Thursday, 4 August 2011
A while back I tweeted that I'd been to a place I loved so much that I wasn't even going to blog about it. Well, obviously it's actually impossible for me to keep my trap shut for long. And you all probably a) know all about it already or b) wouldn't want to go there anyway.
Dungeness is on the Kent coast and is a slightly desolate headland which is overlooked by a nuclear power station. (You can see the power station peeking in the distance in the picture above.) The whole area has been protected from development due to its ecological importance. It's basically a huge expanse of shingle.
This means the landscape is all decaying shacks, abandoned rail tracks and boats, sea kelp (which almost looks like a tropical plant) and hardy wildflowers. It reminded me of a desert landscape; hostile, where only the hardiest and funniest looking plants survive.
We were lucky enough to go on a blazing hot day. The beach was deserted.
There is a funny mix of old broken down properties...
...and stunning modernist homes. You can rent a beautiful luxury house there and hole away in the eerie landscape and listen to the sea and the whirr of the power station.
You could get some serious thinking done, there. Derek Jarman moved out here towards the end of his life. This was his house; it has a John Donne poem embossed in wood on the side.
He built a strange garden, full of wood, wire and metal. It's a private property but you can visit the garden.
The place really does have a weird vibe.
I felt right at home. Get out of town and rent the modernist home pictured above, here.