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Kent Advent Calendar – Day 4 – Dungeness

Dungeness lighthouse

Dungeness is our choice for day 4 of the #KentAdventCalendar. We were watching the tide recede beyond the shadow of the nuclear power station there one crisp November day when I turned round to notice the tip of the lighthouse peeking over the shelving shingles. What quiet drama!

Shingle beach with lighthouse

But then Dungeness can feel like a dystopian film set, it is so otherworldly – and like nowhere else in the country let alone the county of Kent. As it happens, it is one of the largest shingle landscapes in the world, offering one of the most bio-diverse habitats you can find in England.

Fishing hut and boat on shingle beach at Dungeness
Image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay

Dungeness is well worth the 50-minute 27-mile drive from Barnfield House, whether you plan to visit for an hour or a day. Wander along the beach, past fishermen’s huts, beached fishing boats and a scattering of houses, some created from old railway carriages dragged across the shingle a century ago. Down a pint at the Pilot Inn. Visit film director Derek Jarman’s extraordinary shingle garden at Prospect Cottage. Then head inland to Dungeness Nature Reserve for the two-mile circular trail, stopping off at a few hides for a spot of birdwatching at this migration hotspot and birdlife haven.

For more information, visit the Dungeness National Nature Reserve website and RSPB.