Sandwich is one of the best-preserved and charming medieval towns in the UK and as an ancient Cinque Port, one of five in Kent and Sussex, many original medieval buildings and the historic quayside add ticks to the boxes for it being a popular place to live.

Although a bustling town, take a short walk and you will be surrounded by countryside and diverse nature at one of the two nature reserves, or take in the fresh air along a walk to Sandwich Bay. Golf, too, is celebrated here, with three internationally renowned courses.

For film lovers, there’s the Empire Cinema ( which first opened its doors in 1937 and re-opened in 1993 in the former circle section of the building and has retained the art deco architecture and reminiscent of the golden age of cinema.

Part of its history is the origin of the word ‘sandwich’ as a food item which may have originated from a story about John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. He didn’t really invent the sandwich, but he may have made it popular when he asked for meat to be served between slices of bread to avoid interrupting a gambling game. That was back around 1762 and we’ve been tucking in ever since!

Don’t miss the Sandwich Food Fayre from May 13 and 14 which sees stalls and street music hit the town.

Great British Life: The Toll Bridge in Sandwich The Toll Bridge in Sandwich (Image: Joe Josland)


With the ethos of offering great service, food and affordability, The Toll Bridge, ( has been extensively refurbished inside and out with a modern and contemporary style and design. Chef patron and director, Shane Hughes, a former Michelin star chef at Le Poussin, Ynyshir Hall and Thackerays, says the concept is a bit different, think BBQ, Asian, Texan Smoke all in a riverside setting. “Smoking and barbecuing was always something I did for fun but it’s a full-time commitment and although grimy and messy, there is such flavour and I’ve tasted a lot.”

This vibrant coffee shop with a quirky name, Goats That Dance (Instagram: goatsthatdancecoffeeshop) in King Street is a must visit. This happy place offers all you could need from hot drinks to delicious cakes, has a range of alternative milks available as well as vegan and gluten-free options.

The No Name Shop ( is an authentic French delicatessen and bistro set in the town’s historic centre. The beautiful building is worth a visit in itself, and there’s an impressive selection of French and continental cheeses, olives and antipasti, charcuterie and cold meats to enjoy, too.

Great British Life: Inside Effie McLean in Delf Street, SandwichInside Effie McLean in Delf Street, Sandwich (Image: AnySomething Photography)


A number of independent shops are nestled among its medieval streets and for modern womenswear, head to Effie McLean in Delf Street ( Known for great customer service and carefully selected clothing; Effie McLean is set around two sides of a corner in central Sandwich. It also stocks childrenswear and goods for the home.

As well as selling and maintaining electric bikes and bicycles, family business Atman ( also provide bike hire so you can explore Sandwich at your leisure. Accessories including lock and protective headgear are included in the hire price.

Getting married in 2023? Bijou Bridal Studio in Market Street, ( can help brides find their dream wedding dress and accessories. The 18th century building is full of charm, original features and, of course, beautifully elegant dresses.

Great British Life: Sandwich Guildhall Museum stands centre stage in the townSandwich Guildhall Museum stands centre stage in the town (Image: Sandwich Guildhall Museum)


Situated in the heart of Sandwich, the beautiful historic Guildhall dates from 1579. Within the building you will find Sandwich Guildhall Museum (, which has exhibits exploring the history of the medieval town and surrounding areas from the Mesolithic period through to the Second World War. The museum holds many items of historical significance such as a Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest, dating form 1300, which is believed to be one of just three surviving pairs. As well as the museum exhibits, you can visit the 16th century courtroom and view its amazing Victorian stained-glass window. The incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers would be delighted to show you around. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

Great British Life: Inside one of the rooms at The Bell HotelInside one of the rooms at The Bell Hotel (Image: Frankie Julian)


Set in a central spot overlooking the picturesque River Stour, Shepherd Neame’s imposing Edwardian site, The Bell Hotel, ( is the perfect setting to take in the sights and sounds of the bustling town. Large fireplaces, period features and beautiful windows greet guests and there’s also a vibrant bar, restaurant and dining area, along with alfresco terrace for watching the world go by. The 37 en-suite boutique bedrooms guarantee complete relaxation, with special touches ranging from roll-top baths to four-poster beds.

Golf is synonymous with Sandwich and Prince’s Golf Club ( offers stunning views from its intimate venue nestled on the bay. En-suite facilities, modern essentials and being dog-friendly, too, make this a perfect stay.

Offering a comfortable and relaxing stay, The Fleur De Lis ( has been refurbished and provides a welcoming atmosphere to hotel visitors.


Post office: Located at 16-20 Market Street, Sandwich, as well as in Sandwich Road, Eastry.

Healthcare: Sandwich Medical Practice is the town’s GP surgery which is undergoing work to significantly improve primary care facilities for its patients. The nearest hospital is Kent and Canterbury.

Schools: Both primary and secondary education is offered in the town and Sir Roger Manwood’s School, a mixed selective school, is one of the oldest in Britain. Other schools can be found in Ramsgate (Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School) and in Canterbury, The Langton Grammar School for Boys and Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School. Day and boarding education is available at Northbourne Park School in Deal, while St Faith’s Prep, near Ash, is a high-achieving prep school and nursery.

Transport: The train station, managed by Southeastern, is in St Georges Road, and links to London Charing Cross via Tonbridge as well as Ramsgate. Bus services are provided by Stagecoach and there is also a Sandwich connect service run in partnership with Britannia Coaches, which helps improve the accessibility and sustainability of rural public transport in Kent.