If you want to plan a stay with a sandy beach, a blue sky and some big hidden places. The destination of one of Kent’s beautiful beaches should be at the top of the list. I was very surprised at the number of sandy beaches in Kent, but even the pebble beaches, wildlife sanctuaries and coastal towns have a lot to offer when they go to shore. There are beautiful places along the coast, famous places and lesser-known shelters – find out which one suits you best in our 2020 guide to Kent’s 11 best beaches.

Selection of the best beaches in Kent to visit in 2020

Cover! Cover! Salihan/Flikr

Rocky Bay

Where’d you find him?
A quiet location in the coastal town of Broadstairs, situated between the popular beaches of Kent Margate and Ramsgate.

To get to Stone Bay:
Express trains from St Pancras (85 minutes). Use a zip code for navigation: CT10 1DU

Stone Bay is one of our favourite beaches in Kent!

Sandy beaches of Stone Bay 11 Kent Beaches to visit this summer 2020 • Passport Stamps Beautiful view of Stone Bay (Photo: Catamaran Hunter)

Look out, Cornwall! This sandy bay is not only one of the best beaches in Kent, it has also been voted one of the 40 best beaches in the UK by the Sunday Times. This cute little bay is surrounded by imposing white rocks that reflect the sun and project the light onto the sand, creating a climate comparable to that of the Algarve. Who needs the stress of the airport when there’s a tropical shelter on their doorstep?

Historic Broadsters has attracted many people since Charles Dickens bought a summer house there and one of his most famous works, David Copperfield, was written there. You can visit Crystal House (renamed Fort House) and even get married there. There is also the Dickens’ House Museum, which is worth a visit (also very handy when it rains!).

Viking Bay is Kent’s most popular sandy beach, but Stone Bay is just a short walk from the promenade and is ideal for families. The water on this blue star beach is super clean for swimming and families can safely row on the shallow sand and rock pools. There are beach huts, cafes and toilets on the beach and even free parking at the top of the cliff if you’re lucky. I was also very impressed by the fact that the beach is wheelchair accessible, making it exclusive for everyone.

Greatstone Beach

Where’d you find him?
The village Greatstone is located on the east coast of the Romney Marsh, between Folkestone and Paradise.

To go to Greatstone Beach:
There’s no direct train from London, and the nearest station is Ashford. Use a zip code for navigation: TN28 8RP

11 Kent Beaches to visit this summer 2020 • Passport Stamps Greatstone Beach is a natural beauty (Photo: Jenny Wood)

Our selection of sandy beaches in Crowd Free Kent

This wild beauty is a real find, and a little further from the tourist route than Margate and Broadstars. Of all the beaches in Kent, it reminded me of the beautiful coastline of the east coast of America, with its thick sand, wildflowers and simple picket lines.

The vast beach is of course breathtaking, with few tourist tattoos and commercial elements. There are ten double toilets along the beach and there is parking for the disabled at the entrance. It is ideal for picnic days, swimming, reading in the dunes and building sand castles. Whether you want to pamper yourself or just watch from the outside, water sports are one of the main activities here, as the long beach is ideal for kite surfing, land sailing and kite flying. Just behind the beach is the Romney Marsh, and the Dunges National Nature Reserve is a popular place for nature walks, wildlife and bird watching. Bring food, drinks, plenty of water and sunscreen and you have everything you need for a perfect summer day in the southeast.

Dimmer range

Where’d you find him?
Dimscherch Beach is located in the Romney Marshland area of Kent.

To go to Dimchurch beach:
There is no direct train, but you can take the bus from London to Folkestone (30 minutes). Use a zip code for navigation: TN29 0TG

11 Kent Beaches to visit this summer 2020 • Passport Stamps Dimscherch – a quiet place (Photo: Ogreb)

Just outside Greatstone you’ll find a very different beach in Dimchurch, a sandy beach ideal for families. Castle-friendly sand, donkey rides, donut huts and ice floats surround the bay, and the beach is wide enough for everyone to be alone for a while.

Wide concrete steps along the beach. It’s a great place for a base if you don’t sit in the sand too much (like me), or if you don’t bring your own chairs but have to lean on something all day. The huge blue flag beach is a mix of sand and pebbles, and there is a wide range of entertainment for children of all ages, including a large playroom and an amusement park. BYO products are not required as there are beach cafes and restaurants serving fish delicacies throughout the property.

Pegwell Bay

Where’d you find him?
Pegwell Bay is a group of estuary beaches in the Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve in Thanet.

To go to Pegwell’s Bay:
The nearest train station is Münster. Use a zip code for navigation: CT12 5JB

11 Kent Beaches to visit this summer 2020 • Passport Stamps Beautiful Pegwell Bay Country Park (Photo: Funk Dubi)

For a totally different experience, Pegwell Bay is ideal for those who love outdoor adventure. Pegwell Bay Country Park is part of the Pegwell Bay and Sandwich National Nature Reserve. A lush green landscape is a great way to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. On a clear day you also have views of Sandwich, Deal and Ramsgate.

Bring bikes for the whole family and follow the coastal path to Ramsgate (three miles). The grassy area overlooks the sandy beach and offers a choice of hidden picnic areas if desired. Really, social detachment.

Viking Bay

Where’d you find him?
The main beach of sunny Broadster is located between the popular beaches of Kent Margate and Ramsgate.

To go to Viking Bay:
Express trains from St. John’s George. Pancras (85 minutes) and the beach are a five-minute walk from the train station. Use a zip code for navigation: CT10 1DU

11 Kent Beaches to visit this summer 2020 • Passport Stamps Viking Bay – the most popular beach in Broadster (Photo: John Blower)

Kent may be called the garden of England, but it is clear that the beaches of Kent are not too shabby either! This hotspot, Viking Bay, is the main beach of Broadsters and is often considered one of the best beaches in Kent and the southeast. Just a few minutes walk from our beloved Stone Bay, what is missing at Viking Bay makes up for the atmosphere. Beach attractions such as trampolines and swings are available at an additional cost. Along the water there are boat trips, sun loungers, chip stalls, souvenir shops and amenities. The spectacular horseshoe-shaped bay, surrounded by beach huts and wildflowers, is a popular year-round destination.

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Margate Main Sands is the most famous beach in Kent!

Where’d you find him?
Margate, located on the northeast coast, is one of the best beaches in Kent for families.

To go to Margate Beach:
High speed trains from St Pancras to London (1 hour 30 minutes). Use a zip code for navigation: CT9 1XJ

11 Kent Beaches to visit this summer 2020 • Passport Stamps Margate Main Sands is a popular but fun model: (Claire Swatman)

For me, the British coast says nothing more than Margate. When I was a child, we used to go there often and all I have left is a pleasant memory of our time. Golden sand, donkey riding, stone sticks, Penny Arcades and one of Britain’s oldest theme parks – what’s not to love? It’s busy here, but that’s no surprise, as it’s the best trip in London – with a sandy beach, chic shops, a good eatery and a station mainly on the water. Some trains run a little longer than to other beaches in Kent (on average 2 hours and 5 minutes), but at least you can look out the window or take a nap without missing a stop. Do your research and try to take one of the high-speed trains from London to St Pancras to get from the city to the sand in just 1 hour and 28 minutes.

In recent years Margate has experienced a renaissance: The hipsters have fled the big city and settled on the beach. The result is galleries, independent shops and restaurants, artisan breweries and trendy street food stores. The classical settlers of Margate may not like the change, but regeneration is not so bad for everyone. If you find a good spot on the beach (TOP TIP: before 10 am), Margate Main Sands is beautiful. The place is very family friendly with a warm tidal pool for children and many facilities.

Kent Beaches: 11 best Kent beaches to plan a trip or stay

Sherness Beach, Sheppie Island

Where’d you find him?
Sherness Beach on Sheppi Island, an island off the north coast of Kent.

To go to Serness Beach:
The nearest train station is Sittingbourn. You’ll have to take a bus or taxi to Sheppie Island to Serness. Use a zip code for navigation: ME12 1RE

11 Kent Beaches to visit this summer 2020 • Passport Stamps sunset point (photo: Kent Wang)

Serness is a relaxed mix of grassy parks and a cool spot by the sea. A quiet pebble beach is nice for groups and families looking for some space and coastal air. Between the city and the beach is a large lawn with beautiful gardens and colourful beach huts. This simple beach town is easy, but there is no shortage of food and drink, with a choice of pubs, cafes and family restaurants.

Nice fact: On a clear day you can see Southend at sea in Essex, and in high season you can take a ferry between the two coastal communities (about 1 hour and 30 minutes).

Castle beach, offer

Where’d you find him?
Located almost eight miles north of Dover and eight miles south of Ramsgate, it is one of the quietest beaches in Kent and definitely worth a visit.

To go to Castle Beach:
The trains from St. John’s Pancras to Deal leave in an hour and 45 minutes. Deal Castle Beach is less than a 10-minute walk from the train station. Use a zip code for navigation: CT14 6HY

11 Kent Beaches to visit this summer 2020 • Passport Stamps Liquid images of Lide-back Beach : Carl Ottersen)

The shop is an underestimated seaside resort in Kent and there is a choice of quiet, unattended beaches. There is not much to do here, except walk around the town and play in the sand and pebbles, but it is a quiet place, with beautiful views and colourful boats moored on the coast.

Built by Henry VIII to protect the country from European invaders, Deal Castle is a historical image of the impressive Tudor domination. The castle overlooks the stone beach for dogs, ideal for a picnic or a walk at sunset. The more we use the water for windsurfing, wakeboarding and kitesurfing, the more active we are. Deal’s old town is a postcard of candy-coloured houses in cobbled streets, and strangely enough, it’s a swarm of delicacies, shops and amazing antique shops.

Smokehouse

Where’d you find him?
Joss Bay to Broadster (again).

To get to Joss Bay:
Fast trains from St Pancras to Broadstars (85 minutes). Use a zip code for navigation: CT10 3PG

11 Kent Beaches to visit this summer 2020 • Passport Stamps Joss Bay – Surfer’s Sky (Photo: Ted and Jen)

Another Broadster beach gets our vote and makes it the official home of the best beaches in Kent, especially when it comes to the sandy beaches of Kent. In this beautiful bay the inhabitants come to surf, a paradise for surfers since the hippies of the 60s. Winds from different sides make it interesting, and waves break over sandbanks and chalk reefs. You can rent boards or take lessons at the famous Joss Bay surf school, located on the beach.

This blue flag beach is the first place to observe people. Book a table at Captain Digby’s. It was built in 1768 and is one of the oldest pubs in the area with a garden café overlooking the beach and an excellent menu, including fresh daily seafood caught directly from the water.

Minnis Bay, Birgington

Where’d you find him?
Birgington is a pleasant area on the north coast of Kent.

To go to Minnis Bay:
The beach is a five-minute walk from Birgington train station. Use a zip code for navigation: CT7 9QP

11 Kent Beaches to visit this summer 2020 • Passport Stamps Seafood at sunset in Minnis Bay (Photo: Harry Knight)

Minnis has almost everything you need for a family holiday on the British coast. From horse riding, kayaking, paddling and wakeboarding to a shallow, warm tidal pool where children can play, it’s everyone’s favourite pastime.

If you are here for a few days, rent bikes and follow the bike path to Margate in the afternoon. This quiet and largely flat road is part of the Viking Coastal Trail, a 32 mile circular cycle route in Kent. Social detachment is not a problem because there is always enough space and the vibrations are cooled and relaxed. After a day on the golden sands of Minnes Bay, pack a few bites (or better yet, buy freshly caught sea bass oysters) with a bottle of fizz and enjoy Kent’s best sunset.

Kingsgate Bay

Where’d you find him?
Another vote for Broadstars, although this beach is much more northerly than the other options.

To go to Kingsgate Bay:
The nearest train station is at Broadster and Kingsgate Cove is 40 minutes walk or 8 minutes by taxi. Parking spaces near the beach are limited. Use a zip code for navigation: CT10 3QH

11 Kent Beaches to visit this summer 2020 • Passport Stamps Kingsgate is strong and breathtaking (Photo: Kate Russell)

The striking white cliffs are almost the same as in Kent and this sheltered sandy bay is famous for some of Britain’s most impressive sea caves. You can explore caves at low tide and children can hunt marine fossils in the fallen chalk (not chalk on a rock face). The beach is patrolled by lifeguards, but they also cover other beaches along the coast, so it is not guarded all day. The cave closes at high tide on both sides, but visitors receive many warnings to leave the cave.

The Guardian declared Kingsgate Bay one of the best beaches in the United Kingdom in 2019. Personally, I’m not sure that’s true, but it’s definitely one of the quietest and most relaxing options for any beach in Kent. This is largely due to the lack of parking spaces or station spaces near the beach, as most travelers stay in a Viking or a botanical bay. Kingsgate Castle, 250 years old, overlooks the southern end of the beach and gives the whole bay the feeling of a royal throne.

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