Down by the south coast of England is a pretty Medieval town just a few miles from the waters edge. Being one of the most well preserved historic towns in English, Sandwich is a popular spot for visitors, especially in the summer months.
This is a small town packed with narrow, winding roads, quirky restaurants, traditional pubs, and still has a seaside feel to it even though you are not right on the coast. Many have likened this gem to a period drama set, but don’t worry, whilst it might look like something from the 1800’s, it has all the modern day amenities you would require from a break in southern England.
Sandwich is a little slice of heaven for those looking for a slower pace of life for a couple of days, if you stay any longer it might drive you mad, unless you are wanting to retire of course…
By train: Direct trains run from London St Pancras Station and take 1 hr 30 mins. For those travelling from France and the rest of the continent, there are direct trains from Ashford International to Sandwich.
By road: Just a 30 minute drive along the A257 from Canterbury, Sandwich makes the perfect day trip when staying in the city. for those travelling from London, take the M2 towards Canterbury, then take the A299 towards Ramsgate (this bypasses the busy city of Canterbury) and turn onto the A259 to Sandwich.
By bus: There are regular bus routes between Canterbury, Sandwich, Deal and Woolmer if you are looking to do a days tour of the area. Local bus routes can be found by clicking here.
If you are travelling by bus from London, National Express run a service between Victoria Coach Station and Canterbury, from Canterbury you will need to change onto a local service.
By air: The closest airport to Sandwich is London Gatwick which is around an hour and half drive away.
Things To See
The Guildhall Museum: Learn the story of Sandwich right from the beginning of the town’s history and discover artifacts dating back to the 13th Century. The museum has recently undergone a £100,000 refurbishment thanks to the Lottery Heritage Fund and was reopened in Spring 2017.
There is also a World War I exhibition in which you can find a book of memories alongside remembrance books and memorabilia. Also on display is the town’s own Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest.
Opening hours: Wednesday-Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm.
Sandwich Bay Beach: Due to the challenge in actually accessing this beach, it is a very quiet and calm spot. It is not the perfect perfect sandy beach you will find in much of Britain, but a shingle beach with large pebbles. This is a great place to take a walk in the morning or evening, but be careful if you have a weak stomach, there is a nudist spot at the end of the beach!
Price: There is a £7 toll on the road to access the beach, so we would recommend walking for free!
White Mill Rural Heritage Centre: White Mill is a smock mill showcasing the original wooden machinery, it is no longer a working mill but the machinery remains in top condition.
Opening times: Sun, Tues, Fri 10:00am-12:00pm
Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre: One of the most important roman sites in Britain, the Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre is set within the East Kent marshes and was witness to the beginning of the Roman invasion of Britain. Visitors are given the chance to arrive by boat, as the Romans would have done thousands of years before.
Opening times: Apr-September 10:00am-6:00pm,
Price: Adult £6.20, Child £3.70, Concession £5.60
Places To Eat
The George and Dragon: the George and Dragon was built in 1446, during the reign of King Henry VI, in 1552 the premises was granted a license to sell ale. In 2008, two brothers took over the pub after years of experience working in London. The menu includes delicious yet simple classic British dishes.
The Hop and Huffkin: Offering contemporary and relaxed dining with a focus on supporting local suppliers and traditions, the Hop and Huffkin displays a great array of local ales, beers and wines from around Kent. With a mouth watering modern British menu that suits everyone, there is no surprise this establishment remains a firm favourite in Sandwich.
Goats That Dance: Nestled way in a corner of Kings Street, Goats That Dance is a artisan coffee shop selling delicious pastries and cakes! Situated in a calm position opposite the church and being dog friendly, this cosy cafe is great for those wanting a small bite to eat and a steaming cup of coffee or tea.
Papa’s Fish and Chips: Enjoy traditional seaside food by the seaside! The food is based on recipes that have been handed down generations, produce is fresh and of the finest quality, and the food has even won awards!
Luigi’s: Whilst traditional British food is (in our opinion!) delicious, sometimes the craving for something else takes over. Privately owned and sitting on the quay side, Luigi’s offers a rustic yet spacious dining area and fabulous service. Prices are reasonable in comparison to chain Italian restaurants, and the food is above and beyond what you would expect from a cosy Italian in a small Kent town.
Where To Stay
The Salutation: Made famous by the antics of owners Steph and Dom on Channel 4’s Gogglebox, the Salutation is a breathtaking bed and breakfast right in the centre of Sandwich. Choose between individually designed suites or stable rooms and relax amongst the award wining grounds that you would otherwise pay to enter. Laid back and friendly, this is a sociable place so if you are planning to go to sleep by 9pm, think again.
Price: Starting from £268 per night
Goss Hall: This Grade II listed residence is tucked away in a quiet corner of Kent’s countryside, close to Sandwich and within easy reach of Canterbury. Surrounded by 3 1/2 acres of manicured gardens, including a lake and a stream, Goss Hall offers a delightful homely feel and even welcomes dogs for a small charge.
Price: Starting from £85 per night.
The Bell Hotel: A charming and traditional hotel, the Bell Hotel is brimming with character whilst offering the most modern amenities. The Bell has been welcoming guests since the Tudor times and boasts picturesque views over the River Stour. More recently the hotel has gone through a refurbishment in order to modernise guest rooms and facilities yet still maintaining the traditional feel of the property, period features have been kept and preserved at the hotel.
Price: Starting from £120 per night