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Sandwich in Kent, England
Photograph: Joana Kruse/Alamy Stock Photo

13 of the best things to do in Sandwich

Steeped in ancient history and with a charming centre full of age-old pubs and beautiful architecture, Sandwich is ideal for a quaint city escape

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Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott
&
Joe Minihane
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There’s more to Sandwich than its status as the ancestral home of everyone’s favourite lunch. In fact, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, who popularised shoving food between two slices of bread, didn’t have much to do with the place itself. But with Roman ruins, a selection of first-class pubs and some of the UK’s finest wildlife, this pretty town on the Kent coast is more than just carbs – although we promise you’ll find more than enough great stuff to eat in these parts. Here are the best things to do in Sandwich right now.

RECOMMENDED: Explore nearby Deal, Ramsgate or Margate too 

Best things to do in Sandwich

First up
Photograph: Philip Bird LRPS CPAGB/Shutterstock.com

First up

Sleepy Sandwich is full of cute cottages and perfectly preserved medieval buildings. Grab coffee and a fresh pastry from the superb No Name Shop and wander to the quayside, eyeing half-timbered houses and antiques shops as you go.

Soak up the vibes

Soak up the vibes

Head ten minutes out of town to explore the wilds of Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve. It’s all salt marshes, wildflowers, mudflats and golden sea cliffs, with trails for windswept coastal walks and places to pause and spot rare birds and butterflies. As Kent Wildlife Trust's largest site, dozens of species migrate through this coastal spot, including cuckoos and hard-to-spot nightingales.

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Stop for lunch

Stop for lunch

If you’ve been daydreaming about bread, order excellent Mediterranean-themed dishes at Tan Bueno, which places a special emphasis on vegan treats. Alternatively, supersize your lunch with enormous club sarnies at The Bell Hotel. When in Rome...

Get back to nature

Get back to nature

Head down to the water and take a boat trip from the quay. If you’re lucky, you’ll spy the local seal colony as well as getting a blast of the sea air that makes Sandwich so popular with day-trippers. 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.

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Drink like a local

Drink like a local

There’s no shortage of historic pubs in Sandwich. Step back in time at The Crispin Inn, which was built in 1491. The nearby Kings Arms is equally historic – it was first recorded as The Queen’s Arms during the 1500s and even has Elizabeth I’s coat of arms on the side of the building. For soothing grub after a day spent hopping between the town’s excellent boozers, not to mention ales from independent Kent breweries, the tiny Mermaid’s Locker is the perfect place to wind down.

If you only do one thing
©English Heritage

If you only do one thing

Thought Sandwich was super-old? It’s nothing compared with 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.

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Sure, you could pitch up in rooms above any number of Sandwich’s lovely pubs. But why compromise on sleep when you could have peace and quiet in this beautiful detached house just a short drive away from town? Signal Cottage has its own private garden, not to mention views over classic English countryside. It’s the ideal way to make your stay in this pretty corner of Kent extra-special. From £85 per night

Staying in Kent?

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