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:
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!
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!
Broadstairs is part of the Thanet District in Kent, which includes two other major settlements, Margate and Ramsgate, that are both served by trains coming in and out of London.
It’s possible to walk or hike along the coast (being mindful of tide times), to enjoy the seven bays of Broadstairs.
If you take a look at a map, you’ll see that from the beach at Broadstairs you can wander left and you’ll come across Stone Bay, Joss Gap, Kingsgate Bay and Botany Bay before eventually coming into Margate.
To the right, you’ll discover Viking Bay, Louisa Bay and Dumpton Gap.
Actually, further along the coast in this direction you would come to Dover, which means directly across the water is France!
The Viking Coastal Path is a route you can walk along in either direction.
There are plenty of signposts showing where you are and also explaining the history of the bays, including smuggling, wartime and shipwreck stories.
Botany Bay, UK
We were destined for Botany Bay this particular weekend.
It took our fancy because it’s of the same name as somewhere very significant in our Australia’s own history; plus the spectacular chalky cliffs were something we wanted to view for ourselves.
Next time we visit, we will head to Ramsgate because the visitor information guide said there are really nice bars and facilities along the waterfront… my interest is piqued.
The scenery here is very ‘white cliffs of Dover’ style; dramatic and quintessentially English.
The beaches are real, so you can get sand between your toes, happy dogs can run, bark and play; and the air is crisp and fresh. Just what we all need to clear the mind and free the spirit.
Because we only had a few hours scheduled for our day trip to Kent, we didn’t end up walking from Broadstairs to Botany Bay.
Under normal circumstances this would take an hour, but we didn’t have the time to spare so jumped in a cab.
We want to give a shout-out to Broadstairs Taxis because the drivers who helped us were really friendly and informative.
Also, they sent a text to our phone to let us know how far away they were – all round good service. And, between one destination to another it was only £5.
Picture perfect days out in Kent
Botany Bay and neighbouring Kingsgate offer picturesque views on beautiful days out in Kent, like the one above.
I spotted a wedding shoot taking place on a cliff-top and a music video being shot beneath; a lone wind-surfer enjoying time on the waves and the beaches were pretty and rugged, winding around the coast.
We were rugged up but the visit here was a chance to satisfy a creative longing to video and photograph this country we’ve come to love so much.
Of course, it came time to eat, and we had our sights set on the Botany Bay Hotel, which offers pub-like dining in fine surrounds opposite the ocean at Botany Bay.
The place is really dog friendly (yay!) and quite well priced.
If you’re there as we were for lunch, you can’t book, but evening you can reserve a table.
You can stay in the hotel too, which is perfectly positioned for anyone who wants to spend more time playing, hiking, writing, photographing or simply being mindful by the sea.
After a big meal (and maybe a beer), you can walk off any indulgence by heading around the Viking Trail just ten minutes to Kingsgate Bay.
You’ll pass a golf range and spot the extremely grand Kingsgate Castle on the cliff overlooking the ocean (pictured above).
It’s now filled with apartments inside but looks really cool from the outside, and views include the sea doorway and white cliffs as pictured above.
If you’re thirsty after this coastal expedition (wandering along the top of the cliffs or walking down to the sea front below), you can pop into Captain Digby Tavern, another cliff-top pub.
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.
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.
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.
Welcome! We are Sarah + Cooper, Aussie expats living in the UK with our Westie dog, London. We like to inspire on how to travel for longer and to live and work from anywhere. Our most popular content here is about seeing the world with your pet, remote working & digital nomadism, and house + pet sitting. Create a global life of your dreams at any age! Subscribe to find out more :)
Grab our NEW 2023 guides:
Master House Sitting with Our Must-Have 101 Essentials eGuide! Buy It Here
And, 7 Essential Strategies for Maximizing Your Use of ChatGPT eBookBuy it here