With up to 32,000 fans a day expected to descend on Sandwich for the 149th Open this month, here’s everything you need to know if you’re living near or visiting the town.
The golf tournament is from Sunday, July 11, to Sunday, July 18 at the Royal St Georges’s course.
Darren Clarke – winner of The Open 2011.The Open Royal St George’s 2011.Royal St George’s golf club, Sandwich, Kent.Picture: Barry Goodwin
Whether you’ll be coming in via road or train, here’s details about getting around and where to stay:
Residents’ access permits
People living in certain areas of Sandwich and Deal will need to be aware of a number of temporary traffic restrictions.
This will allow road bosses to manage traffic flows to and from The Open and minimise congestion. Although Sandwich and town centres will be open as usual, permits will be needed in these areas:
Sandwich: Guilford Road, King’s Avenue, New Downs Farm, North Road, Prince’s Drive, Sandown Lees, Sandown Road, Waldershare Avenue.
Deal: Golf Road (North of Ethelbert Road), Greenacres, Redhouse Wall Lane.
Taxis can access roads to The Open if they have a permit. Check this when booking
Taxi drivers with a permit can access the closed roads of Sandown Road, Guilford Road and Golf Road from the junction of St George’s Road in Sandwich to the junction of Ethelbert Road in Deal from July 11-18.
A dedicated taxi area will be located in the Purple B car park, close to the main entrance of the venue. This will be clearly signposted on event signs.
The tournament at Sandwich in 2011. Picture by Terry Scott
Car parks in Sandwich
The DDC car parks at The Guildhall, The Quay and Gazen Salts will all have a temporary four hour maximum stay for the duration of The Open. Sandwich Zone J and Sandwich Business permit holders will not be affected by the changes to the maximum stay periods.
Sandwich station now has extended platforms for The Open
Southeastern is running additional trains to Sandwich to accommodate extra passengers.
To reach Sandwich from London, trains depart from St Pancras International and the journey takes 1 hour and 30 minutes. All passengers will require a mandatory reservation on certain morning trains from London St Pancras International to Sandwich and all stations along the route for the duration of The Open. Reservations will apply from 06:00 – 10:37 and will guarantee a space on the train but not necessarily a seat.
No reservation is required on the return journey and a managed queuing system will be in place at Sandwich. Platforms have been extended to accommodate the extra capacity.
A dedicated, traffic-free walking route will be provided between the train station and Royal St George’s Golf Club, which will take around 15-20 minutes.
If you require assistance between the station and the golf course, details can be obtained by contacting The Open Ticket Office on 01334 460010 or by emailing email@example.com.
For more information on train services and to purchase tickets, please visit the Southeastern website.
The Bell Hotel along Sandwich Quay
Most hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs are booked to capacity with the Bell Hotel in Sandwich saying it has been booked up since last year. But spaces will be available in some across the town and in neighbouring towns of Deal, Dover and Ramsgate. Houses and flats in the area are being advertised with space available through all or part of The Open’s duration. We checked earlier this week and there were spaces at the newly opened Travelodge at Discovery Park and on Air BNB.
Road closures that visors to The Open and residents should know about
Park and ride
Dover District Council has sought to reduce the number of cars parked locally to the venue by 50% compared to when the Open was last held in Sandwich in 2011.
This will be done by providing more park and ride sites, now on fields both the north and south of Sandwich and the golf course.
They have room for around 12,000 cars and can be found by road signposting.
The northern site will be on farmland to the west of Cliffsend village, situated directly adjacent to the A299 Hengist Way. The southern one is on the A256 south west of Deal.
Certain roads will be closed to give buses and cars clear access to the two sites and avoid congestion,
Canterbury Road West will be shut to through traffic from Sunday, July 11, through to Monday, July 19. Canterbury Road West will be closed to the west of number 54, where the large Jentex and Manston Airfield exit points are located. The remainder of the road to the Cliffsend Roundabout on the A256 will only be available to traffic using the Park and Ride site.
Traffic will be controlled by marshals.
Access to all properties will be maintained from the eastern end of Canterbury Road West, off of Lord of the Manor interchange.
Use of footpaths during the Open. Map graphic from Dover District Council
Public Footpath EE231, which forms part of the Saxon Shore Way and passes through Royal St George’s Golf Club, is closed for its entire length (from North Stream to Prince’s Drive).
This has been from April 6 and continues until Friday, August 20 and covers the construction and dismantling periods before and after the event.
An alternative route between the Green Wall path and the beach will be signposted along public footpaths ES1 and EE230 via the Stour Valley Walk.
The Open Royal St George’s 2011.Royal St George’s golf club, Sandwich, Kent.Picture: Barry Goodwin
Tournament organisers the R&A (Royal and Ancient) has provided a checklist for what spectators need to do to guard against coronavirus, which can be seen here.
The instructions include:
1. Provide proof of full vaccination or of a negative Lateral Flow Test (LFT).
2. Download The Open Tickets App to your smartphone to access your tickets and be ready to show it on your own device at the entry gates.
3. Complete three pre-attendance Covid-19 protocols within The Open Tickets App:
4. Complete a short health questionnaire.
5. Face masks are recommended in the open air but not compulsory,
6. Masks must be worn indoors such as in The Open Shop, on Park & Ride buses, or in hospitality facilities when not seated.
Phil Mickelson throws his ball into the crowd. at The Open, Royal St George’s, 2011. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Visitors should only buy tickets from official sources, including TheOpen.com or The R&A’s authorised ticket providers.
Dover District Council says that any tickets made available on other websites are done so without the permission of The R&A and as such, may be refused entry to the Championship.
Guidance on ticket buying is on the tickets section of the council web page here.
Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich
Deal Dover Sandwich Sandwich Sport Beth Robson