Sandwich might appear to be the ancestral home of everyone’s favourite lunch, but it’s unclear how much credit the town can really take for the savoury snack. The fourth Earl of Sandwich, who popularised shoving food between two slices of bread, didn’t have much to do with the place itself. Lucky then, that there’s much more to this ancient and achingly pretty town on the Kent coast than just carbs. Crust us.
A perfect day in Sandwich
Sleepy Sandwich is full of cute cottages and perfectly preserved medieval buildings. Grab coffee and a fresh French pastry from No Name Shop and wander to the quayside, eyeing half-timbered houses and antiques shops as you go.
Head ten minutes out of town to explore the wilds of Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve. It’s all stunning salt marshes, wild flowers, mudflats and golden sea cliffs, with trails for windswept coastal walks and places to pause and (attempt to) spot rare birds and butterflies.
Stop loafing around and take a boat trip from the quay. If you’re lucky, you’ll spy the local seal colony. Prefer to stay on dry land? Explore the lush gardens at The Salutation. Document the greenery – the symmetry is a photographer’s dream – or book on to a propagation workshop.
Thought Sandwich was super old? It’s not compared to the ruins of Richborough Roman Fort, just outside of town. Said to be where the Romans first set foot on British soil, it was once home to an arch marking the official entrance to Britannia. Roam around the crumbling walls and grass ditches in this impressive and peaceful place.
A grand country house with gardens is the last thing you expect to find in the centre of Sandwich, where the streets are narrow and houses tightknit. But space, light and high ceilings are what you get at The Salutation. Rooms are elegant, with punchy, unusual artworks adorning the walls. The hotel was once run by ‘Gogglebox’ couple Steph and Dom, but with new owners came lush decor, botanical toiletries made on site and a fancy restaurant. Book the tasting menu to watch head chef Shane Hughes craft heavenly mouthfuls in the glass-fronted kitchen. From £136 a night.
Staying in Kent?
Dubbed the "garden of England" and home to numerous farms, breweries and fishing towns (not to mention all that exceptional greenery across the South Downs and beyond) it's not hard to figure out why the best things to do in Kent are considered some of the most exciting across the country.