Although the limits of our worlds seem pretty close at the moment, the end of this nightmare is just round the corner.
Lockdown will end.
It might not feel that way now but it certainly will and then we’ll be able to finally get out the city for a well deserved break.
Even in normal times it’s easy to forget just how weird and wonderful the countryside around London is.
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And Dungerness in Kent, manages to be one of the strangest places in South East England.
It’s huge, eerie and manages to feel truly wild, which is a rarity in that part of the country.
Known as ‘the UK’s only desert’ it sits on headland that juts out into the English Channel and is one of the largest expanses of shingle in Europe.
Going there feels like stepping in to a post-apocalyptic film with wrecked boats looming out of the sparse undergrowth. On the horizon looms the massive cooling towers of Dungerness Nuclear Power Station adding to the wasteland feel.
But it’s anything but.
The unique ecosystem means that keen naturalists will be able to find there animals, birds and insects not found anywhere else in the country.
Although you’d think the outflow of the nuclear power stations would be an ecological disaster, ‘the boil’ as it’s known, attracts seabirds from miles around drawn to the vegetation growing in the warmer waters.
Scattered across the landscape are more strange structures including around 30 houses made from converted railway coaches.
While many of the wooden cottages are homes for the fishermen whose boats are drawn up on the beach, one house is notable and draws tourists from across the country.
Prospect Cottage, as the Victorian fisherman’s house is called, was formerly owned by the film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener and gay rights activist Derek Jarman.
Looking at the landscape you can see why he chose to spend his final days here.
It is ruggedly beautiful.
No manicured lawns or curated beaches but a shingly expanse jutting rudely out into the sea.
The open skies give you space to breath and clear your head, something we all need at the moment.
If, like me, you’re lame enough to make a list of things to do when lockdown finishes, make visiting Dungerness one of them.
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