Paws for thought

Happy beagle dog with flying ears running outdoors with stick in mouth. Active dog pet enjoying summer walk

This month our travel section sponsors Bloom Stays – the specialist Kent holiday home agency – talk us through some of the very best dog-friendly mini-break ideas in the county…


We’re back! After a very busy summer for Bloom Stays we’re looking forward to a fantastic autumn which, along with the cooler weather, brings for us, apple picking, the last of the garden visits, quieter beach walks and delicious harvest festivals and farmers markets. Later in October comes pumpkin picking, Halloween fright fun and before we know it, fireworks night in November.

Until now you may have overlooked places to stay and explore just because they’re on your doorstep, but we’re hoping to  inspire you to get out and explore Kent and the South East through these dedicated travel pages. This month we’re looking for great stays for your four-legged friends as we’d all prefer to take them with us rather than leave them at home. Whether you take friends, family, just the dog or you’re off on a solo adventure, we’re sure you’ll enjoy what you find. There’s always something to see, do, taste and explore here.


Paws perfect: The best breaks for you and your dog(s) this September

Wet noses, muddy paws and an insatiable appetite for ball-chasing aren’t necessarily the vital requirements for a holiday companion, but they are no longer a hindrance when it comes to choosing somewhere to stay. Gone are the days when our canine companions were confined to the kennel outside (or even worse, left at home), now, we’re seeing the doors to our holiday houses flung open for waggy tails of all types to cross the threshold. Em-bark-ing (sorry) on a UK holiday just got a lot dog-darn easier.

Kent, and the wider southeast region, is rich with accommodation, events and attractions that welcome dogs.  Here many of our beaches, castles, fantastic walking routes, pubs and restaurants are widely accepting of our canine needs and increasingly realise how important they are to making our holidays the relaxing breaks they should be, so you can leave the worry (and expense) of a kennel stay at home. Here’s our guide to how to find the best canine-friendly breaks in Kent to make the best holiday here completely paws-ible.


Dog-friendly accommodation – what the best houses are doing for their canine visitors.

Stop barking up the wrong tree when it comes to choosing holiday accommodation for you and your dog or dogs (25 per cent of our visitors have one or more dogs). Bloom Stays’ dog-friendly houses have the following as standard:

– Comfortable dog beds

– Dog feeding and water bowls

– Completely enclosed gardens
or portion of fenced-off garden

– Extra towels for muddy paws

– Some have spare collars and leads


Beach days for dogs

Coastal days out are a brilliant way to burn off some energy for our four-legged friends (not to mention any children in tow) and although some beaches restrict where dogs can go in the summer, by the autumn some of those restrictions are lifted as the crowds drift back home. The following beaches are open all year round:


Camber (there is one restricted area May-Sept)

Kingsgate Bay near Broadstairs


Abbots Cliff (Folkestone)

Shakespeare Beach (Dover)

The following beaches (just a selection from a longer list) are closed to dogs in the summer but open again from October 1:

The Warren (Folkestone)

Botany Bay


Minnis Bay

Joss Bay (Broadstairs)

Ramsgate Main sands

St Margaret’s Bay


The big chew: Dog-friendly restaurants

Fine dining or pub lunches; a hearty brunch or a speedy supper, it’s great to know that many of Kent’s best places to eat are dog-friendly too so now so there’s no compromises needed. Here are some of the best ones we know about which give a good range of places to eat out to suit every budget.

The Spotted Dog, Penshurst … A country pub that welcomes everything from spots to stripes

The Dirty Habit, Hollingbourne. A dog’s treat throw from Leeds Castle making it perfect for a post-walk pint and more

The Sportsman, Seasalter. Fine dining from a much-awarded chef in a relaxed setting overlooking the sea

Tiger Inn Stowting, fresh from a renovation which has seen a huge resurgence in popularity for this country pub, both man and dog will be wowed

The Three Mariners, Oare. An established country pub gem and brilliant for those post walk dinners

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