We wanted to put together some ideas for things to do with your dog in September. September’s an interesting month as it tends to either be the sultry end of the hot summer days or has swiftly swung into autumn mode. At the moment it looks like the latter - with the leaves already falling and winds whipping around. So what better weather than this to take advantage of the lovely walk opportunities near and not so near by?
As we’ve moved our operations solely to Margate in Kent we’ve had the chance to enjoy a few incredible places in the area that are perfect for life with our dogs, where we get to enjoy unique landscape, events or surroundings. With most of these places just a hop, skip and a rail ticket from London they're the perfect excuse for a getaway to the coast - we hope you can enjoy some of them too?
Belmont Park, Throwley Rd, Throwley, Faversham ME13 0HH
The Gardens are open all year round from 10 am to 6 pm (or dusk if earlier). Dogs are allowed in the Grounds as long as they are kept on the lead at all timesThe Tea Room is open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday for homemade cakes and cream teas. With Self-service from Monday-Friday.
The walled garden at Belmont is situated behind the clock tower and can be accessed from the pinetum or the courtyard. Its long borders contain a wide variety of plants both annual and perennial.
Next to the walled garden, the pinetum contains a variety of trees (Blue Atlas Cedar, Mexican White Pine, Brewer Spruce and Coast Redwood amongst others), planted by successive Harris generations
19th September – 20th September
9.30am - 5.00pm
Kent Showground, Detling, Kent, ME14 3JF
Paws in the Park Autumn Show will be full of doggy activities, games, and dog sports from agility to water sports, and enter one of their amazing dog competitions including heelwork to music, agility and novelty dog show classes. Who knows, your dog could even win Best in Show!
Sunday 27th September
10.00 am - 4.00 pm.
Margate, Kent, CT9 3PP
Over 1,500 Classic, Vintage & Retro Cars & Bikes for you to peruse with your pooch.
Wine & Walkies:
Fancy a saunter with your sauvignon, a mooch with your merlot or perhaps a schlepp with your chardonnay – we’ve got you covered. Kent’s wine scene is fast becoming the Sanoma of the South Coast and the good news is that a few of these gems are dog-friendly!
Always check exactly where you can walk with your well-behaved hounds – which will always need to be on a lead and the vineyards ask that you and your fido leave the areas as fabulous as you found them.
The Mount, Church Street, Shoreham, Sevenoaks TN14 7SD, Kent
Burnt House Farm, Station Road, Chartham, Canterbury, Kent CT4 7HU
Woods, wonder and Walkies:
But which to choose for your and your dogs day out?
The Blean is the largest ancient broadleaved woodland in southern Britain. Hornbeam, hazel, beech, oak, birch and sweet chestnut grow on the reserve, while brambles, bracken and bluebells are dominant on the woodland floor.
There are 3 different parts which you can explore:
Bedgebury Rd, Goudhurst TN17 2SJ
8.00 am – 7.00 pm
Until 4 October
If you haven’t been to a Pinetum yet – this is The One to go to!
Bedgebury is an award-winning visitor attraction with something for everyone with over 12,000 trees. Open all year, Bedgebury is the perfect place for dog-friendly outdoor activity.
The National Pinetum is home to a world-leading collection of conifers and provides a beautiful setting for peaceful walks and picnics. There’s also a great Bedgebury cafe – check if there’ doing takeaway or sit-in as there are also wonderful views of the pinetum.
Bedgebury Forest has miles of family cycling (with bike hire if you need it) and mountain-biking, walking, and running trails, as well as Horse Riding, Go Ape treetop adventure, and an adventure play trail and areas.
Challock, Kent, TN25
King's Wood is 588 hectares of mixed conifer and broadleaf woodland and home of the Stour Valley Creative Partnership.
The Stour Valley Creative Partnership is a new creative partnership, which has been formed to take forward the legacy of Stour Valley Arts Trust.
Head for the King's Wood Sculpture Trail: The sculpture trail is approx. 6 km or 3.5 miles long. It takes you through different woodland areas including stands of coppice at different stages, areas of majestic beeches and conifers too. The trail map is marked with red arrows and numbers to keep you on track.
Whitstable and Woofs:
Amongst many of the local towns from Margate to Ramsgate, Whitstable is another popular destination for a day trip. Weekends offer a buzzing high street, (with many of the shops being dog-friendly.) There are also great dog-friendly beaches – as long as your dog is OK with shingle, a great market and a few fantastic dog-friendly pub restaurants – our favourite being The Pearsons Arms:
Whitstable West Beach, Kent, CT5 1FB
Harbour Market The South Quay, Whitstable Harbour, Kent, CT5 1AB
An open-air showcase of locally-created, British made, premium and hand-crafted goods and fine art. Set in the working harbour of Whitstable, a unique and quirky fishing town on the northeast coast of Kent.
Enjoy the paintings, drawings, prints and photography of artists settled alongside skilled craftspeople, who feature an eclectic roster of distinctive goods, including jewellery, wrought ironwork, ceramics, textiles and furniture.
Dog-friendly pub – booking advised, it's really good!
Romney Marshes and Dungeness
Bleak and beautiful – the Romney Marshes and Dungeness are a rare place of natural beauty and solitude. There’s also a mini train and believe it or not, dogs travel for FREE with their owners on miniature trains across Romney Marsh. What’s not to love?
New Romney Station, New Romney, Kent TN28 8PL
Dungeness is unique – no boundaries, a desolate landscape with wooden houses, power stations, lighthouses and expansive gravel pits. Yet it possesses rich and diverse wildlife within the National Nature Reserve is one of the largest shingle landscapes in the world.
Whilst the choice isn’t what I’d call broad (The Britannia Inn is the only pub in Dungeness) it’s worth heading to if you haven’t packed a picnic – especially if the clouds are rolling your way. They do a variety of traditional, home-cooked English dishes. We had the cod and chips which was just what we fancied!
Photo credit: Derek Jarman at Prospect Cottage, Dungeness © Geraint Lewis
Walks that include the ubiquitous dog-friendly pub:
The Three Chimneys, Biddenden and Gorgeous gardens walk
Enjoy a stroll around the nearby Sissinghurst Castle Garden Estate or Bedgebury Pinetum before driving to the pub. Alternatively, loop the pub into a circular walk around the Sissinghurst Estate – there is a 5.5m stroll at kentramblers.org.uk and a 3m walk on the National Trust website – detour off both routes at Bettenham Manor, following Digdog Lane east for 0.8m to the pub (where the road forks, bear right, walking southeast).
Hareplain Road, Biddenden, Kent TN27 8LW
The pub is a 15th-century pub offering fabulous dining and a real log fire for cooler days. Great value the food (traditional English with a modern twist) is unfailingly excellent. Dogs are regulars with their water-proofed walkers often in tow, are very welcome to eat in the bar area. Don’t miss the sticky toffee pudding!
The Birling Community Heritage Trail
Located at the foot of the Downs, just off the North Downs Way, there are many great walks from (or passing) the pub. For an easy 4.5m circular stroll, which takes in many ancient sites of interest, click here to find the route and map for the Birling Community Heritage Trail; taking in the edges of the North Downs, the ancient Pilgrims’ Way, passes All Saints church (parts of which date back to the 13th century) and encompasses the mysterious 3,000-year old Coldrum Long Barrow.
The Nevill Bull in Birling.1 Ryarsh Road, Birling, West Malling, ME19 5JW
Cosy up with your pooch beside the log fire and enjoy the colourful surrounds of this pub and don’t forget to check out their menu!
The Dirty Habit Walks:
The Dirty Habit is so dedicated to the service of walkers and their human owners in the area that they provide a list of walks from short strolls - The Little Habit Walk: 1 mile: 0.5 – 1 hour to longer more serious walks like The Leeds Castle Walk: 7 miles (11.5 km) 3.5 – 4 hours. To choose your K9s cruise, find more information Here.
The Dirty Habit Upper Street, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1UW
The Dirty Habit is a great dog-friendly pub, which has decided to extend their Eat Out To Help Out saving of 50% off food every Monday - Wednesday throughout September, October & November. So go on – support these fabulous local pubs that love your pooches as much as they love you!
We’d love to hear your suggestions for places you head in your area, wherever you are? We look forward to hearing from you!
Photo credits: Priscilla Du Preez / Dominik Kempf / Geraint Lewis / Zoltan Tasi / Ian Simpson / Michael Cummins and Joe Caione