Top Dog Walks Around Canterbury

31st December 2022

Give your four-legged friends a breath of fresh air whatever the time of year, and take them - and yourself! - on walk around our district. With the stunning Kent Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the North Downs Way on your doorstep, there's always time to stretch your legs. 

Countryside, coastal or city - which one will you choose?

Epic Adventures

If your dog never seems to tire, there are plenty of routes around the city and into the countryside that will allow you to explore our beautiful district and give the pups a good workout!

Chartham to Canterbury – 3 Miles (linear)
This is a lovely flat, traffic-free route along the banks of the River Stour, passing heritage sites such as Chartham Paper Mill and Milton Church, and finishes at the beautiful cathedral city of Canterbury. Look out for wildlife along the way such as Kingfishers and enjoy the River Stour’s position as the gateway to the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding National Beauty.

Whitstable to Herne Bay, or Herne Bay to Whitstable – 5 miles (linear)
Walk along the coastline in either direction and enjoy the stunning views out to sea and the colourful beach huts. The route is flat and leisurely with plenty of dog-friendly spots to stop off for refreshment.

Crab and Winkle Way – 7.5miles (linear)

One of the most popular walkng routes in Kent, the historic Crab and Winkle Way winds through ancient woodland, rolling fields and pretty neighbours. Perfect for walkers and cyclists alike! Mostly off-road and traffic-free, the path follows the old pioneering railway. The best place to start is from Canterbury West Station and the route is well signposted, but be prepared for a couple of big hills. You'll pass a 13th-century church, ancient orchards and the Blean Woods Nature Reserve 

Old Dog, New Tricks

If you’re looking for gentler walks for your dog or yourself, these might do the trick!

City sniffers

Enjoy a slow walk around the city's streets for a more mindful experience. You can follow in the footsteps of Queen Bertha starting at the cathedral and winding 1.5miles around the city on the route the Queen took to pray at St Martin’s Church. It's dotted with historical stops and takes in the city’s three UNESCO sites of Canterbury Cathedral, St. Martin’s Church (the oldest English-speaking church in the world) and St. Augustine’s Abbey. Dogs are also welcome to join their owners on the Canterbury Guided Tours if you fancy a historic tour of the city.

Woodland Wanders
Woodlands are a great location to let your dog take his time and the soft ground will also help older, arthritic paws. Clowes Wood is one of the lesser-known woodlands in the 11 square mile Blean Woods Nature Reserve. This little wood of mainly conifers is managed by the forestry commission with good paths and is found between Tyler Hill and Chestfield. It's said to be one of the best places in the country to hear the song of the nightjar.

Cultural trail – Herne Bay
Why not take yourself on the cultural trail to test your knowledge of Herne Bay, while allowing little paws to take their time. Follow the signs from the historical mural in William Street and take a tour of smuggling, Victorian history, aviation and even murder!

Coastal capers

At this time of year, make the most of our beautiful beaches with your four-legged friends as they are free to leap and bound along the shore.

For lots of open space, head to Herne Bay promenade to take in the sights, smells and sounds of the sea as your dog can explore the vast pebble beaches between 1 October to 30 April. 

With cliff-top walks winding down to the beach, Reculver Country Park is a popular place for dog walks - just remember to keep your pooches on their leads in this beautiful Site of Special Scientific Interest. 

Or if the tide is out, your dog will enjoy investigating the shallow rock pools at Beltinge beach. There are also plenty of cafes doted along our coastline so you can warm up with a coffee or hot chocolate and get your pooch a bowl of water.

Pup-Friendly Pubs

If you're longing for a foamy pint at the end of your walk, there are plenty of places around the district that welcome dogs inside. 

In Canterbury, there are plenty of dog-friendly pubs to choose from including The Thomas Becket (which prides itself on its exclusive dog menu), The White Hart, The Unicorn Inn, Thomas Tallis and The Two Sawyers.

For Herne Bay, The Hampton Inn, Four Fathoms and The Ship Inn all welcome dogs, allowing plenty of excuses for a walk and refuel.

For Whitstable, The Pearson’s Arms and The Old Neptune are favourite doggy stop-offs while Birdies and The Umbrella Cafe also welcome well behaved pups.

Play by the rules!

  • Keep your dog on a lead in busy places
  • Always clear up dog mess and follow the countryside courtesy of Respect-Protect-Enjoy
  • Be vigilant of dog theft and keep your dog close and in sight at all times
  • Most of all – enjoy your walkies!
Much of our coastline welcomes dogs all year round. Some beaches only permit dogs from October to April so be sure to check local signs before letting them off the lead
Image: ©

Image: ©