Dog Friendly Walking Routes

Sophie from Active Kent & Medway with her dog

10th October 2022

I have never really been what I’d call an animal person or a dog lover. But 7, nearly 8 years ago we decided to make the best decision we’ve ever made and welcomed our beautiful Labrador into our family! The cliche “dogs are a man’s best friend” is true! He’s enabled us to see so many beautiful places, experience all manners of weather, meet some lovely people and have some amazing adventures we would never have done without him! He does make you appreciate the smallest things in life!

I’ve always enjoyed walking, but the urge to explore and find new walks has meant we regularly trawl through the Explore Kent website for the latest walk and it’s become a friday night ritual to look into our growing bookcase collection of OS maps!

I wanted to share with you a little glimpse into some of my favourite dog-walking routes in Kent. As I said our dog is a Labrador, so it’s safe to assume all these walks include lots of off-lead walking, lots of water and at the end, food!

Lullingstone Country Park

Gorgeous Lullingstone sits on the Darenth River so plenty of opportunity for swimming, as well as taking in the gorgeous Lullingstone Castle. You can walk around the country park and make use of the little café there or stroll along the river into Shoreham where you can stop at the Lavender Castle Farm, where if you time it right you can be greeted by fields of calming lavender or in autumn, pumpkins! There are also not one but two dog-friendly pubs in Shoreham Village to greet you, The Crown and The Kings Arms!

Dog swimming in the Darenth river

Wateringbury Rail Trail

Parking at Wateringbury station is free which is a bonus, but this lovely walk is testing for a Labrador as he could see the water but couldn’t quite get to it! At weekends there is a lovely little coffee cart at the start of this walk and sometimes the local bakery has a van for sweet treats too! This walk has a gorgeous church and a beautiful lake in the centre of Wateringbury village which I didn’t even know existed! A short but lovely little jaunt! If you fancy a little longer and an out-and-back walk you can always walk along the river the other way to Teston Country Park, dogs are asked to be on their lead for some of this walk but there is a spot for swimming and there’s even a little mobile cafe there too!

Teston Country park river

Hythe Canal

Parking at West Hythe is free but limited and there are plenty of opportunities for those doggies who like to swim on this out-and-back walk. The canal is beautiful and flat, and there’s even an opportunity for the eagle-eyed to spot the animals at Port Lympne Zoo. If you can manage the walk from West Hythe to Hythe and back it’s worth it, the cafes are plentiful in Hythe town and it’s always fun to spot the train on the railway!

Dog jumping into the Hythe canal

Enjoy, have fun and if you see a black Labrador swimming in circles trying to catch his splashes, apologies he’s probably mine!

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