Travel Guides

Dungeness | Adventure Destination Guide

Planning a visit to the Kent coast? Here's some things to know about Dungeness

If the inclusion of Dungeness in our list of best adventure destinations has caught you off guard, you’re probably not alone. After all, Dungeness is located less than 50 miles from Gillingham and, well, if you’ve been to Gillingham you’ll know that the town doesn’t exactly scream inspiring travel hotspot.

“A unique beachside destination and an absolute dream come true for photographers”

So, with that in mind, what is Dungeness doing here and why are we talking about it? OK, so first thing’s first Dungeness is in Kent and, despite the existence of Gillingham, there’s a reason the county is known as the “Garden of England” (it’s a nice place to be outside in).

Situated on Kent’s coast, between the High Weald Area of Natural Beauty and the Kent Downs Area of Natural Beauty, Dungeness is a unique beachside destination and an absolute dream come true for photographers. It’s scenic southern England meets dystopian wild west, one that’s been labelled a “desert” in some corners. Here’s everything you need to know about the place.

How To Get There

By car, Dungeness is about an hour and a half’s drive away from London (a journey just under 80 miles). Alternatively, get a train from St Pancras International to Folkestone Central and then a Wave 102 bus down to The Pilot stop at Lydd-on-Sea. This way of getting there will take slightly over three hours.

Things To Do In Dungeness

Pictured: Wooden path on Dungeness beach

From certain angles, the headland of Dungeness, which consists largely of a shingle beach, can look like the end of the world albeit in a really cool “doing it for the ‘gram” type way. Abandoned boats and shacks, prominent lighthouses, and a pair of nuclear power stations – one of which is still in operation – combine to give the place a haunting, weirdly futuristic, feel.

The wooden board walk on Dungeness beach seemingly stretches on forever and is a must for people who love nothing more than going on coastal strolls. It’s worth saying at this point that the winds, especially in winter, can really pick up speed here so make sure you’re wearing a good coat.

No discussion of Dungeness would be complete without mentioning that the Dungeness National Nature Reserve is home to a third of Britain’s plant species. Nature lovers, and members of the Sir David Attenborough fan-club (literally everyone on Earth), will love spending time in amongst it; watching out for the wildlife that calls this place home. The RSPB Dungeness Visitor Centre is well worth a look.

Pictured: ‘Sound Mirrors’ on Romney Marsh. Photo: Andy Coleman

Where To Stay

If you’re looking for a self-catering ‘shack to rent’, Dungeness and its surrounding coastal area has them by the bucketload. One of the standouts, in this respect, is Wi Wurri house. Situated on the edge of the shingle beach, the porch out the front of this place will serve you up an idyllic view of the sea and the fishing boats; on a clear day, you’ll even see France.

If you’re a couple looking to book yourself in at a super stylish beach cottage, book yourself in at Radar. Big windows, with stunning uninterrupted sea views, a woodburning stove, a sunken bathtub, an interior design layout that’d make Kevin McCloud froth at the mouth and WiFi (because it’s the 21st century after all) – this place is just really, really, nice. Treat yourself.

People who live and breathe the van life / people who want to go camping in Dungeness, should get themselves into Herons Park Mobile Home and Camping Site. Prices for a pitch start at £10.

Other good accommodation options in the Dungeness area include Castaways B & B, The Watch Tower B & B, and The Gallivant Hotel (situated a few miles away in Camber).

Eating and Drinking

If fresh, tasty, seafood is what you’re all about then look no further than Dungeness Fish Hut. Smoked cod chowder, lobster and crab rolls, Mexican flatbread combined with the day’s catch, and fisherman rolls are some of the establishment’s most popular dishes. A seasonal business that relies on good weather and fish stocks, this place is definitely worth checking out.

In terms of drinking in Dungeness, as well as various pubs and the like, there’s also a regular event run by Romney Marsh Brewery at Dungeness Station. It’s called Ales by the Rails, and is on Easter and May Bank Holidays as well as every weekend through the summer.

Check out our other adventure travel destinations for 2020.

This destination guide was brought to you in association with outdoor fashion retailer Blackleaf.

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