I had an amazing day today. A day that was unexpected in its loveliness because we had a broad plan but no details, no itinerary and not much expectation other than a pleasant trip to Dungeness.
I ate breakfast with Harvey; leftover mashed sweet and white potato with about 1/3 of a can of baked beans and a cup of tea.Rebecca and I had decided to have a little day trip somewhere and we chose Dungeness. Both of us have been there previously and had fond memories so were looking forward to going back.
Dungeness is a barren landscape of mainly little houses dotted about on the shingle, with a small railway, dominated by the power station and to a lesser extent, 2 lighthouses. An astonishing array of plants manage to survive out here and there is a large RSPB sanctuary.There is a mediocre “restaurant” next to the railway but the coffee was acceptable and it provided a safe place to park. While we drank our coffee the train arrived.It’s a very basic driver’s cabin.You wouldn’t want to sit in here for long.We were surprised by how long it is.
We decided to begin with a walk around the large black lighthouse. When we got closer we could see it was open so we went inside and then decided to climb to the top. 169 very steep steps up to the narrow top.
Luckily there are different floors within the lighthouse with displays to look at and catch one’s breath. Such as these guides to identifying “Communist” naval flags and Soviet submarines and warships.
As well as providing a useful lookout point during war, the lighthouse was obviously used to warn ships of land approaching which, given the high number of shipwrecks around this part of the coast, was very necessary.This glass was beautiful.
This is a selfie of me looking at Rebecca through the glass (you can see her hand holding her phone on the right hand side) with the power station, which was behind me, reflected in the glass. It was beautiful and slightly psychedelic.Onwards and upwards – this is not a trip for those scared of heights.This room would once have contained a desk and notes were taken and stored about weather conditions. There was an interesting display in the curved wooden cabinet , which perfectly fits agains the rounded wall. Nowadays the lighthouse, like most in Britain, is run by computer rather than by man.
There is a very steep ascent to the top, almost up a ladder and then there you are, beside the magnificent great lens. We did not go up this ladder which is for use when maintaining the lens.
There is a very small doorway which leads outside to a walkway round the top of the lighthouse. The walkway is open but you feel safe as there is a barrier that is about shoulder height.
The inside of the metal door had a charming wooden handle.The handle on the weathered outside door was beautiful.I really enjoyed walking round the top and appreciating the extraordinary view.It is open on this little walkway so easy to take photos. Here is the power station.When we came down we walked around these houses.We also walked round the circular building which was the base of a previous lighthouse. It is currently used for holiday lets.You can also get a better view of the lens from the outside.
Time to go down.
Look how thick the walls are!Back in the gift shop at the bottom where we bought a postcard each. I am definitely coming here again as I LOVE LOVE LOVED it.We then had a truly splendid couple of hours, pottering about on the shingle, looking at everything this extraordinary landscape has to offer.
We began by walking round the base of an old lighthouse.
So many beautiful flowers and sea kale out here.
We then walked close to the power station.
The wall seems to bear scars.
It’s a big old place.Then on towards some of the houses which are perched on the shingle with no boundaries marked out.
We were both really happy to come across 4 art studios/galleries which were open.
These are such cute little huts, used as galleries or studios.
This shop was run by the “litter collector” who has made a sculpture of all the litter he has picked up along the beach; dummies, shoes, diving gear and even a guitar!
We walked over to the “new” lighthouse.I seem to have managed to miss the top of the lighthouse! It was actually hard to take photos because it was so bright I couldn’t see what I was taking for much of the time.Time to head back to the car.On the way home we went to the RSPB reserve – you can see the power station in the background. We were only here for a short while as we didn’t have binoculars and we were also feeling the need for some food, drink and respite from the sun and wind. Plus a certain young man needed collecting from school so we came home, having been out all day. I was really hungry here as we had missed lunch so I bought the only 2 vegan options in the RSPB shop: a bag of crisps and a NAKD bar.When I got home I made myself a smoothie with 4 apricots, 2 bananas, coconut water and hemp seeds. This was refreshing and hydrating.While I brought my washing in from the line, a pair of these butterflies rested on my laundry basket. Pretty.For dinner we had brown rice with stir fried red and green peppers, red onion, courgette and carrots with marinated tofu and black sesame seeds, served with avocado mashed with lime juice, green chilies and soy sauce. I didn’t add any pickles as it was already very flavoursome.That was a fabulous day. Very enjoyable with lots of walking and lots of nutritious food. I can’t wait to go back to Dungeness.