I visited a beautiful town with an unusual name that’s 65 miles from London

Sandwich is located just down the road from Dover and Ramsgate but is nothing like its neighbours.

Filled with charming old pubs and beautiful architecture and rich with medieval history, it’s like walking into a fairytale – or a Harry Potter movie.

The town’s unusual name dates back to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it appears as Sondwic in 851. The town’s name also appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 and has nothing to do with the popular lunch snack.

In fact, the name is Anglo Saxon with the direct meaning being a “market town on sandy soil”.

The popular lunch food was named after John Montagu who was the fourth Earl of Sandwich. However, he didn’t spend much time in the town itself.

The town is most famous for being one of the Cinque Ports – a group of five harbours which were grouped together for defence purposes by Edward the Confessor – and for being home to several original medieval buildings.

I’ve visited the town a few times now and love its village-like feel, vast range of pubs and restaurants and its quirky shops.

One of my favourite places to go in Sandwich is the No Name Shop. A deli and bistro with French produce and freshly-baked pastries, bread and patisserie daily.

The shop is located inside a historic listed building, bang in the middle of Sandwich’s bustling Market Square where the atmosphere on a weekend is bustling.

If you’re looking for a fresh baguette, this is the place to go but I also implore you to try some of their pastries, especially a warm sausage roll or a flaky pain au chocolat.

If you’re looking for a good coffee then try The Waiting Room. Located on Cattle Market in the heart of the town, they serve a unique coffee blend that tastes delicious when surrounded by their beautiful decor.

They also serve croissants, brownies, beer and a selection of cocktails in the evenings. During the summer, The Waiting Room’s outside space out the front is a sun trap so be sure to grab a table.

If you’re looking to experience history while trying something a bit different then I’d recommend The Crispin Inn. Built in 1491, the pub is rich with history with Queen Elizabeth I’s coat of arms on the side of the building.

The atmosphere inside this pub is welcoming and warm. The staff are beyond helpful and will go out of their way to accommodate you.

The Bell Hotel & Pub is a brilliant spot for fish and chips and a cold beverage on a summer day and George & Dragon the place to go for Sunday lunch.

The dog-friendly George & Dragon is another historic pub that was built in 1446.

The Toll Bridge Restaurant & Bar is another spot that’s not to be missed. The menu is a delectable mix of smoked meats and grills and seasonal fish with a twist. The surf and turf bento box and the ox cheek is a must-have.

If you get the opportunity, St Clement’s Church in the centre of the town is worth a visit. The church is steeped in history and dates back to the 12th century.

The church has an impressive Norman tower and large pillars. The octagonal font dates back to the 15th century.

If you’re not one for tourist attractions or pub lunches then just walking around this quaint town and admiring its historic buildings is well worth the effort.

One of the most impressive structures by far is the 16th-century bastion known as The Barbican which has chequered brickwork. The bridge originally guarded the bridge over the River Stour.

The bastion is opposite the Sandwich Toll Bridge – a Grade-II listed road and bridge which originally opened in 1755.

St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Chapel and St. Thomas’s Hospital are two beautiful structures that should not be missed – even if just to stare in awe at the ornate architecture.

The historic hospital is believed to date back possibly, to 1190 and is one of the oldest established hostels for travellers and pilgrims.

St. Thomas’s Hospital was built in the 14th century and was named after Thomas Becket who was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until he died in 1170.

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