-friendly. It’s an area of ancient woodland that has survived from the ice age and is maintained using traditional methods such as coppicing.

Although beautiful year-round, a spring visit is especially memorable due to the carpet of bluebells throughout the woods. It’s a perfect place to paw-se for an Instagram-worthy picture of your pooch, or simply a few minutes of admiring the unmistakable natural beauty.

The reserve is a short walk from the railway station, making this an accessible walk for those without a car. There are three circular marked trails through the woodland which range from 2.5 to 5 kilometres long, making it a beautiful but short walk. (Unless you take another loop on another trail!)

If you find yourself parched after your walk, head to the Duke’s Head pub in the village. You and your pooch will be more than welcome there.

  • Walk Length: 2.km 5 to 5km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Hamstreet village
  • Terrain: Woodland, flat
  • Free Parking? Yes, but limited spaces.
  • Address: Hamstreet, Ashford TN26 2HH

More information: Explore Kent, Gov.uk, All Trails

King’s Wood

King’s Wood dog walk

Once a hunting ground for royalty, King’s Wood is now a designated area of outstanding natural beauty and remains home to a herd of fallow deer.

There are some hills and uneven terrain in this walk, so make sure you bring sturdy shoes. This is a walk with a difference, as not only are there exciting smells for your dog but interesting artwork for you. This is because there is also a marked sculpture trail available if you want to take in some culture alongside the countryside.

  • Walk Length: Various
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate depending on the trail
  • Starting Point: Car park
  • Terrain: Woodland, uneven, hilly
  • Free Parking? Yes
  • Address: Challock, Ashford TN25 4DG

More information: Explore Kent, Forestry England

Oldbury Hill and Styants Wood

Oldbury Hill and Styants Wood dog walk

Oldbury Hill and Styants Wood is a fantastic forest walk found within the Kent Downs, another area of outstanding natural beauty. The adventurous can explore the 166 acres of woodland, but if you want to keep to the beaten track, there are circular trails too.

As well as the incredibly beautiful surroundings, the site is historically rich too. On your walk, you can find the remains of an Iron Age fort that was built over 2000 years ago. Although your pup will probably be more interested in exploring the woodland and sniffing out squirrels!

If you want to extend walk, you can take a circular route to the nearby Ightam Mote, a stunning moated medieval manor house. Ightam Mote is also dog-friendly, and another excellent walk to consider. If you plan to stay for longer, the Oldbury Hill camping and caravan site is close by.

  • Walk Length: 7.2km (But variable)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: Oldbury Hill National Trust site
  • Terrain: Woodland, steep, hills
  • Free Parking? Yes
  • Address: Styants Bottom Road, Near Ightham Common, Ightham, Kent, TN15 0ET

More information: Explore Kent, Ramblers, National Trust

Hartfield & Ashdown Forest

Hartfield & Ashdown Forest dog walk

Perhaps one of the most enchanting walks you can take in Kent are those in and around Hartfield. Both the High Weald Landscape Trail and the Forest Way pass through the town, as well as many local walks, making it a popular stop for ramblers.

Not only is this yet another area of outstanding natural beauty for you to admire, as many walks in Kent are, but it’s also close to the famous Ashdown Forest. This forest became the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh, and the real locations here are immortalised in the stories.

The forest stretches from Kent to Sussex and East Sussex and offers a variety of walks. Perhaps the most popular is the “Pooh’s Walk” which will take you and your own cuddly companion through all the locations where Pooh and his friends had their adventures. You could even have a game of Pooh sticks on the very bridge the world-famous bear did!

  • Walk Length: 1km or combined 3.25km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Gills Lap car park
  • Terrain: Woodland, heathland, gentle slopes
  • Free Parking? Yes
  • Address: Gills Lap, Kidd's Hill, Hartfield, Wealden, TN7 4EU

More information: Anchor Hartfield, Ashdown Forest, Parkopedia

Hucking Woodland Estate

Hucking Woodland Estate dog walk

Voted one of the top 10 woods for bluebells by the Woodland Trust, Hucking Estate is best enjoyed in spring as the magical carpet of flowers extends between the trees.

You and your dog can enjoy a beautiful circular stroll through the picturesque woodland and grasslands, perhaps paw-sing to sniff the flowers, and taking in all the sights and smells of a walk in the woods and exploring for the local wildlife.

Nearby are the popular pubs the Hook and Hatchet and The Dirty Habit. The Hook and Hatchet is especially animal friendly, as they not only welcome dogs but have a dedicated area for horses outside. Not to mention they are more than just a pub and also host onsite camping, making it an ideal spot for anyone planning to stay and take some of the other local walks.

  • Walk Length: 6.4km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Church Road car park
  • Terrain: Woodland, grassland
  • Free Parking? Yes
  • Address: Woodland Trust car park, Church Road, Hucking, ME17 1QT

More information: GPS Routes, Woodland Trust

More information about Kent: Kent Live, Kent Online, Out with the dog, National Trust

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