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Dreamlike desert escape

Ellen Tout finds tranquil seclusion and rare beauty on Kent’s enigmatic shoreline
PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES

Known as the only desert in the UK, Dungeness, on the headland of the Kentish coast, is a mystical landscape. Arriving at our cottage, located on one of the few roads here, the sea stretches for miles and the shingle cascades into the distance. This is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a nature reserve, and we’re staying a short walk along the coast from the mysterious Dungeness Estate, a unique shingle spit that sits three miles into the English Channel. We head through our cottage garden and hop over the lines of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway – ‘the smallest public railway in the world’. Its locomotives have been chugging steam across these plains since 1927.

Blissful isolation

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