5 of the Best Family-Friendly Beaches in Kent
Kent on the South East corner of England is well known for its rich and varied countryside and its glorious sandy beaches. Here we take you on a discovery of five of the best family-friendly beaches in Kent. They are listed in no particular order and different families will have different requirements. Let’s go and grab some sun!
Dymchurch is a small village on the south-east coast of Kent. There you'll find a beautiful, mostly flat, sandy blue flag beach. Because when the tide is out it’s a wide beach, making it ideal for children to play, build sandcastles, and paddle and for sunbathing. There is also an amusement park close by with rides suited to cover all ages and there are even donkey rides in the summer. You can find toilets located just off the beach as well as the main Dymchurch public toilets are on the High Street. To make things even easier, there is on street parking, but if you can't find a space there’s a pay and display car park right next to the beach. Remember to bring your bikes too as there is a flat cycle friendly path along the sea front.
Whilst you're there you must take a ride on the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. The one third sized Steam & Diesel locomotives run for 13.5 miles along the Kent coast. With 4 stops along the route, each within walking distance of a beach, there is no better way to explore this slice of England with your family, especially is they are train mad!
2. Margate Main Sands
Margate is a traditional seaside resort which caters extremely well for families of all sizes. Margate's highlight is of course the beach, or beaches as there are a few here. The main beach is of course the most popular but just a short walk away from the centre you'll find other smaller beaches. As well as all the beaches, there’s a tidal pool and plenty of paddling and sandcastle building opportunities. Dreamland Amusement Park is close by and the Old Town for restaurants is a short walk. There are plenty of shops, seafood stalls and cafes in the vicinity and accessible toilets.
Margate gets very busy and so does its beaches! There are car parks in the Old Town and near Dreamland, as well as metered street parking on some streets.
3. Herne Bay
Colourful beach huts line the shingle beach that gives way to sand when the tide is out. Herne Bay has a rich Victorian history and is a seaside town known for the warm welcome to visitors. There’s a pier, bandstand, ice cream stalls and fish and chips all nearby. Disabled parking is near the beach and the toilets are close by.
Be careful when parking in Herne Bay, a lot of it is parking permit controlled. However, there are metered spaces on the sea front and there are three all day parking car parks Sunday to Friday at Beach Street, Kings Road and Market Street with reasonable charges.
4. Botany Bay
A sandy bay featuring stunning views of the white cliffs and the famous chalk stacks. Botany Bay in Broadstairs is a very popular location for filming and photo shoots so keen an eye out for celebrities. It's also famous for its history of smugglers. But above all it’s a great beach for families.
When the tide is out children can have great fun searching for fossils and exploring the rock pools. There is a kiosk selling hot and cold drinks and snacks. They also hire out windbreaks and deck chairs if you haven't brought your own with you. The beach is accessible by steps or a sleep slope. Be aware that as the sand is soft and deep in places it might be an ideal location for those with very young children and pushchairs.
If you fancy staying the night, the Botany Bay Hotel is nearby for accommodation but also has a wonderful restaurant, and a bar. There are toilets open from the end of March for the summer and RNLI lifeguards from the end of May to beginning of September.
There is limited pay and display parking nearby, but be careful as some of the parking is for permit holders only. The best place for parking is the 200 space free car park off Palm Bay Avenue.
5. Hythe Beach
Midway between Dymchurch and Folkstone, the beach at Hythe is mainly pebbles and it does slope a bit meaning when the tide is in, close supervision of children may be necessary as it gets deep suddenly. It’s a very different beach to Dymchurch, but the location has its charms and is well worth a visit.
The great thing about the beach at Hythe is the two mile promenade which is lovely to stroll along. There are shops selling ice cream, drinks and snacks and there are plenty of seats to enjoy the view. Hythe town is not a typical seaside resort there are none of the traditional seaside resort attractions, arcades or shops but it offers a more peaceful, gentler atmosphere to the big resort towns.
If you don’t like sand in your sandwiches and the ringing of arcade machines, then this is the beach for your family!
There is free parking on the sea front, but at busy times you may need to use one of the town centre car parks. There are toilets right by the beach at Hythe.
Of course this is only a small selection of some of our favourite beaches in Kent. There are of course many more beaches to explore and enjoy. You can find a great list here.