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Sandwich in Kent

Famed for being "the best beach in the UK" - so is it?

Sandwich is of course the posh version of Margate, or Southend, its more Brighton in nature but with a seemingly endless stretch of field or golf course surrounding it. But it is without question a beguiling place to visit.
First thing to say about Sandwich beach is that these people hold the cheek to actually want to charge you £8 to go anywhere near their beach. As you approach the road leading to it you will accosted by a grumpy charmless man with a purse demanding their £8; quite how they are able to get away with this is a mystery to us but there you go. Second thing to say is having relieved you of £8 the beach itself, while long clean and empty; is actually rather unpleasant as its all cricket ball sized pebbles and no sand, so you won't want to linger here. Just 5 miles down the way; Broadstairs has golden fine sand and no cheeky entry charges. So we advise against paying their entry charge. Having said that Sandwich town itself is a wonderfully historic place; a well-manicured little town that is worth a visit regardless of any beach intentions you may have.
Bizarrely despite being a seaside town Sandwich is a good 2 miles from the actual coast, but its home to a port – albeit a medieval one that's more for show than use these days, and home to many medieval buildings. Its history is a long and interesting one to say the least, it was the port of entry to the UK's first resident Elephant (a gift from the French to King Henry 3rd) despite this it was also the landing place of Prince Louis of France in 1216 (40 years earlier than the elephant) as they supported the Barons War against King John and from here they proceeded to cause yet another war between us and our French cousins. Reading Sandwich's history it would seem to be the port of entry to a lot of strife but today it's just a handsome little village (in feel rather than size) lined with many cafes and pubs, and as the beaches are so far away from the town centre means on hot days it never gets too busy- unlike other seaside towns. It's a fair drive from Grays though (1 hour 20mins - and on hot days you feel every second of it) but highly recommended. Just avoid the grumpy git with the purse.

Postcode: CT13 9QB (Sandwich Bay)

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