Kent’s Best Beaches
Claiming the sunniest corner of the UK and over 50 of the country’s beaches, Kent is the perfect destination for balmy days spent beside the seaside.
By Olivia Riccini
From sweeping sands perfect for surfing and sandcastles to saltmarsh shingles that bristle with the hum of rare wildlife, whatever you are looking for from a day at the beach, Kent is certain to deliver. Whether you’re searching for sports, sailing and sunbathing or the simple charm of halcyon days at the shore, Kent has a beach to suit your every desire. Here are just a few of insideKENT’s favourites.
Beaches with… Blissful Bays and Blue Flags
Botany Bay, Joss Bay & Kingsgate Bay, Broadstairs
Sheltered sands edged by impressive white chalk cliffs sitting as neighbours to one another along the coast of Broadstairs. Stone Bay is known for its patterned beach huts and quiet atmosphere, while Botany Bay is Kent’s closest answer to Bondi. A real beauty of a beach, this Instagrammer’s heaven is famous for its chalk stacks that stand resplendent on the sands. Neighbouring Joss Bay and Kingsgate Bay share similarly laid-back surfer vibes with golden sands that gently slope towards turquoise water for a truly tranquil swim.
Sheerness Beach, Isle of Sheppey
Another Blue Flag consisting of a sweeping bay of pretty pebbles that rests next to a wide grassy esplanade – perfect for picnicking after a summer swim.
Beaches with… Weird and Wonderful Wildlife
This surreal beach is utterly unique and known to some as the UK’s only desert. Despite this, Dungeness is home to a vast amount of rare plant and animal species that visitors might glimpse as they walk the wooden boardwalk or as they crunch upon the flint shingle down to the shore. Nature and unusual scenery go hand-in-hand with the dreamlike casting of light in this environment making it the perfect place for artists. Appreciate sculptures of driftwood and washed up materials created by those inspired by the likes of Derek Jarman and even the cover art of Pink Floyd as you explore this otherworldly hinterland.
Sandwich & Pegwell Bay
Expect peaceful serenity on what comes closest to your very own beach, thanks to the private road leading to the bay. This saltmarsh is a haven for nature lovers and is Kent Wildlife Trust’s largest reserve.
Beaches with… Sand, Sea and Surf for Sport
Golden sands back onto grand Victorian architecture, acting as a stage for kitesurfers, e-foilers, surfers and more, while sailors can admire the boats bobbing in the harbour.
Minnis Bay & Westbrook Bay
While the sandy beach and outdoor play area make for a perfect day out for children, Minnis Bay is a favourite spot for adventurous watersports. Nearby Westbrook is lined with candy-striped beach huts and comes alive in the summer season with plentiful activities on the water.
Beaches with… Historic Charm
A true seaside hit since the beach-obsessed Victorian era, the pebble beach of Herne Bay is any child’s paradise in which to create cherished family memories. Go crabbing on the pier or enjoy the beachfront arcades and traditional funfair rides.
A pretty highstreet adorned with hanging baskets, boutiques, antique shops, cute cafés and pubs running parallel to a lengthy stretch of pebble beach and beach huts.
Beaches with… Sweeping Sands and Stretching Views
Margate Main Sands, Walpole Bay & Palm Bay
Some of Kent’s most iconic beaches complete with all the quintessential seaside idiosyncrasies. Expect ice cream, amusements, golden sunsets and a tidal pool backing on to the hipster haven of Margate Old Town.
Whitstable and Tankerton
The buzzing atmosphere of Whitstable town and its fantastic eateries spills out onto the beach which is swarmed with beach lovers enjoying sun, sea and sips of cold drinks in summer. Delight in some famous Whitstable oysters before walking along to quieter Tankerton with its beach huts and warm waters.