This amazing spot has to be in my top three ‘wild’ places to visit in Kent. A headland situated roughly between Rye and New Romney, Dungeness is a stark contrast from the woods and rolling fields of the Weald.
Proudly claiming to be the largest shingle spit that supports vegetation in Europe and great fishing venue with eclectic cabins dotting the landscape, it begs to be seen. If that's not enough there's a pub, two lighthouses (one which you can visit) and even a miniature railway. Not to mention the two power stations and RSPB reserve as well!
1901 saw the first 'modern' lighthouse built (number 4) the originals being beacons. Number 5 was constructed in 1961 giving number 4 tourist status with fine views.
The ecology of Dungeness is so important it is recognised as a Special Area of Conservation; National Nature Reserve; Special Protection Area and Site of Special Scientific Interest. Amazingly this stony desert supports numerous types of flora and a host of insects and wildlife.
Dungeness' remote location is the ideal spot for the RSPB visitor centre. With a two mile nature trail offering six hides, there are plenty of opportunities to have a good 'twitch'. Recent sightings (January 2010) include: Hen Harrier, Bittern, Blackcap, Marsh Harrier, Smew and many more that I've never even heard of!
Laurel and Hardy
If you like steam then you'll love the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway which has a station at Dungeness. The first trains ran from Hythe to New Romney on July 16th 1927. The brainchild of two millionaires, Count Zborowski and Captain J. Howey, the line was extended to Dungeness in 1928, a total of 13 miles. During wartime even some of the rolling stock was armoured but after peace was restored, in 1947 the Dungeness section had the honour of being re-opened by comedy duo Laurel and Hardy (if you're young, ask your parents or grandparents!) Due to costs the line was now only single track but remains today, one of the finest 15 inch gauge railways in the world.
All in all, Dungeness is a great day out for everyone.