This is a slightly different post than usual as I want to start incorporating more travel-related content into my blog now that the world has started to open up again.
Since launching my blog, I always had the intention to include blog posts on my favourite countries to visit, places off the beaten track and travel tips.
But because of the pandemic, it’s been rather difficult to travel. so I haven’t had anything to share.
Dungeness; A quirky coastal town in the South East of England
I feel like Dungeness isn’t really on the radar.
In fact, it’s quite easy to miss.
Dungeness is a hamlet. For reference, that’s smaller than your typical UK village.
It’s right on the coast in the South East of England and just a short drive from the picturesque town of Rye in East Sussex.
So how did I hear of Dungeness?
Funnily enough, I heard about Dungeness from an influencer on Instagram. Lucy Williams.
She’s probably 1 of 4 influencers I actually follow on social media as you know I like to avoid people that trigger me.
Lucy went to Dungeness at the beginning of this year and when she started to update her stories with pictures of crab shacks and videos of a deserted shingle beach, I was intrigued.
With my birthday slap bang in the middle of June and staycations officially allowed, I thought it would be a great time for me and John to check out Dungeness.
And it didn’t disappoint.
What to do
Dungeness is small enough to visit on a day trip but charming enough to want to stay for longer.
John and I arrived on a Saturday afternoon and left late on the Monday. Those few days were enough for both of us to fall in love with the place.
Dungeness is home to the largest shingle (pebble) beach in Europe. So heading down to the beach for a long walk when you first arrive is a must.
We were staying in an Airbnb in the neighbouring town, Lydd-on-Sea so we chose to start our walk from there and head towards Dungeness along the beach.
After months of being stuck in the midlands, it felt so freeing to finally be by the sea.
To feel that cool breeze, smell the salty sea air and dip my toes into the freezing water.
It was truly magical.
And if lying on the pebbles for hours listening to the waves isn’t really your thing then head on a fishing trip instead!
Dungeness is in a lovely, quiet location where it doesn’t attract too many large crowds but it’s also close enough to the exciting surrounding areas.
You can visit the pretty town of Rye or head to the more popular beach of Camber Sands.
There is also a nature reserve about a 5-minute drive outside of the main town which is famous for bird watching.
What to see
When you first arrive in Dungeness it’s hard not to notice the timber houses built metres apart from each other, the two lighthouses and the power station which dominate the landscape.
Unlike most coastal towns, a spacious baron terrain separates the houses from the shingle beach. There is a lot of land to walk on so you can admire the vegetation that grows through the shingle.
Everything can be seen on foot here as it’s so small and there’s only one road that passes through the whole town.
Start at one end of the road and just walk.
Admire the unconventional landscape.
Stop off at Prospect Cottage, the former home of the British film director, Derek Jarman and just have a moment to take it all in.
It’s hard not to keep coming back to this little house to admire its creativity and beauty.
And it’s not just Prospect cottage that will capture your attention but all the other cottages as well. I got major house envy and was definitely eyeing up a future home here!
Once you’ve had a good look at the houses, veer off the path onto the shingle to see the old railway line, the abandoned fishing boats and broken down machinery that perfectly sit along the shore.
The vast landscape really does make you feel like you’re in a Western movie.
But on the beach.
What to eat
Being so close to the sea you can’t go to Dungeness and not eat fish!
There’s an abundance of fish & chip shops along the coast including The Pilot Inn – a casual eatery right in the heart of Dungeness.
Grab a table outside, a couple of beers and admire the landscape while you wait for your food.
The day we arrived we fancied a proper fish & chip takeaway. We hopped in the car to drive a short distance and found Greatstone Fish & Chips.
A modest takeaway shop right across the road from the sand dunes. We walked through the sand, found a cute little spot, laid out the blanket and sat eating while watching the sunset across the sea.
My personal favourite place we ate in Dungeness was the Fish Hut. Set up in a shipping container right on the shingle beach.
Everything is caught fresh that morning and is delicious!
We ordered the fish bun, a lobster roll and two scallops with the most amazing chilli jam I’ve ever had.
The snack shack on Dungeness beach is open Wednesday to Sunday 11 am to 3.30 pm and they usually sell out every day.
I recommend getting there as soon as it opens as it attracts quite a crowd.
On our last day, we hopped into Rye and found an incredible joint that serves quirky American food with a twist.
Tatner’s Street Kitchen has a to-die-for menu and it’s hard to not want to order everything!
After a lot of decision making, I chose the Korean Fried Chicken with a side of garlic and rosemary fries and black truffle mayo while John went for The Bollywood Bad Boy hotdog.
And of course, we had to order the Mac & Cheese!
Getting to Dungeness can be quite a trip so make sure you stop at a country pub on the way there and take advantage of alfresco dining and fresh produce.
Before we arrived, we stopped at The Woolpack Inn Warehorne. We sat in the sun, stretched our legs and ordered some G&Ts.
The Woolpack Inn has an extensive menu from pub classics, pizzas and diner specials.
I highly recommend ordering the Cumberland Scotch Egg and Cheesburger which gives McDonald’s a run for its money!
Final Thoughts on Dungeness
Dungeness is not like a place I’ve seen before in the UK.
Walking around you feel like you’ve stepped onto a Wild West movie set. Or better yet, the American Southwest.
Dungeness boasts quirky architecture, cool eateries, deserted beaches and an overall eery vibe thanks to the broken down machinery and abandoned boats that are dotted around the coastline.
It almost looks like an outdoor museum.
So if you’re looking to take a trip to the English seaside but want to avoid the crowds and get off the beaten track then I can’t recommend Dungeness enough.
Love it or hate it you’ll find it hard not to be mesmerised by its charm.
Because I certainly was.
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx
N.B – All pictures that appear in this post were taken by me (apart from the ones of me which were taken by John) and edited in Adobe Lightroom.