Discover Dog Friendly Margate in 2024! A Seaside Gem

Discover Dog Friendly Margate in 2024! A Seaside Gem

We had such a lovely time discovering dog friendly Margate! It’s a town nestled on the southeast coast of England in Kent – one that has seen a revival as a sought-after seaside destination.

For years, this town has seamlessly blended traditional British seaside allure with modern arts and culture. We were drawn to its magnetic charm, and our recent visit reaffirmed why it’s a must-visit. A snapshot into dog friendly Margate is here:


Margate highlights


Turner Contemporary: A Modern Art Haven

Starting off our journey, one of our first stops was the Turner Contemporary, a beacon of modern art on Margate’s seafront. Named in honour of the 19th-century artist J.M.W. Turner, who was enamoured with Margate’s unique light, this gallery showcases a plethora of contemporary visual arts from global artists. Interestingly, with ever-changing exhibitions, there’s always something fresh and intriguing to witness.

Dreamland: A Nostalgic Adventure

Following that, another highlight is Dreamland, a vintage amusement park that has graced Margate since the early 1900s. After undergoing its recent restoration, Dreamland now boasts retro rides, roller discos, and lively music events. The park’s nostalgic ambiance captivated us, especially the iconic Scenic Railway wooden rollercoaster. It’s an absolute must-ride!

Margate’s Seaside and the Enigmatic Shell Grotto

Transitioning to a more relaxed vibe, strolling along Margate Main Sands was a serene experience. This sandy beach, ideal for sunbathing and swimming, is complemented by a promenade dotted with quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants. However, the real surprise awaited us at the Shell Grotto. Discovered in 1835, this subterranean passage is adorned with intricate seashell mosaics. The grotto’s origins remain a mystery, making it an even more intriguing attraction.

On a side note, our experience here was a hit on social media – check it out!

Old Town and Dog-Friendly Spots

Initially, we couldn’t resist exploring Margate’s Old Town, a treasure trove of independent shops, galleries, and eateries. The best part? Moreover, the best part? Most of these spots are dog-friendly! Our little Westie, London, was more than happy to accompany us, basking in the sun and enjoying the warm ambiance of the town.

A Sunset to Remember

Subsequently, we wrapped up our Margate adventure with a breath-taking sunset, echoing those at Cafe Mambo, Ibiza. Along with many others, we perched on the newly constructed stairs along Margate Harbour’s seafront, absorbing the mesmerising hues of the setting sun.

Margate boasts a plethora of activities, establishing itself as a perfect getaway. Its art galleries, beaches, and the enigmatic Shell Grotto cater to diverse interests. If you seek dog-friendly spots, Margate delivers. We eagerly anticipate our next visit!

48 Hours in Whitstable: Oysters, Art, and the Allure of the Sea

48 Hours in Whitstable: Oysters, Art, and the Allure of the Sea

What can we say, it’s worth spending 48 hours in Whitstable, Kent! :)

Stepping off the train, we were greeted by the radiant sun shining over Whitstable, a picturesque seaside town on the coast of Kent in Southern England. We had been here once before, and it was so nice to be able to return! Just an hour’s train ride from London, we were eager to dive back into the wonders of this renowned fishing town, adorned with pastel-coloured fishing cottages, expansive pebbled beaches, and an array of quirky shops.

Every corner of Whitstable whispered tales of its rich maritime heritage, a legacy that stretches back to Roman times.

Take a look:


The Oyster Experience

The town’s pride in its oyster farming is palpable, and we learned of the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival, a grand celebration complete with parades, performances, and, naturally, oyster-eating competitions. Tasting the famed Whitstable oysters was the crowning jewel. The taste was a harmonious blend of saline, a touch of saltiness, complemented by a creamy sweetness. One was simply not enough.


Artistic Flair and Coastal Pubs

Our stroll down Harbour Street was nothing short of enchanting. The street, alive with energy, was a tapestry of quirky boutiques, unique shops, and a delightful mix of colourful weatherboard houses, historic edifices, and charming cottages. Our exploration led us to the intriguing street art by Catman, Whitstable’s answer to Banksy. For those in search of a unique coastal pub experience, “Neppies” or Old Neptunes is the place to be.


A Culinary Finale

As our 48 hours neared its end, we decided to indulge in the town’s best fish and chips at Ossie’s. The generous servings and the golden, flaky fish were the perfect culmination to our Whitstable adventure. Sitting on the beach, watching the sun dip below the horizon and the waves gently caress the shore, we reflected on our time in Whitstable.


A town that seamlessly marries its rich history with modern allure. If the Kent Coast is on your radar, Whitstable is a must-visit. A town that’s not just picturesque but also dog-friendly. And remember, the oysters are a must-try!



Days out in Kent – Broadstairs and Botany Bay

Days out in Kent – Broadstairs and Botany Bay

Updated for 2024

There’s something timeless about the Kentish coastline; its rugged beauty never fades, nor does the allure of its seaside towns.

In 2024, Kent, often referred to as the ‘Garden of England’, continues to be a treasure trove of experiences, from its historical gardens to the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.

We recently revisited the serene shores of Broadstairs and Botany Bay.

Much has changed since my last visit, but the charm of these best beaches in Kent remains unaltered. In 2024, the area is buzzing with excitement, celebrating a host of anniversaries and new events, like Leeds Castle’s 50th year as a charitable trust and the Historic Dockyard Chatham’s 40th Anniversary. These special occasions offer more reasons to explore this stunning part of England.

Setting off from London, the journey to Broadstairs is a pleasant reminder of how accessible Kent is. A direct train from London brings you to this coastal haven in no time, making it an ideal destination for a quick getaway or a leisurely day trip.

Days out in Kent – take the train to Broadstairs


Broadstairs – A Beachside Beauty for a Day Out in Kent

Broadstairs has always been a family favourite, and in 2024, it’s no different. The town retains its classic English seaside charm, with its beachside promenades and quaint cottages. This year, more than ever, Broadstairs is a hub for cultural festivities. The whole county is abuzz with the Medway’s Festival 2024, a year-long program brimming with creative events that bring together Kent’s rich history and vibrant local communities.

Strolling along the beach, I couldn’t help but reflect on Charles Dickens’ love for this place. His affection for Broadstairs is well documented, and it’s easy to see why. The beach, with its powdery sand and gentle waves, is as inviting as ever. Families still gather here, building sandcastles and enjoying the sun.

For those who aren’t keen on taking a dip in the sea, there’s a plethora of activities to indulge in. You can explore Broadstairs’ historical pier and boathouse, or visit the Dickens House Museum, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of the famous author.

The town has also embraced its hop-growing history, with local pubs serving an array of Kent’s local beers. It’s a perfect way to taste a bit of the county’s heritage.


Days out in Kent: Broadstairs town


Botany Bay – A Gem on the Kentish Coastline

Just a short drive from Broadstairs lies Botany Bay, a place of dramatic natural beauty. In 2024, Botany Bay continues to captivate visitors with its towering chalk cliffs and expansive sandy beach. It’s a photographer’s paradise, offering a multitude of vistas that change with the tides.

This year, Botany Bay is more than just a scenic spot. It’s part of a larger celebration of Kent’s coastline, tying into events like the Kent & East Sussex Railway’s 50th Anniversary. These events highlight the region’s natural splendor and historical significance, making a visit here all the more special.


Whether you’re here to soak in the sun, take a leisurely walk along the coast, or engage in a bit of history, Botany Bay never disappoints. It’s a reminder of the unspoiled beauty that Kent has to offer.

As I wandered along the beach, I marvelled at how Botany Bay’s cliffs stand as natural sentinels over the sea. This year, these cliffs are not just a backdrop for beachgoers but also a part of a significant celebration. 2024 marks Hornby’s 50th anniversary, and nearby Margate is hosting WonderWorks, a family-friendly event celebrating this iconic brand. It’s a fun addition to any day out in Kent, especially if you’re traveling with kids.


Days out in Kent: Botany Bay cliffs


Exploring Beyond the Beach

Kent, with its diverse landscapes, offers more than just seaside experiences. The Kent Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is a short drive from the coast. It’s a fantastic place for those who love the outdoors. The area’s rolling hills, ancient woodlands, and picturesque villages are perfect for hiking and exploring. This year, the Kent Downs is more captivating than ever, with its historical ruins and scenic beauty drawing visitors from all over.

For history enthusiasts, 2024 is a year of rich offerings in Kent. The county is commemorating 250 years since the birth of JMW Turner. The Turner Contemporary in Margate, inspired by Turner’s life and work, is showcasing a range of exhibitions and art installations. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in the arts and culture of Kent.


Days out in Kent with dogs and their humans


A Taste of Kent’s Culinary Delights

No trip to Kent would be complete without indulging in the local culinary scene. The county’s hop-growing history and vineyards are more renowned than ever in 2024. Sampling the sparkling wines from Kent’s vineyards is a delightful experience, combining the joys of beautiful landscapes with exquisite tastes.

Seafood lovers will find themselves at home in Kent. Places like Whitstable are famous for their oyster bars, offering fresh and delicious seafood. The Taste of Kent Food Festival is another highlight this year, showcasing the best of local produce. It’s a celebration of the county’s rich agricultural heritage and a testament to its burgeoning food scene.


Broadstairs and Beyond – Connecting with Kent’s Heart

In Broadstairs, the connection between past and present is ever-present. The town’s historical pier and boathouse, Bleak House, and Admiralty Cottage are testaments to its rich history. A self-guided walk through Broadstairs is like stepping through pages of history, with each corner revealing a new story.

This year, the town is also part of a larger narrative that celebrates Kent’s heritage and natural beauty. From the Medway’s Festival 2024 to the Castle Concerts in Rochester, there’s a wealth of cultural experiences to be had.

As we wrapped up our day in Broadstairs and Botany Bay, I couldn’t help but feel a deep appreciation for Kent. Its blend of natural beauty, historical depth, and cultural richness makes it a unique destination. Whether you’re here for a day trip or a longer stay, Kent offers an escape into a world where the past and present coexist beautifully.


Days out in Kent: Broadstairs beach


Venturing Further: The Charm of Kent’s Countryside

Leaving the coast behind, the allure of Kent’s countryside beckons. Here, the Kent Downs and the High Weald unfold in a tapestry of lush greenery, chalk streams, and quaint villages. This area, steeped in natural beauty, offers a tranquil contrast to the lively beaches. The Kent Downs, in particular, are a haven for walkers and nature lovers, with its diverse topography and historical ruins. In 2024, the area is as inviting as ever, perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat into nature.

As I ventured through the Kent countryside, I was reminded of the county’s rich agricultural history. The hop gardens and vineyards tell a story of a land deeply rooted in farming and brewing. This year, with events like the Taste of Kent Food Festival, the spotlight is on the local producers who are the heart and soul of Kent’s culinary scene. Their dedication to quality and tradition adds an authentic flavour to any visit.


Days out in Kent - Botany Bay offers lovely scenery


Engaging with Kent’s Cultural Tapestry

Kent’s cultural landscape is as varied as its natural one. The county is a mosaic of history, art, and tradition. In 2024, Kent’s cultural calendar is particularly vibrant. The commemorations at the Historic Dockyard Chatham and the Turner Contemporary in Margate are just a few examples of how the county celebrates its rich heritage.

The Medway’s Festival 2024 is a centrepiece of this cultural celebration. It’s an amalgamation of local creativity and ambition, showcasing the best of what Kent’s communities have to offer. From music and theatre to art and craft, the festival is a testament to the county’s thriving cultural spirit.


Days out in Kent: beach fun and paw prints


Broadstairs – A Conclusion to Our Journey

As our day in Kent drew to a close, we found ourselves back in Broadstairs, the starting point of our adventure. This quaint beachside town, with its historical significance and seaside charm, had been the perfect introduction to all that Kent has to offer.

In the evening, the town’s streets came alive with the sounds of local musicians playing at the pubs, and the scent of fresh seafood wafted through the air. We ended our day with a meal at one of Broadstairs’ renowned eateries, reflecting on the day’s discoveries and the endless possibilities that Kent presents.


Days out in Kent: Kingsgate town and Botany Bay




Days out in Kent: Kingsgate Bay and Botany Bay beach landscape


Looking Ahead

Kent in 2024 is a place where the past and present merge seamlessly. It’s a county that celebrates its history while embracing the new. As we plan our next visit, we’re excited to explore more of what Kent has to offer.

From its iconic seaside towns to the rolling hills of the Kent Downs, from its historical sites to its vibrant festivals, Kent remains a destination that continues to surprise and delight.

Whether you’re a returning visitor or discovering Kent for the first time, there’s always something new to experience. So, pack your bags, set off on your journey, and discover the myriad charms of this enchanting county.


Days out in Kent: Kingsgate Castle on a hill



Out and about on a day trip in Kent

Life certainly is better at the beach, and our day trip to Kent included breathing in the fresh ocean air, patting plenty of puppies, enjoying a pub lunch with a view and feasting on the scenery this coastline offers.

We can’t wait to get back this way, and would highly recommend the easy trip if you want to experience the English seaside.

A gorgeous alternative (also in Kent) is Whitstable, or head for the bigger fun of Brighton.


Trip details

Time: about an hour and a half by train to and from King’s Cross in London; we would suggest four to six hours here for a decent day trip.

Train booking: we booked our tickets through

Cab: Broadstairs Taxis, phone 01843869999. 

Tourist information: try Visit Thanet or Visit Kent.


While in Kent, you might also like to check out Margate :) Find out more here


What to do in Hastings, England

What to do in Hastings, England

Don’t write this lovely little seaside area off, it’s absolutely worth your time. What to do in Hastings? History, creative experiences, shopping and yummy food await.

What to do in Hastings: history

Take a trip through time with us to Hastings, in Sussex, England.

October 14, 1066 − a most famous date that changed the course of English history. The English army, led by King Harold, was deployed on Senlac hill, where the town of Battle and its beautiful abbey presently stand. William (“The Conqueror”), positioned his army strategically, and although it’s understood to have been a close battle, at the end of a very long and bloody day in time, William won the war, bringing Norman rule to England. —click here to read the story


Creative things to do in Hastings

When we think of creative escapes within easy proximity to London, usually somewhere like Brighton or Whitstable come to mind. But, recently we decided to venture further down the coast for the first time, to historic Hastings.

If you want to know what to do in Hastings, stop and chat to the locals. They’ll give you tips on all the ways to experience living history and where to get the creative juices flowing. From castles to caves and ghost tours, this quirky, poignant and pretty seaside stop-over is ideal is brimming with options.

A photographer’s dream

Gardens, ocean and cliff-top landscapes abound, making it simple to find what to do in Hastings that is perfect for you. It’s the colourful maritime heritage that makes this place excellent for discovering unique shots, whether you’re an amateur or pro photographer. Hastings and nearby Rye and Winchelsea belonged to the Cinque Ports Confederation and this heritage is still evident in their fishing trade and medieval experiences.

Take a free walking tour of the Stade (organised by the Hastings Fishermen’s Museum) or through Hastings’ quaint Old Town (also free, organised by Old Hastings Preservation Society), get your bearings, then explore and image-capture til it’s time for bed. On a sunny day, the light here is divine at sunrise and sunset.

Unique pieces

More of what to do in Hastings? Get amongst the antiques shopping! Interestingly, there’s plenty of delightful vintage shopping here, but not so much that it’s overwhelming (like in some other larger cities).

If you’re seeking one-off trinkets and pieces to make your home stand out, wander the boutique stores of Hastings’ Old Town and be ready to snap up a delicious deal. Wander off to Courthouse Street too, and you’ll discover a treasure trove of surprises that’s been a local secret here for over 30 years − known as Courthouse Mews − ask for Dee or Beverley. The sale space is vast once you move through the front of this vintage shopper and collector’s dream!

Wine and dine

There’s a number of lovely wineries in the area, including award-winning Sedlescombe Organic and Carr Taylor that offer tasting experiences among other events throughout the year.

Or head to Hastings for a unique day, week or month cooking experience with renowned chef and restaurateur, Paul Webbe. Where better to refine your seafood culinary skills than in the town that boasts Europe’s largest beach-launched fishing fleet? Drop the team a line and ask about the Hastings fish and seafood school. bon appétit!

Man’s best friend

We very much loved how dog-friendly Hastings turned out to be, and will return for this reason. Why leave your best mate at home when you can bring them along with you for extra joy and companionship. And, if you’re craving a fix of uplifting dog energy, this place works well too, because there’s plenty on hand who are happy for an extra pat on the head (or bum scratch as the case may be).

Write it out

Wander the alleys, chat in the pubs, meditate on the beach − be inspired, and write or blog til your heart’s content. Hastings is big enough to not get bored, but small enough that you can really relax and take it all in.

Visitor information

Getting there

Approximately two hours by coach or train from London; or drive.

Where to stay

White Rock Hotel on the waterfront.

Cocktails & a bite to eat

Try Black Market in the Old Town, looks like a hole in the wall pub but inside is a surprisingly fun, spacious, prohibition-themed diner complete with toe-tapping house beats and cocktail specials.

Dancing the night away

Brass Monkey in the city centre.



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Take a trip through English history:

Images © Sarah Blinco and Cooper Dawson