Who knew !?! Well I certainly didn’t as Dungeness is in Kent – about a 2 hour drive away from us here in Brighton … showing my ignorance, as I always thought it sounded Scottish and was up north somewhere! Anyway it had always sounded like an interesting place so when we realised it wasn’t far away we jumped in the car and were excited to discover and explore this fascinating area!
Dungeness has National Nature Reserve status, is a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation encompassing a vast RSPB reserve too which protects the precious landscape, it’s wildlife and plants along with being considered one of the largest ‘shingle’ landscapes in the world … again who knew, we were intrigued! Upon arrival we were taken aback by the flat and desolate views that went on for miles around – as real urbanites we felt exposed and on another planet, which is no exaggeration, as we had never visited a place like this before!
We literally saw no one as there are a few wooden houses dotted about but in general the large shingle expanse just holds abandoned boats, derelict shacks and various rusty tracks and pulleys along with remnants of fisherman’s nets and the like! It held an extraordinary atmosphere and we felt like we had so many questions about the items we came across – who used these ? why is that here ?why is this, that and the other not in use ? and where is everyone ??
For me the stories left behind, the magnificent sky we found on arrival (after a very grey and damp journey along the coast), the stillness, the gloriousness of all of that open space – I was like a kid in a sweetshop trying to photograph and capture it all – so much fun! There is a lighthouse and a power station in the distance that aren’t too pretty and a few more wooden houses as you walk along the coast but we were obsessed with the boats and shacks!
And we were so lucky with the weather and gorgeous light especially as the sun dropped lower in the sky casting lovely long shadows … it’s definitely worth a visit for a fascinating walk, and after all that fresh air and effort of walking miles on shingle, you have the perfect excuse for a hearty fish and chip treat on the way home which is exactly how we ended our perfect Dungeness day out!