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Guide to Staying at The Open in 2020

By: | Tue 18 Feb 2020 | Comments

In July this year, thousands of people will descend on the small historic town of Sandwich, Kent, to watch the 149th playing of The Open Championship at Royal St George's. We all know the history of this great and established course, the iconic par 5 14th hole where Dustin Johnson sliced OB in 2011, and where Darren Clarke tied down a gritty par enroute to a level par 70 in high winds to secure the Claret Jug, but what about the surrounding town and its options for accommodation, the first thing to get sorted, even for the professionals, for the perfect visit to the Open?

Well, there are three main options to choose from, for those who don’t fancy commuting to Royal St George’s for just a one-day trip: hotels, renting from private accommodation, and camping/glamping. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, while offering something to suit every kind of taste and budget range, from the picky and well-monied traveller to those just looking to see the Open at the minimum cost. If you’re looking to figure out where you’re going to stay to watch the 2020 Open, you’ll find most of the information you need in our short guide below.


If you’ve got the money to splash and plan your visit to the Open far enough into the future then hotels are an obvious option for accommodation. Unfortunately, most of the hotels near to St George’s are booked up by now (yes, there’s still five months to go and accommodation is pinched – that’s the Open!), but spaces still remain further out, most notably at the Holiday Inn Maidstone, a 3 star accommodation in Sevenoaks, 55.6 miles away from the course, and the Holiday Inn Express Folkestone, about 20 miles away and also 3 star. Both offer no frills hospitality and are right on the shoulders of motorways (the M26 and the M20, respectively) so make it easy to commute to St George’s. Book quickly to avoid disappointment as, as with every other kind of accommodation listed here, with hotels it’s a case of the early bird catches the worm!

Private Accommodation

Private accommodation is a good option for travellers wanting to mix luxury with a (usually) lower cost than hotels. And as with hotels, there is plenty to chose from. Some of the best deals can be found at universities, such as the nearby University of Kent, in Canterbury, which is renting out its student accommodation to needy visitors. Prices are £70 a night per person in block B and £110 a night in block A. However, the minimum stay is seven nights, so those considering this option might want to weave their visit to the Open in with some other attractions to avoid being left stranded in a room for three days with nothing to do. Also in the heart of Canterbury, just 14.3 miles from the course, is Parham Road Student Village. This property also has a minimum of seven night booking clause, but is only 15 minutes walk from the town centre and just two minutes from a large 24 hour supermarket. Prices cost £100 a night. If you haven’t already tried it, it might also be worth a sweep on a website like Airbnb, though expect the best properties to have been booked well in advance.


For those with a love of the outdoors, a final option presents itself: camping. Unlike private accommodation and hotels, which typically place you closer but still some distance away from the action at Royal St George’s, the Open Camping Village is set up right on the threshold of the Kentish course, within an easy commuting distance of the links. Of all the above options, it’s also, by some distance, the most affordable. Youth ticket holders (16-24 year olds) get to camp for free, as do under 16 kids, while adult tickets start at £40 a night, less than half of the cost of renting student accommodation in Canterbury. There are three main types of tents you can choose from: small (which houses 1-2 people), medium (which houses 3-4 people) and large (which houses 5-6 people).

Finally, the Open is also working on providing ‘glamping’, larger, more robust tents with hotel standard beds and other luxury accoutrements for visitors who want to camp but with a bit more panache.

For more information on all of the above types of accommodation, check out the 149th Open Championship’s ‘stay at the Open’ website, available at https://www.stayattheopen.com/, or if you're still looking for a package to Royal St George's, visit Golfbreaks.com.

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