Dog Walking on the Thanet Coast

Dogs & their owners are WELCOME on the following beaches/promenade:

  • GRENHAM BAY, Birchington
  • EPPLE BAY, Birchington
  • FULSAM ROCK, Margate
  • PALM BAY – SACKETTS GAP, Cliftonville
  • PALM BAY – FRIEND’S GAP, Cliftonville
  • FORENESS POINT Cliftonville
  • KINGSGATE BAY, Broadstairs
  • DUMPTON GAP, Broadstairs
  • EASTCLIFF, Ramsgate

WINTER BIRDS ALERT (October to March): You can help our important coastal bird life by avoiding these beaches/lower promenades over high tide (1.5hrs before, to 1hr after high water) and at night. Please avoid putting the birds to flight and using up valuable energy when they should be resting & feeding, as they need the energy to migrate. This is an increasing problem as numbers living and using our coast for recreational walks has increased dramatically over the last few years. We need to share our beaches with coastal birds and wildlife – see Turnstones & Bird Wise East Kent (website).

Owners are requested to ensure their dog/s are kept under control at all times & do not cause distress to other beach/promenade users, and are reminded to always clean up after their dog/s. Any offence not to pick up can result in £100 on the spot fine (fixed penalty notices) or prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000.

Dog Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) – coastal sites

From 1 May to 30 September dogs are NOT ALLOWED at any time on the following beaches for recreational tourism & public health reasons:

  • MINNIS BAY, Birchington (main area)
  • VIKING BAY, Broadstairs
  • RAMSGATE MAIN SANDS (harbour end)

From 1 May to 30 September, dogs are NOT ALLOWED between 10am to 6pm on the following beaches:

  • WEST BAY, Westgate
  • ST MILDRED’S BAY, Westgate
  • BOTANY BAY, Broadstairs
  • JOSS BAY, Broadstairs
  • STONE BAY, Broadstairs

From 1 May to 30 September dogs are ALLOWED ON LEAD between 10am to 6pm on the following beaches:

  • LOUISA BAY, Broadstairs
  • WALPOLE BAY, Cliftonville
  • WESTBROOK BAY, Westbrook

BUT NOT ALLOWED all year round at:


on the mudflats & saltmarsh and the upper chalk shore.

All dogs on the lower promenades adjacent to these beaches must be kept on a lead.

From 1 October until 30 April: Dogs are welcome on beaches except Pegwell Bay – subject to the cleaning up any dog-fouling, keeping under control, & avoiding high tide bird roosts.

Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Dog Controls:

The PSPO for Dog Controls by Thanet District Council was renewed on 25 October 2020 (for 3 years) BUT Please Note: Two amendments have been made that apply to Pegwell Bay (from March 2021) to cover additional protection. These are: a) specifically to avoid the upper chalk shore to protect endangered wildlife (in additional to the existing restrictions to not allow dog walking on the mudflats and saltmarsh); & to prevent; b) Humans and dogs interfering with, trapping or attempting to trap or snare or disturb any wildlife on council owned land.

More information:

Dogs on our Beaches (Leaflet – TDC, 2022)

Detailed map: of dog control zones (Map, 2020-23)

Pegwell Bay: a natural treasure!

Dogs & walkers can help our impressive coastal bird life by avoiding the mudflats, saltmarsh and chalk reef within the ‘Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve’ to give them the space to feed and rest. Access is available along the cliff top – part of the English Coastal Path (ECP) – and within the adjacent Pegwell Bay Country Park and Viking Ship Picnic Site.

Sandwich & Pegwell Bay NNR leaflet – Cover 1a (PDF, 1,291KB) – note: access restrictions have been updated as below 2023

Sandwich & Pegwell Bay NNR leaflet- Cover 1b (PDF, 1,202KB)

Sandwich & Pegwell Bay NNR leaflet – inside (PDF, 3,973KB)

Information: Sandwich & Pegwell Bay – birds (NE/ECP PDF, 1,583KB)

Access Restrictions 2023 – Sandwich & Pegwell Bay NNR (PDF, 934KB)

Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve (NNR) – revised Management Plan: The Sandwich & Pegwell Bay NNR Steering Group are currently developing a new recreational strategy for the NNR as part of the revised NNR Management Plan (TBC). This study and work is led by the Kent Wildlife Trust on behalf of all the NNR landowners/partners.

Parks & Open Spaces

Dogs & walkers can also access our impressive coastal cliff top grassland and promenades and Parks. These extensive grass areas include places such as as Warre & Boundary Road Rec or Ellington and King George VI Parks in Ramsgate; Memorial and St Peters Rec, or Holmes or Pierremont Park in Broadstairs,; to Dane Valley Rec, or Northdown, Dane or Hartsdown Park in Margate; to Lymington Road Rec in Westgate or Crispe Park in Birchington.

Two dogs sitting in the grass

Doggie ‘pit-stops’ & guided walk – Pegwell Bay NNR

These events helped with advise on hand to help local dog walkers with tips about looking after their dogs, where to go and about how to help wildlife in Pegwell Bay – Kent’s largest national nature reserve. The events were linked to the new English Coastal Path that is due to opened around the Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve in July 2016.  Further information: Calling all Canines (PDF, 155KB) Images from our previousl events: 11 March – Pit-Stop; 12 March -Pit-stop; 12 March Pit-stop & walk; 28 October-Tikspac launch.

‘Bird Wise East Kent’

In Jan/Feb 2019, Thanet and Canterbury Councils commissioned a new ‘baseline’ count by consultants ‘Footprint Ecology’ for coastal birds, with some face to face interviews with people at 8 locations around the NE Kent MPA (Thanet wader & visitor survey report, 31 July 2019). This is all part of the mitigation measures for future development and new people pressure (‘SAMM’). A new project called ‘Bird Wise East Kent’ has staff to enage and help people to reduce their disturbance to coastal birds around the North East Kent coast.

For more information – see Thanet SAMM (Strategic Access Management and Monitoring) plan; & Bird Wise East Kent website with its Savvy Sea Dogs membership, guided walks and dog training.

Further information:

Dog Walking Thanet Coastal Code

Dog on our beaches (TDC)

Detailed map: of dog control zones (2023)

Dogs on the beach – Canterbury coastline (Whitstable to Herne Bay)

Savvy Sea Dogs – Bird Wise East Kent advice for dog walkers