At PetsPyjamas we love pet-friendly Sussex. Why? Not just because it is just two hours from central London, but because it offers all the ingredients for a perfect pet-friendly stay. There are wonderful stretches of beach for your dog to run around. There’s marvelous rolling countryside to sniff and villages packed with history. Plus there are a fabulous array of pet-friendly restaurants and cafes just waiting to welcome you and your waggy tailed friend, making it the perfect for a weekend pet-friendly escape.
Pet-friendly Sussex is divided into three distinct regions, East, Mid and West Sussex. Choose East Sussex for vast expanses of sandy coastline like Camber Sands. There are the historic yet distinctly dog-friendly villages such as Rye. West Sussex is great for quirky pet-friendly towns like Brighton and the South Downs National Park. Mid Sussex has rambling country lanes and is perfect for exploring the market towns of Burgess Hill, East Grinstead, and Haywards Heath.
East Sussex is ideal for history buffs and their hounds. You can wander around Battle where William the Conqueror fought the Anglo-Saxons, explore the ruins of Hastings Castle and stroll down the cobbled, medieval streets of Rye. Check out the charming seaside spots to rival the Hamptons. Winchelsea and Camber Sands have huge sandy beaches for your dog to run around off the lead, providing hours of fun and exercise.
West Sussex is perfect for wonderful walks in the South Down. Explore breathtaking woodlands, the pet-friendly seaside town of Brighton and Hove, and the historic towns of Chichester and Midhurst. Voted the best towns in England, as well as the natural unspoiled sandy beaches of West Wittering, set in an Area of Outstanding beauty.
Top five wooftastic Sussex beaches:
- Camber Sands is covered in fine golden sand with dunes that seem to extend for miles, a doggie heaven! Stay at the Gallivant Hotel just over the road from the beach or The Coastguards Beach House, one of our new cottages by the sea.
- Winchelsea beach has lots of lovely flat sand to run on, the beach is peaceful and never crowded. It regularly receives the clean beach award, so you relax knowing that your pet will be able to stay safe and run for hours. Stay at Half Moon Cottage, a cosy yet spacious cottage new to PetsPyjamas.
- West Wittering beach has wonderful views of Chichester Harbour and the South Downs and gorgeous unspoiled sandy beach that stretches for miles. Stay at the White Horse, a luxurious restaurant with rooms.
- Brighton is a lovely stretch of coastline, in the summer you can walk along the beach or have a coffee at the pet-friendly Meeting Place Café. For more bohemian chic feel, stay at The Artists Residence and admire the wonderful sea views at the end of the day.
- Climping beach is a quiet, rural beach located halfway between Littlehampton and Bognor Regis. Made up of shingle and pebbles, the beach is backed by low sand dunes and fields. Check out the charming pet-friendly Climping Beach café and stay at nearby Bailiffscourt Hotel.
Top Sussex walks:
- Camber can be very busy in summer, with only one side of the beach being dog-friendly. However, outside of May – September, the whole stretch of gorgeous beach and sand dunes are playgrounds for our canine friends. Walk directly up and over the dunes to the most perfect stretch of beach.Always check tides on the fantastic magicseaweed.com (anywhere in the UK!). If you turn right on Camber beach, there’s a strip of sand where you can walk all the way to the channel that runs inland to Rye Harbour. This section of beach is only open to dogs from October to May.If you turn left you will see Dungeness in the distance, at low tide it’s the widest beach this year round. The dog-friendly stretch which goes on for miles…..
- For a really fantastic walk, we recommend heading to Devil’s Dyke. Only a short drive from South Lodge Hotel. This three-mile walk will take you and your furry friend through ancient downlands. As well as the deepest dry valley in the country, and to the alleged burial site of the Devil! Stop at dog-friendly Saddlescombe Farm’s café for a cup of tea and cake along the way.
- Enjoy the South Downs on this fantastic circular walk. Starting from Midhurst’s bus station, you and your pooch will be taken right around the magnificent Cowdray Estate and its Castle Ruins. With a few hills along the route, the views at the top will be totally breathtaking! Take a picnic or stop for a bite along the way at a dog-friendly pub. The walk will take around four and a half hours with a little climbing. After a long walk, recuperate at the Spread Eagle Hotel, Midhurst.
- Leave Rye travelling towards Winchelsea, passing the Kettle’O Fish on the right. After about 100 yards you will come to a sign and left turn marked Rye Harbour. Follow the road until you reach the car park at the harbour, you’ll see a path to the sea across the nature reserve. At low tide, give the dog a lovely run on the beach. There are tables outside the local pub William the Conqueror, where doggy people stop for a drink and/or a snack. Another well-kept secret is the main stretch of Winchelsea Beach, instead of turning off for Rye Harbour, carry on for about another 2 minutes. Turn left onto Sea Road and follow the sign for Winchelsea Beach. After another 2 minutes turn left into Dogs Hill Road opposite the Co-op where there is parking available next to the sea wall. From here, you can either walk on the beach from October – May and/or walk on the gorgeous nature reserve all the way to Rye Harbour. The co-op is open until 10 pm, 7 days a week and is perfect for putting together an impromptu picnic on the beach!
Whilst Kent is known for being ‘the garden of England’, it also has so much more and will definitely tick all of those boxes for you and your furry friend! Being only an hour train journey from London, it’s the perfect destination for an overnight petaway.
Kent has a number of wonderful towns, which all have great things to offer. Visit the historic town of Canterbury, with quaint parks and beautiful buildings- a perfect backdrop for those holiday snaps. Herne Bay and Whitstable are quintessentially British beaches, both a very short distance from Canterbury.
Kent is definitely the place for discovering new walks. You’ll be spoilt for choice in Royal Tunbridge Wells with the walking trails. The Weald is a dog paradise and the seasons create a constantly changing landscape.
Country canines will love Kent, whether it’s chasing after you along a nature trail or burrowing in the sand along the North Kent Coast. There’s something for every sniffing nose…
Things to do in Kent to get that tailwagging:
- The Contra Trail, Ramsgate to Pegwell Bay: This is a route you’ll definitely be telling your friends and family about. Starting in the hustle and bustle of Ramsgate, this 10km walk will take you all the way through to the tranquil Pegwell Bay. There’s the opportunity to stop off at a pub or restaurant to refuel along the way! Albion House Hotel will provide that little bit of luxury to stay in whilst visiting Ramsgate, it’s restaurant is famous for being able to dine with your dog too!
- The North Downs Trail, Ashford: This trail boasts spectacular scenery for you and your four-legged explorer to take in. The entire trail is extremely long, but you can take on stretches close to Ashford. This particular walk is one of 15 national trails. What makes it special and a definite must-do is the breathtaking scenery you can pass through. Collapse afterwards at Hill View Cottage with your best friend.
Beaches to Visit:
- Margate: In the past, this Margate has been branded as a dull and grey seaside town. However, in very recent years it has been transformed into an artistic hub. Take your coastal canine along its cobbled streets and admire the majestic cliffs on the Thanet coastline. In ever dog-friendly Margate, you’ll always find a little water bowl outside its boutique shops, they’ll also be more than welcome to dine with you in most restaurants. Farm Cottage is a great little base for Margate exploring.
- Dover: Ever wanted to visit the historic White Cliffs of Dover? Staying in Kent is the perfect opportunity to visit. There is the new Banksy mural, beautiful archaeological sites and tea rooms for scrumptious afternoon tea. Dover is a great base, you could definitely fit in a trip to the nearby seaside town of Deal. Stay close by in Nell’s Barn for a rustic, countryside experience.
- Herne Bay and Whitstable: Herne Bay has a superb coastline with both a sand and shingle beach, colourful beach huts and seafront gardens. If you love oysters, you’ll love Whitstable- although you’ll still love it even if you don’t like oysters. There are beautiful restaurants and pubs sat right on the seafront. Visit the Harbour Market where you can find trinkets and delicious locally made food.