Dungeness and Romney Marsh; Kent’s Best Nature Reserve

Kent is a beautiful county and it’s no surprise that it’s often referred to as the ‘Garden of England’. With its beautiful rolling countryside, most people associate this phrase with rose gardens, hop farms, apple orchards and the like.

However, there’s another side to Kent which has a different kind of natural beauty that is often overlooked when thinking about England’s ‘Garden’.

Will Dungeness please step forward?

Yep, Dungeness – That unsung hero of Kent’s rich tapestry of diverse beauty! You can be forgiven for letting out an audible “ergghh” when the name Dungeness is mentioned, and unfortunately, most people do.

Think dreary flat marshland, think unsightly power stations, think bleak deserted roads and you’ll get the picture that exists in most people’s heads.

At Blindingly Obvious, we’ve decided it’s time to put the record straight. Below is a small selection of photos of the area that we hope will inspire you to visit this interesting and much-underestimated place of natural beauty.

Dungeness and Romney Marsh Gallery

A bit more info on Dungeness

If you’re seeking out local wildlife for some great photos, it’s worth noting that there is a remarkable variety of wildlife living at Dungeness, with over 600 different types of plants; a third of all those found in Britain. It’s one of the best places in Britain to find insects such as moths, bees, beetles and spiders; many of these are very rare and some are not found anywhere else in Britain.

The infamous power stations
dungeness power station

We were thinking of calling the power station with the offer of fitting some nice Roman Blinds for them, but as you can see from the picture above, the place is a bit short on windows 🙂

Anyway, Dungeness is perhaps unavoidably most famous (or infamous) for its 2 power stations  The first one was built in 1965 followed by another in 1983. The older power station closed at the end of 2006 and the newer one is licensed up until 2028. On the plus side, both are within a wildlife sanctuary deemed a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ and birds flourish in the warmer water created by the outflow of the power station. If you’re so inclined, there’s also a visitors’ centre where you can take a closer look.

Denge ‘Listening Ears’ – Experimental acoustic mirrors

denge acoustic mirrorsBy Paul Russon, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

In case you’re not aware, the beach and marshes down this way have been used for military training. You’ll know them when you see them as they’re marked as ‘danger areas’. Denge is a former RAF base around the Dungeness headland and is the location of the very weird looking “Listening Ears” (aka. acoustic mirrors).

Looking like something from a 1950s sci-fi movie, they were built in the late 1920s and consisted of three large concrete structures that were designed to be an early warning system. Its job was to detect the noise from incoming aircraft by capturing sound waves in the gigantic dishes. The site was ideal for these experimental dishes as it was so quiet at the time but despite this, they weren’t very effective and were abandoned when radar came along to outperform them by a country mile.

Fortunately, the site is now managed by the RSPB and is a great place to visit if you’re an avid ‘twitcher’ (birdwatcher). Some of the area’s star attractions include little ringed plovers (image below), bitterns and Slavonian grebes.

Little ringed plover in Dungeness, Kent

Feeling a bit peckish? Pay Fredi’s Snack Bar a visit

As we’re regularly out and about in Kent, whizzing around quoting and installing our custom made to measure window blinds, we often need to refuel at some of our favourite truck stop places to top up our energy reserves. Most of them offer the usual run of the mill foods such as burgers and butties but there is one that stands out from the crowd.

If you’re in the Dungeness, New Romney or Old Romney area and fancy something a little different from the usual uninspiring menus most places have, take a small detour and visit Fredi’s Snack Bar in Old Romney. You won’t be disappointed. We hope Fredi doesn’t mind us using a picture of his delicious food, as it’d be a crying shame not to show you what’s on offer.

fredis snack bar old romney

The place is usually open six days a week but is currently open every day (including Sunday) right up until the 17th December and can be found on the A259 at Sycamore Farm, Old Romney TN29 9SY. This isn’t any ordinary snack bar; if it’s cold or rainy, you also have the opportunity to sit inside rather than steam up the windows of your car or van.

Fredi’s Snack Bar has rave reviews and serves what we think are the best ‘food-on-the-go’ options, not just in Old Romney, but all of Kent. You can still get all the usual stuff, but you’ll also get to choose from Fredi’s diverse and exciting alternatives that are on offer every day. Yum!