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Dreamlike desert escape

Ellen Tout finds tranquil seclusion and rare beauty on Kent’s enigmatic shoreline

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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