Days OutKent TownsNewsStaycation

Kent Pet-cation: insideKENT’s Guide to Pet Friendly Kent

Our fluffy companions have been through a lot with us these last few years, from watching us adjust to working from home and being obsessed with banana bread, to now trying to re-adjust to the world reopening. They have been with us every step of the way offering endless comfort in their wagging tails and warm, wet noses. So we decided that it was about time we rewarded our loyal pooches by designing a pet friendly staycation right here in Kent. From dog friendly hotels and holiday homes, to bonding activities to partake in with your pup to pubs where you can enjoy a beer and a delicious evening meal with your doggie companion right by your side. So read on for Jess Marshall’s very-best dog-friendly places to sleep, shop and eat in Kent.

 

Where to Stay

Set in a jaw-dropping 22 acres of lush green woodland just on the outskirts of Lenham near Maidstone, Chilston Park Hotel (www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/chilstonpark) is the perfect pet friendly country manor escape. Dating back hundreds of years, the hotel is the perfect mix of old English luxury – think exposed beams, a grand staircase and original features in all of the opulent rooms – and dog friendly hotel. Staff at Chilston Park Hotel will treat your four legged friend as the distinguished guests that they are, making sure they have everything they need to make those tails endlessly wag! Outside of the enviable service you and your pup will receive, the hotel grounds provide the perfect place for you and your dog to explore some of the most beautiful scenery Kent has to offer. Filled with all the smells and sights only the true countryside has to offer, you can both enjoy a refreshing walk, meet new doggie friends and then retire to the hotel to enjoy their delectable modern British food, with a side of dog treats.

Planning a big family trip with your pups, or just simply not that into hotels? Then head over to Bloom Stays (www.bloomstays.com/inspirations/doggy-retreats) and find the perfect private holiday let for you and your family – dogs included. With dozens of 5 star properties to choose from, you can rest assured that all of them include pet-friendly essentials such as fenced in gardens and walks right on their doorsteps. Some properties even go that step further like ex-fishermans cottage North Vat in Dungeness which includes a specially curated dog drawer filled with toys and treats – basically any pups dream! Or Pheasants Lodge in Kingston, which is slap-bang in the middle of the countryside making the modern, yet cosy getaway the perfect retreat for avid dog walkers, you’ll be sure to be swept up in the beauty of the Garden of England and neither you or your doggie companion will ever want to leave.

Where to Visit

So you are all cosy in your preferred dog friendly haven, now it’s time to plan some places to visit while on your on-of-a-kind petcation. First on your list should definitely be a visit to the historic Dover Castle (www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/dover-castle/) grounds, where you and your best friend can wander until your heart’s content. And with Spring officially in full swing this April, now is the perfect time to see the 2,000 year old gardens with your dog and marvel at the wonder that is British Spring time. With a staggering 80 acres of grounds to cover while at the castle this is sure to be a day that will leave you inspired, and your pooch with a very waggly tail!

If you and your pup air on the adventurous side of life then make the drive over to the outskirts of Canterbury and get ready for some water sports with the dog-loving folks over at Canoe Wild (www.canoewild.co.uk). With everything on offer from canoeing to kayaking to paddle boarding, you and your pooch are welcome to come and enjoy a gentle jaunt down the River Stour, enjoying all the rural sights and smells that come with it. The perfect activity for pet parents who love the water as much as their four-legged friends, Canoe Wild offers you and your dogs a great excuse to experience something new and make some extraordinary memories together– just be sure to bring a towel!

Now, as you are in the Canterbury area you might want to pop into the city and make a trip to The Dog Store (www.thedogsstore.co.uk) on Sun Street. Quite literally a dog’s paradise, the small business is always buzzing with friendly pooches as well as owners and staff just dying to give your doggie some kisses and belly scratches. If the temptation of a horde of dog lovers isn’t enough for you, the shop also specialises in luxury treats, toys, leads and harnesses for dogs of every size, making it the perfect place to engage in a dog themed shopping spree. There is even a dog spa on the premises, so if your pup is looking a tad bedraggled, simply book them in for a treatment or two, then when you pick them up they’ll be looking fresh and pampered and not to mention extremely content.

Where to Walk

So you’ve been having an action packed day with your dog, but now it’s time to stretch those legs and go on a little excursion to get their blood pumping. Head to Kingsgate Bay beach in Broadstairs to take advantage of their year-round dog friendly policy, and feel the sea on your toes as your pup enjoys the sea air in their fur as they explore the hidden gem buried in the sand, or hidden in the caves!

 

If you’re feeling that it’s a little to early (or chilly) for a beach day then why not take a walk in the historic, and beautiful Knole Park (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knole/features/dog-walking-at-knole)? Famous for its population of around 350 wild deer, Knole is the perfect backdrop for a relaxing walk in the Kentish wilderness. Common sense dictates to keep away from the deer pack, but considering the parkland is over ,1000 acres, you shouldn’t have any trouble avoiding them!

Looking for something a little more challenging than just a walk in a park? Why not take on the challenge of the scenic Crab and Winkle Way – a cycling path that takes you from the centre of Canterbury to the beaches of Whitstable in an undulating and challenging 7.6 miles! Hire a bike, or bring your own and give your dog a walk to remember. And if you need a little more incentive just think, there will be fish and chips on the beach waiting for you, and your pup, on the other side, could there be anything more British, or more perfect?

 

Where to Eat

Luckily for us Kent dwelling dog lovers, most country pubs welcome our furry friends with open arms, even providing them with some tasty treats while we sample their delectable human menus. 

 

Traditional village pub The Bull at Benenden (www.thebullatbenenden.co.uk) is the perfect place to take your pooch if you are looking for classic British pub grub served with a side of antique grandeur. A warm welcome awaits you and your four-legged friend when you walk through the door into the cosy interior filled with heirloom curiosities and the aromas of delicious food sizzling away in the kitchen. The menu features classic pub food like battered fish with chunky chips and mushy peas, and chocolate fudge cake, and if you are lucky enough to turn up for Sunday lunch you can enjoy their famous carvery which is sure to have you and your fluffy friend drooling and begging for more. 

If you and your pooch are looking for a more modern take on the traditional English pub, then look no further than The White Bear (www.the-white-bear.co.uk) nestled in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Stylish, unique and chic, this pub has all the traditional flare of a classic pub, but its lush furnishings and pops of bright colour along with its light and open spaces give the bar a unique quirk, perfect for patrons looking for something a little different. The ideal place for a quick tipple at the end of the night – with a bar as stocked as this one you’ll be trying to choose from their extensive wine and cocktail list for hours – or a long relaxed evening meal in their unique Orangery restaurant. Super dog friendly staff await you in the restaurant and they will be sure to spoil your pup with lots of love – not to mention free water and dog treats. 

Wanting an eatery a little off the beaten track? Eaten so much fish and chips you feel about ready to explode? Fear not, our next recommendation is dog friendly, carries an array of delightful craft beer options, and serves some of the best Californian-inspired Mexican food in England. The Saddlers in Faversham (www.californiacravings3.com) is the place to go for good times with friends, great beer and even better food. The staff will greet you and your pup with a friendly hello, and immediately come and give your doggie some much needed love before setting you up at a comfortable table, and taking your order. The food is all freshly made on the premises and you will be sure to taste the freshness in every bite you take. Whether you are on a vegan kick or are a lover of all things meaty, The Saddlers has got you covered with a menu designed to ensure everyone leaves with their bellies full!

 

So what are you waiting for? Grab your pooch, their harness and lead, and head off on your newly discovered adventure with your best four-legged friend in tow – it’ll be a real treat!! 

Previous post

Discover: Kent’s Prettiest Villages

Next post

Walk This Way: insideKENT's Top Five Walks