Kent, also referred to as The Garden of England, is a pretty dog-friendly county. There’s plenty for you and your little friend to explore here together, from its picture-perfect coastal towns and nearby golden beaches to its quaint villages tucked away in its peaceful countryside. But if you fancy grabbing a swift pint after a long walk with your dog or you’d like to enjoy a nice meal in dog-friendly company, there are a few pubs that you should check out. We’ve compiled a handy guide to Kent’s dog-friendly pubs so there’s no reason not to bring your best friend along on your next pub outing.
If you’re visiting Kent and don’t want to drive, take the train! You can take up to two dogs with you on all British trains free of charge—find out more in our article Can I Take My Dog on the Train?
1. West End Tavern
Address & Map: West End, Tonbridge, TN12 9JB
As any dog owner knows, the only downside to finding a truly dog-friendly pub is that you’ll never be able to walk past it without being dragged in by your dog again. This seems to be quite an issue at West End Tavern, an old-school village pub in the heart of Kent’s countryside. Not only are the staff more than happy to dole out cuddles to four-legged visitors, they’ll offer them a bowl of water and feed them some yummy treats.
The Grade II listed building was originally a forge built in the 18th century, and it’s retained many of its traditional features including an inglenook fireplace, low ceilings and exposed beams. In addition to drinks, they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner most days, and main menu items include jacket potatoes, pizzas, and other pub grub classics. There’s also a specials board to choose from and they do a mean Sunday roast. You’re bound to meet other dogs and their owners in here, and though dogs are asked to be kept on leads, the little ones are welcome to grab their own stool at the bar if there’s one free.
2. The Bricklayers Arms
Address & Map: 39-41 Chevening Road, Sevenoaks, TN13 2RZ
Located opposite a lake, and at the end of the picturesque Darent Valley Path—a 19-mile long trail that follows the River Darent from the banks of the River Thames through the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty—The Bricklayers Arms is in prime dog-walking territory. Pop in with little your dog after walkies and have a nice pint—the pub is Cask Marque accredited so you know the quality of beer is going to be good.
The picturesque pub comprising three terraced cottages has a lovely outdoor area and dogs are always made to feel at home both inside and out. They’ll be offered treats and access to bowls of water, and maybe even find a fun rubber chicken to play with. The team pride themselves on offering top-notch, home-made British pub fare as well as daily specials made using seasonal ingredients. There’s always something going on at The Bricklayers Arms, whether it’s the regular Tuesday night quiz, their monthly live music night, a charity auction or their summer party. On Sundays you’ll find lots of dogs socialising while their owners enjoy a superb roast.
3. Grove Tavern
Address & Map: 19 Berkeley Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1YR
Dating back to the mid 17th century, Grove Tavern is arguably the oldest—and smallest—traditional pub in the old village area of Tunbridge Wells. Venture past the striking red slate and whitewashed facade you’ll find a cosy boozer with hardwood floors, exposed beams, and friendly bar staff—who will be very excited to welcome your little buddy.
They offer four cask ales alongside the usual range of lagers, ciders, wines, premium label spirits and soft drinks. And although they don’t serve food for people, your dog won’t be disappointed as special dog biscuits and a water bowl are provided. While the little guy digs in to the treats and catches up with furry friends you can have a game of pool, darts or just a friendly chat with the locals or newcomers.
4. The Stanhope Arms
Address & Map: Church Road, Westerham, TN16 1HZ
This little village pub is a proper dog pub for dog people as evidenced by the sign on the bar that warns “Beware of Dog Kisses.” It refers to Lillie one of the resident pub labs (the other being Daisie) who loves to lick everyone but “has a breath that will melt concrete.” The landlady believes a village pub is about more than just drinking, that it should be a place where the whole family is welcome (including four-legged members), and where staff know your name or at least recognise your face. And at The Stanhope Arms the staff warmly welcome all dogs with treats, cuddles and fresh water.
They serve food every day except Mondays and there is always a good range of ever changing guest real ales—anyone curious to try them can always ask one of the friendly bar staff for a sample before ordering. There’s a lovely large garden and dogs are welcome in all areas except the carpeted area in the restaurant; the team just ask that they’re kept on a lead or at least under control.
5. The Hawkenbury
Address & Map: Hawkenbury Road, Hawkenbury, TN12 0DZ
Rexie, The Hawkenbury’s resident Alaskan Malamute likes to meet new faces and makes all well-behaved dogs and their owners feel welcome at her cheerful pub. Biscuits and bowls of water are always available both inside the historic country inn, and outside in the large beer garden. Dogs are welcome in the bar, bar dining area, and beer garden where they serve tasty home-made food—much of it locally sourced—along with local Kentish ales.
Rexie’s owners can recommend some nice safe walks in the local area, and when you get back there’s a covered seating area outside which is ideal for leaving muddy boots or drying off with wet dogs. They also have B&B accommodation that four-legged visitors are welcome to stay in if they so desire.
6. The Three Mariners
Address & Map: Lower Rainham Road, Gillingham, ME8 7TN
The Three Mariners is a traditional pub that draws in an eclectic crowd. Nothing is too much trouble for the friendly landlords and Poppy, their adorable rescue dog who loves soliciting belly rubs from customers and sharing her toys with other dogs.
As well as the usual selection of lagers, wines and spirits, they serve bar snacks and good old fashioned pub food, and are famous for their generous portions and Sunday roasts. There’s a large grassy, beer garden where well-behaved dogs are allowed to play with each other off-lead. There’s also a children’s play area so it’s ideal if you’d like to sit back with a cold drink while the kids and dogs entertain themselves come summer. Your dog may prefer to be tucked up in bed on nights where there’s live music and karaoke though.
7. Rose And Crown
Address & Map: Faversham, ME13 9RY
Rose and Crown is a beautiful 16th century traditional country pub set in Perry Wood, a designated Local Wildlife Site which provides stunning views over the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s also just a mile from Selling train station, and if you walk to the pub from there you’ll pass through orchards and woodland on the way, so it makes a great place to visit on a day trip.
The pubs owners will greet your dog with a nice bowl of water and you’re sure to meet other dogs and their owners inside—this place is in an ideal spot for dog walkers, runners and cyclists. There’s a great selection of pub grub and drinks available as well as a nice beer garden you can make use of in summer where they throw beer festivals with a hog roast, real ales and live music! During the winter months there are plenty of board games to keep you entertained next to the lovely open fire.
8. Black Horse
Address & Map: 366 Canterbury Road, Folkestone, CT18 7BG
Your dog will be treated like a VIP at the Black Horse pub, a historic watering hole on the main Canterbury to Folkestone route. It’s popular with locals and campers from the local campsite and like any quintessential village pub, features low wood-beamed ceilings, a sturdy bar, and open log fire. Your bezzie mate will be given plenty of water if she’s thirsty and maybe even a few cuddles. There’s a secure fenced area for that dogs to stretch their legs and make friends in (as long as she’s supervised), and after a recent refurbishment there’s now a heated outdoor dining area.
The bar has a great range of real ales, lagers, beers from around the world plus a wide selection of wines and spirits. They serve homemade food, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, all week from noon to 9 pm. While you tuck into some fish and chips or a Sunday roast, your dog can sit with you but what’s more, she can even have something from the special doggy menu!
9. The Fitzwalter Arms
Address & Map: The Street, Canterbury, CT3 1PJ
Dogs and muddy boots are very welcome at The Fitzwalter Arms. Set among some of Kent’s most beautiful countryside, it’s no surprise that they get a lot of visitors fresh from a walk in the woods. Treats are always on offer as well as fresh water, plus they have three dog-friendly bedrooms available which makes it a great base for exploring nearby Canterbury.
Built in 1589, the characterful pub with its open log fires, wooden floors, exposed brick walls, and hops lining the wooden beams is located in Goodnestone Park estate—at a time frequently visited by Jane Austen. At The Fitz honest, hearty food is served up every day of the week along with its fantastic real ales. If you fancy you can play bar billiards, darts or one of their board games, or if you want to take it easy, simply unwind in the tranquil garden with a glass of wine or a pint of ale on a summer’s day.
While these pubs are super dog-friendly, not all watering holes are as welcoming to our furry drinking buddies, so if you’re not able to take your dog with you there are plenty of dog lovers on Rover.com who’d be delighted to spend some time with them. Check out all the local dog sitters who provide dog boarding in Canterbury, Ramsgate and beyond, and look forward to enjoying a night out without worrying about how your special someone’s doing!
Featured image: The Fitzwalter Arms