Blue Flag beaches to visit in Kent in 2020

Phoebe Shipton  ·  1st June 2020

Here at Keepers Cottages, we love a beach and in our opinion, there’s very little that beats looking out to sea from the wonderful Kent coast.

You could say that we’re slightly biased, given our location in the coastal town of Deal, right next to the sea!

But if the next holiday you book in the UK needs to be beside the sea, how do you go about finding the best beaches in Kent?

Thanet beach

What exactly is a Blue Flag beach?

Blue Flag is one of the world’s best recognised eco-labels, applied to beaches as well as marinas and sustainable boat operators.

An internationally recognised standard, it was originally founded to promote sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas.

And you might be interested to note that water quality is actually just one of its many requirements.

How is a beach awarded a Blue Flag?

Blue Flag itself note that “In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.”

These include:

  • Environmental Management
  • Water Quality
  • Environmental Education and Information
  • Safety and Services

It’s a thorough process and there is a lot more than gets assessed than just the quality of the water.

Once a beach has been awarded the coveted Blue Flag beach status – the gold standard for beaches – it must fly its flag throughout the Blue Flag season, to show that they are both participants in the scheme and actively complying with the criteria.

Flags may be flown 24 hours a day during the Blue Flag season. Or else only during the times that the beach meets all the required criteria.

This includes providing adequate signage to indicate the times when facilities such as toilets or services such as lifesaving are in operation.

Margate sands

How can I find the best beaches in Kent?

Blue Flag lists all the beaches in the British Isles (UK and Ireland) which have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag beach award.

From these, we can identify that the following 10 beaches in Kent have been awarded a Blue Flag for 2019-20:

Botany Bay

Botany Bay

Botany Bay is the most northern of the seven bays in Broadstairs. It features huge chalk cliffs and offers safe swimming on its sandy shores. With 5 star water quality, it’s perfect for kayaking and surfing and there’s a lifeguard service to help keep everyone safe.

Pets are allowed between 1st October and 30th April.

Margate at night

Margate Sands

This fantastic stretch of wide, sandy beach is perfect for swimming and long hot sunny afternoons. Set against the quintessential English seaside resort of Margate, with it iconic theme park ‘Dreamland’. The Turner Contemporary is just a short walk as are some of the best fish and chips shops in Kent.

Minnis Bay

Minnis Bay is a secluded sandy beach, close to Margate. Containing separate areas for water sports and swimming, it’s safe for children.

It offers a lifeguard service and dogs are welcome between 1st October and 30th April.

Minster Leas

Minster Leas beach is close to Sheerness and offers a tranquil spot to relax and bathe. A mixture of sand and shingle, with 5 star water quality, Minster Leas is completely dog free between May and September.


Sheerness beach is located on the northern coast of the Isle of Sheppey. It’s mainly a shingle beach which offers perfect conditions for those foraging for crabs and shells at low tide.

Water quality here is awarded 5 stars and there’s even a children’s play area and skateboard park nearby.

St Mildred’s Bay

This small sandy beach can be found near to the seaside town of Westgate, a short walk from Margate. Backed by cliffs it also features a tidal pool and is perfect for sailing, windsurfing and swimming.

Stone Bay

Stone Bay is a sandy beach backed by a promenade of beach huts, close to the town of Broadstairs. Backed by high chalk cliffs, it’s the quieter option compared with the town’s main beach – but beware of incoming tides that cover this beach up entirely. Activities include rock pooling and beach hut is also available.

Tankerton Beach

This old fashioned shingle beach is near the town of Whitstable and dotted with colourful beach huts and wooden groynes. Its promenade leads to gently sloping grassy banks, perfect for kids to play on.

The beach has lifeguards and dogs are welcome between 1st October and 30th April.

West Bay (Westgate-on-Sea)

This popular sandy beach can be found in the seaside resort of Westgate-on-Sea, near Margate. It’s fantastic for families, with younger children spending hours searching the many rock pools for sea life.

There’s also good disabled access and chalets available to hire for the day. Lifeguards are on patrol here and dogs welcome out of season.

Westbrooke Bay

This is a gently sloping sandy beach on the north west coast of Kent, near to the town of Margate. A quiet location, it’s perfect for small children who like building sandcastles, exploring rock pools or splashing in its 5 star quality water. Facilities include deckchair hire, toilets and cafes.

Kent coast

Finding a holiday cottage in Kent near a Blue Flag beach

If a holiday really isn’t a holiday for you without a trip to the seaside, then you have most definitely come to the right place!

Not only is Keepers Cottages situated in the gorgeous Kent seaside town of Deal, we are very knowledgeable about all the best coastal places to visit in the local area.  

From sandy beaches perfect for buckets, spades and small children, to those suitable for watersports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing, we can advise you on exactly where best suits your requirements.

And not forgetting those guests with dogs, who might prefer to seek out some of the more remote Kent coast in order to blow away the cobwebs with their pets.

If you have any questions about finding a holiday cottage on the Kent coast, with access to great beaches, then please get in touch with Keepers Cottages.

Our small and friendly team will happily advise you on the best options available.

About Phoebe Shipton

Having studied Marketing at University of Manchester, Phoebe joined the family business in 2020 as Head of Marketing and Operations. Phoebe is focused on making Keepers Cottages stand out, as well as ensuring the bookings flood in!

Your Name(Required)