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Kent's best beaches to head to in summer 2019

Kent boasts 207 miles around its edge, so it's no wonder it has the coast with the most. We've picked 10 beach spots to head to, and give you a guide to the county's award-winning ones

1 Botany Bay

Thanet boasts some of the county’s top beaches, many with Blue Flags. Picture the iconic chalk stacks of Botany Bay, near Broadstairs, and you’re ready to head to the coast. A perfect sandy spot for those both looking to relax or seek adventure, there’s plenty of sand to enjoy – although the ends can be cut off at high tide - there’s also hours of rock pooling to be had at this beach, which boasts a Blue Flag.

Botany Bay in Thanet
Botany Bay in Thanet

2 Broadstairs

With one of the most enclosed sandy beaches in the county, alongside bustling independent shops, restaurants, cafes and ice cream parlours, as well cliff top walks, Broadstairs is a winner whatever you’re looking for by the sea. It’s an ideal place for families to spend a few hours building sandcastles or burying dad, plus there are attractions in easy walking distance.

The beach in Broadstairs
The beach in Broadstairs

3 Dungeness

Windswept but picturesque, the shingle beach is flat and has a wealth of wildlife. With lots of parking available, it’s a great spot to take your dog is he likes to run free without fear of running into many other dogs – there’s so much space he should be able to let off plenty of steam undisturbed.

4 Dymchurch

You’ll find miles of sand stretching ahead of you at Dymchurch. The golden sands are the jewel in the crown for this seaside spot, come rain or shine. The beach is also a short walk from the Family Amusement Park, which is full of rides for young ones to enjoy.

Heading to the beach in Kent this weekend? We're here to help
Heading to the beach in Kent this weekend? We're here to help

5 Folkestone

Sunny Sands Beach is one of the county’s most popular destinations. Overlooked by the town’s mermaid statue, it’s home to a sandcastle contest in high summer and is a beautiful spot to take your dog on cooler days. There’s lots of facilities close at hand, and is only a short walk from the parking, restaurants and the town’s Creative Quarter.

Folkestone beach
Folkestone beach

6 Herne Bay

All manner of seaside magic can be found on the shores of Herne Bay. It has a pier, bandstand, fish and chip restaurants and ice cream stalls for a great British day out at the seaside. There’s also a wealth of picnic spots and a children’s play area right on the seafront, with plenty of parking nearby.

Herne Bay Pier and beach Picture: Alan Langley
Herne Bay Pier and beach Picture: Alan Langley

7 Margate

Traditional seaside charm, beach-side amusements, fish and chip restaurants and takeaways plus its cool retro vibe and cafe culture make Margate a must. The sandy spots are feet away from the culture and independent shops and galleries, not to mention Dreamland theme park, so there’s something for everyone here.

8 Sheppey

It may not be your first thought, but the Swale coastline has beaches lining up to be enjoyed. With coastal pit-stops at Sheerness, Leysdown and the tranquil Leas at Minster these bathing and walking spots are great reason to head over the Sheppey Crossing.

9 Tankerton

The beach - a pebble’s throw from Whitstable - is a family haven of safe bathing, pretty painted beach huts and sloping grassy banks. At low tide the sea gives way to a long, pleasant walk to take you right out to sea, and a chance to explore rock pools, paddle and discover some local sea-life. When you’ve finished paddling enjoy a picnic on the grassy area and admire the view. The beach huts are also Instagram-tastic.

10 Whitstable

Colourful beach huts, long stretches of pebble beach and boardwalk, eateries galore and plenty of shallow water for splashing - you can’t beat Whitstable’s shingle beach for that by-the-coast afternoon feeling. It has a bustling town centre a very short walk away, where you can pick up some one-off treats, a bustling harbour area and plenty of parking. Walking along the beach into Whitstable from neighbouring Tankerton is also a worthwhile wander.

Whitstable beach
Whitstable beach

Kent's Blue Flag beaches:

Botany Bay, Broadstairs

Margate Main Sands

Minster Leas, Sheppey

Minnis Bay, Birchington

West Bay, Westgate-on-Sea

Sheerness, Sheppey

St Mildreds, Westgate-on-Sea

Stone Bay, Broadstairs


Westbrook Bay, Margate

Is it sandcastle time?
Is it sandcastle time?

The county also has 11 beaches that have been given the Seaside Award which recognises the quality of beaches meaning visitors are assured of clean and safe water and bathing standards. They are:

Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs

Herne Bay

Joss Bay, Broadstairs

Leysdown Beach, Sheppey

Louisa Bay, Broadstairs

Ramsgate Main Sands

Ramsgate Western Undercliff


Sandgate Beach

Walpole Bay, Margate

Viking Bay, Broadstairs

Supported by Visit Kent

Visit Kent
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