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Kent's Blue Flag beaches - where to take the family to the beach this summer

By Angela Cole

Here's our guide to where to head for a day on the beach across Kent with the county's Blue Flag beaches.


The perfect choice for a relaxing trip to the coast, Botany Bay at Broadstairs has white cliffs, chalk stacks and a secluded sandy beach.

It is said Botany Bay got its name from the fate of those caught smuggling – deportation to Botany Bay, Australia. You’ll find no smuggled treasure there these days but the beautiful sandy bay is considered a gem in Thanet’s chalky crown.

Sit back and drink in the views from a deck chair, search the sands for fossils or explore the rock pools.

Botany Bay at Broadstairs
Botany Bay at Broadstairs

If you’re feeling active, the 32-mile Viking Coastal Trail stretches around the entire Thanet peninsular.

There are toilets and parking, but dogs are banned from May to October.

Find Botany Bay at Broadstairs, CT10 3LG.

For more info click here.

Beaches to walk your dog on across Kent


Does your ideal trip to the beach include some good old fashioned sandcastle building? If so West Bay couldn’t be better. With a long stretch of sandy beach, rock pools and a café on the promenade, it makes for a perfect family day out.

West Bay at Westgate
West Bay at Westgate

Keep an eye on the time though because at high tide the beach (and those carefully crafted sandcastles) will be swept away. But the day needn't end there - the nearby pub and café are both perfect spots to sit and watch the sunset.

Find West Bay at Westgate-on-Sea in Thanet.

For info click here.


Another of Thanet’s sandy bays, St Mildred’s is a cliff-lined beach with promenade and tidal pool.

The beach is set within the heart of Westgate and edged with tennis courts, a putting green and a restaurant.

Travel up the coast on the Viking Coastal Trail and you can head to Margate or quieter Reculver Towers to finish up your day.

Find it at Westgate-on-Sea, CT8 8AD.

For info go here.


Known as the best surfing beach in Thanet, beautiful Joss Bay even has its own surf school where you can hire boards and wet suits to take to the waves.

You can also explore more of Thanet’s glorious sandy coastline by bike, taking on beach-hopping sections of the 32 mile Viking Coastal Trail.

Soak up the views and enjoy refreshments from the café on the sands. There is parking and also toilets, but dogs are not allowed.

Find it at Joss Bay, Broadstairs, CT10 3PG.

For info on its facilities click here.

A day on the beach is fun for all the family
A day on the beach is fun for all the family


Ramsgate’s popular sandy bay offers all the traditional seaside trappings you could hope for plus children’s amusements, arcades and eateries.

Just a short distance from the beach you’ll see the vibrant Royal Harbour (Britain’s one and only) and the Marina.

There are three Active Ramsgate walks to keep you busy. Choose between the five-mile cliff-topping walk to Broadstairs, the peaceful 6.1 mile stroll to Pegwell Bay and Sandwich National Nature Reserve or an architectural trail on the 3.4 mile Ramsgate Town Rounders walk.

There are charges for parking.

For details go here.


This shingle beach is an ideal spot for families looking for an afternoon by the sea. Looking out to the Thames and Medway estuaries, there are views from the gently sloping beach.

After taking a dip in the sea, you can always take to two wheels and explore more ashore on the 6.3 mile mainly traffic-free Sheerness Way from beautiful Barton’s Point Coastal Park.

For more details of what's on offer go here.


Tankerton Beach is a family haven of safe bathing, pretty painted beach huts and sloping grassy banks. At low tide the sea gives way to a long, pleasant walk to take you right out to sea, and a chance to explore rock pools, paddle and discover some local sea-life.

Take a stroll along the beach
Take a stroll along the beach

When you've finished paddling, walking, swimming and rock-pooling enjoy a picnic on the grassy area or just sit and enjoy the view. Dogs are allowed.

For details go here.


A pebble's throw from Broadstairs’ main sands, Stone Bay is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the town.

Take a dip in the sea or explore the rock pools while on this sandy beach and when the sun finally ducks behind the chalk cliffs, head back into Broadstairs along the promenade to discover the range of bars and eateries on the beach front.

Beach huts at Stone Bay, Margate
Beach huts at Stone Bay, Margate

For more info click here.


This long stretch of beach is perfect sandcastle-building territory, with an outdoor play area, paddling pool and seasonal lifeguards.

If you’re looking for more thrills than paddling and sandcastles, try water sports, with windsurfing and kiteboarding being popular choices. Take your bikes and you’ll find the 3.75 mile section of the Viking Coastal Trail to Margate main sands the perfect excuse to explore Thanet’s coastline.

You’ll also find facilities for refreshments on hand, a kiosk on the prom and restaurant.

For more info go here.

For more details of Kent's Blue Flag beaches, visit Explore Kent at explorekent.org

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