This Desert Destination Is Home To The Absolute Oddest Landscapes In Europe

If you want to journey to the edge of the Earth, then Dungeness may just be the place for you. Situated at Romney Marsh in Kent, on the Southern edge of the U.K. and overlooking the English Channel, it is called the "desert of England." Dungeness is designated a National Nature Reserve with a dedicated bird reserve, so it is an excellent place to spot diverse wildlife. Described as "post-apocalyptic" by The Guardian, it is undoubtedly an under-the-radar destination to visit outside of London.

The presence of the Dungeness Nuclear Power Station makes Dungeness all the more intriguing. It also has war relics and unusual accommodations created out of the buildings from times gone by. If you want to spend the day walking along the shingle beach, eating freshly caught seafood, spotting interesting birds, and staying overnight in a fascinating fog signal building, then this is the place for you.

What to do in Dungeness

As if Dungeness didn't already look as if it was on another planet, it has otherworldly monuments, too. On Lade Pits island are the three Denge Sound Mirrors, which are concrete structures that were once used to "listen" to planes coming across the sea. They were built before World War II and can be seen from a distance, but this island is only open to the public on certain days. For a bird's eye view of Dungeness, head to its Grade II-listed old lighthouse to better take in the magnitude of the landscape. You can also walk or cycle along the coast and admire the unusual plants that live here.

If you visit the RSPB Dungeness Reserve, you will likely see all feathered life, including ducks, waders, swans, bitterns, cuckoos, and other migrating birds, depending on the season. Finish your day with fish and chips from The Pilot Inn and a local beer from Romney Marsh Brewery at Ales by the Rails at the train station. For anyone considering coming to the U.K., fish and chips are one of the most important reasons to visit England!

Where to stay near Dungeness

This area is blessed with interesting architecture as several fishing cottages have now been converted into holiday lets. One of the charcoal-black cottages was once owned by Film Director Derek Jarman, who created a modern garden outside the shingle. While you can't stay there, you can sleep in some other unique buildings that suit the "Wild West" landscape here.

If you have a big budget, you can stay in a converted Pump Station that sleeps eight to nine people. One guest on Tripadvisor said that the property "transported us to another world." Another expensive yet unusual let is the Coastguard Lookout, converted from a real 1950s tower that remains an entirely open plan. As if that wasn't enough, you can also spend the night in the Fog Signal Building, which still has its aerial on top. A much cheaper option is East Cottage — which has 5 stars on Tripadvisor and is just a few minutes walk from the beach. Before settling down for the night, catch the sunset over this ethereal landscape, which may just be the main reason to stay here.