It’s a rather extraordinary place to live, and yet people do. I’d be tempted to live there myself if I hadn’t spent 2 hours – yes, you read that correctly – sat in traffic to get through the 2 mile long bit of beach at Camber earlier this month in order to reach it.
Dungerness is on a headland that juts out into the sea just below the English Channel. Access to it is via the low-lying area of Romney Marsh where you’ll pass through an area managed by the RSPB. It’s all a bit wild and empty – apart from Camber. It’s so rare to find a proper sandy beach in this country – most of what passes for beach here is shingle and pebbles – that when the sun does shine, vast numbers of people head to the coast, and Camber is a favourite with those who like to feel the sand between their toes.
But back to the main event. You’ve probably heard of Dungerness … because of the nuclear power station. Hence why I say it’s a rather extraordinary place to live. But there’s no denying there’s a certain feel to it and, until very recently, it had a rather neglected look which gave it a most distopian air. It was shabby and run-down, yet there were new, modern homes mixed in amongst the faded wood and rusting metal. It appears to be more desert than anything else, and the wonderful light means it’s been a popular destination for photographers and filmakers, having appeared on the cover of a Pink Floyd album, in multiple music videos, and in the film ‘The Time Bandits’.
It’s was recently sold to the energy giant EDF Energy, who own the power station. And I think there’s been a bit of a campaign to clean it up. Here are some photographic before and afters …
People started out by buying old railway carriages and converting them into summer ‘cottages’ and a number of the more ‘traditional’ homes do appear to be seasonal or weekend dwellings. There’s a nice mix of screamingly modern alongside the more typical seaside dwellings …
Is there somewhere off-beat you like to visit? How do you feel when your favourite somewhat seedy areas get gentrified?
© Debra Carey, 2018