The Kentish coastline has some of England's best beaches, most of which are easily reached by car or train from London.

Southeastern services to Kent's coast depart from Victoria, Stratford International, St Pancras, South Bromley and Gravesend.

The newly opened Thanet Parkway station services Margarte, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and the surrounding beaches and coastal spots, and connects to central London with a new highspeed service that takes just 70 minutes.

From sprawling sandy shorelines, to quintessentially British shingle covered seasides, here are the best beaches in Kent, as ranked by Tripadvisor, for easy daytripping and weekends away from London. 

1 Viking Bay

Broadstairs’ horseshoe-shaped bay is right in the heart of the coastal town, near to the house (now a museum) where Charles Dickens wrote Bleak House. A sandy beach, its sheltered waters make it a great choice for young children to splash about, and there’s plenty of amenities, entertainment and food options nearby including ice-cream and fish and chips. One Tripadvisor user commented that it took her “right back in time, a real traditional British seaside town”.


2 St Margaret’s Bay Beach

Found at the bottom of a windy road, past big coastal homes with expensive cars parked out front, St Margaret’s Bay Beach is a quiet, shingle beach. Not far from Dover, the beach is picturesque and pretty, thanks to the chalky white clifftops which enclose it. There’s a pubby-restaurant beach side and a hut selling toasties and ice-cream. Clifftop walks are also accessible from the beach.


3 Dymchurch Beach

Just south of Folkstone, Dymchurch beach is a long stretch of mainly sandy beach, connecting Dungeness and Hythe. Tripadvisor users commented that it was “ideal for children” and that it is a “fabulous long sandy beach with wide promenade for walking and cycling”.


4 Margate Main Sands

A stone’s throw from the train station, Margate’s Main Sands is a wide stretch of sandy beach that comes with a tidal pool for paddling about in. Right in the middle of the town’s buzzy scene, there’s plenty of restaurants, bara and the Turner Gallery nearby, and the Old Town is a short stroll away also.


5 Botany Bay

Windswept and rugged, Botany Bay in Margate is serval bays along from Main Sands, which you can access by walking along the Viking Coastal Trail from either Margate or Broadstairs. It has chalky cliffs and a sandy beach and is manned by lifeguards during peak times. One Tripadvisor user commented that you could walk to either Margate or Broadstairs along the beach at low tide.


6 Deal Beach

A seemingly endless stretch of shingle beach, Deal Beach is in easy access of the town’s cafes, independent shops and pubs. It also has one of the two piers in Kent, which you can fish off. One Tripadvisor user commented that the beach was not very busy and had a lot of places to sit and people watch, while another wrote that Deal had an “old skool feel to the place” and would “deffo go again”.


7 Joss Bay

Also on the Viking Coastal Trail between Margate and Broadstairs a couple of bays up from Botany Bay, Joss Bay is a surfing beach, although don’t expect waves comparable to Cornwall and Devon. There is a little shop at the top selling snacks and ice cream. With a farmer who opens up a field for cheap all-day parking, parking the car is easy, even on busy days.


8 Minnis Bay

Also in Thanet and accessible by either Birchington on Sea or Thanet Parkways stations, Minnis Bay is another sandy stretch that has plenty of free parking and an outdoor play area for kids. One Tripadvisor user left a review which said: “Looking for quiet beach walk, wonderful views, sandy beach, wide walk paths open space, green meadow, room for dogs to run, shells for carpet to walk on and lastly relaxing deep sea air to breath in.” He added that he “will be back”.


9 Hythe Beach

Found between Folkestone and Dymchurch, Hythe Beach is a quiet, pebbly beach with a steep slope into the sea. Its long promenade runs into Sandgate, which runs into Folkstone’s main beach. One Tripadvisor review claimed the beach was “spotlessly clean”, adding that it was a “quiet, very clean shingle beach and promenade with a few groups of families and friends”.


10 Dover Beach

Overlooking the English Channel across to Calais, in France, the port town’s main beach comes with a long promenade and marina. The National Heritage site, the White Cliffs of Dover, are a short drive away. One review said that the beachfront was “small, quiet and very pleasant”, while another added that the pebble beach had a “new long pier stretching out into the sea to walk along, with some seating”.