Original article from Kent Live
A beach in Kent has been ranked amongst the best and safest for dogs in the entire country.
Whitstable West Beach ranked within the top 50 alongside others in Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex.
This is thanks to their high water quality, dogs being welcomed all year round, accessible parking and because a daytime vet is based nearby.
Here's the top beaches in the South coast, according to Vets Now.
Whitstable West Beach
Whitstable’s mile-long west beach is a stretch of shingle divided up by wooden groynes and offers dogs unrestricted access to the coast in an area where bylaws restricting dogs are common.
You’ll love its traditional charms, such as its beach huts, weatherboard cottages and fishing boats pulled up on the beach.
The Old Neptune Pub, referred to by locals as the ‘Neppy’ sits practically on the beach. When the weather’s good, you’ll enjoy the large beer garden, and when it’s cold, there’s a fire inside to warm you and your dog.
Hengistbury West Beach, Dorset
Most of the golden beaches dotted along the coast of Dorset have restrictions on dogs, especially during summer months. But at Hengistbury West, your four-legged friend is welcome to play all year round.
There’s a nature reserve here as well as a popular beach-front cafe, public toilets and dog bins.
If you’re looking to treat yourself (and your dog) to an overnight stay, take a look at the very swish, four-star Captain’s Club Hotel and Spa, just along the coast from Bournemouth. Dogs are welcome in most rooms for a £20 surcharge.
Milford-on-Sea Beach, Hampshire
Tucked away at the southernmost tip of the beautiful New Forest National Park is this smashing little pebble beach, highly popular with dog lovers. Your dog is welcome all year round with no summer restrictions.
There are brilliant views across to the Isle of Wight and a great family walk from the beach along Hurst Spit to Hurst Castle.
If you fancy a spot to eat, take a stroll to the extremely dog-friendly Smugglers Inn in the heart of Milford village. Dogs are welcome inside and outside the pub with water bowls galore.
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West Wittering, West Sussex
The lovely sandy beach in the charming village of West Wittering is something of a rarity in the area – mainly known for its pebble beaches.
From May to September, there’s a small area in front of a row of beach huts where dogs aren’t allowed – but don’t let that put you off. There’s still plenty of beach for your dog to play on.
In fact, your only problem might be getting him or her back on the lead at the end of the day. There are excellent views of Chichester harbour and the South Downs to be enjoyed, as well as kite-surfing for the more adventurous.
Cooden Beach, East Sussex
A very typical Sussex beach – it’s a long stretch of shingle divided by wooden groynes. This coastline is popular with kite surfers and windsurfers.
Unusually, there is a train station virtually on the beach with trains running to Eastbourne in one direction and Hastings in the other. So you don’t need a car to get there.
If you plan on staying the night, book into the welcoming White Rock Hotel in Hastings, where the owners have two cats and two dogs of their own, all of whom are often waiting at reception to greet you.