Image: On the Goodwin Sands by William Edward Frost

The Goodwin Sands have been painted, photographed, written and spoken about for centuries.  We have collated as many of these works as we can find on this and our Resources pages in order to share them with you.


Paintings by maritime artists E.W. Cooke, W.E. Frost, W.H. Macklin and W.L. Wyllie all create a rich tapestry of this famous landscape.

J.M.W. Turner painted two beautiful watercolours whilst living at Margate in the mid 18th century – Cricket on the Goodwin Sands and The Goodwin Sands; Sunset.  


Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,
The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

From the Rolling English Road, GK Chesterton

The Goodwin Sands have been the subject of plots, poems and references in literature for centuries.  We have collated a list of over 100 books which you can find in our library.

  • Shakespeare described them as ‘very dangerous flat and fatal’ in the Merchant of Venice.
  • Hermann Melville mentions them in Moby Dick
  • W H Auden quotes them in his poem In Sickness and In Health
  • Ian Fleming refers to them in Moonraker and the children’s story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
  • Daniel Defoe mentions them in Tour Thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain
  • G K Chesterton mentions them in the Rolling English Road


A section of poems and songs about the Goodwins can be found here.

Rudyard Kipling, Victoria Holt and Patrick O’Brian are other well known authors who have featured the Goodwin Sands in their writing.


In 1929, they were featured in the film The Lady from the Sea also known by the title Goodwin Sands.  In the film of the same name, the car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang landed on the Goodwin Sands for a picnic.


Plenty of wonderful photos have been taken by local photographers and archaeologists of their trips to the Sands and beach finds.  We are working at collecting these into albums on our Facebook page so people can engage with them.

Sandwich Bay wreck by Joanna Thomson