A day trip to the Old Dungeness Lighthouse in Kent

Dungeness lighthouse the top view

With the summer holidays drawing to a close husband was adamant that he wanted to get us all away one last weekend in the caravan. We decided to go to Dymchurch and explore that area as it’s been a long time since we were last there.

Fortunately on Sunday we woke to clear blue skies and decided to make the most of our time left by driving out to the tip of Dungeness, I wanted to explore the area and see for myself the famous power engine and cottages dotted in the vast shingle wilderness.

It’s a short drive from St Mary’s Bay where we were pitched and some of the roads are very old and consequently bumpy but I was captivated by the clusters of homes alongside our route. They looked like old wooden huts that had since been converted, some into the most amazing stylish homes, others into art galleries. Each one unique and I would have loved to have looked inside them.

dungeness kent

At the end of the road we came to the famous Dungeness Power Station and the Old Dungeness Lighthouse. We discovered you could climb to the top and visit so dad took Baxter for a walk and the girls and I made the climb to the top.

dungeness lighthouse kent

The lighthouse is divided into floors so you can’t get the famous spiral shot from top to bottom or vice versa, on one floor it looked like a desk was there in ceremony style and I wondered if you could possibly get married there?

The final flight of stairs are incredibly steep and you have to come down them backwards, when you get to the top of them, there is a minuscule door to go through to reach the balcony outside. It is worth it.

dungeness lighthouse kent

Spectacular views await you that stretch for miles into nothingness.

dungeness lighthouse kent


There is a fantastic view of Dungeness Power Station too and I was surprised to see how many people were coming to take a look. You can book a tour of the B plant.

dungeness power station

As we travelled along the roads of Dungeness I spotted lots of old buses taking visitors back and forth.

dungeness lighthouse kent


Once we had finished our Dungeness Lighthouse tour we jumped back in the car and made our way to the far beach where driving in I had spotted lots of old containers and old boats scattered here and there, I wanted to investigate further.

Dungeness beach Kent


It’s really odd and difficult to understand if someone has dumped them there or if they are there on purpose but on spotting a couple of fishermen close by powering up engines my guess is they use the trash they find as containers for their nets and fishing equipment.

I loved this container which had been painted on.

container dungeness kent

And this cottage out in the wilderness of Dungeness.

dungeness cotttage

We decided to stop at the Dungeness Snack Shack for lunch and I’m so pleased we did, a quirky hut on the side of the road selling fresh fish to passers by, we ordered a crab rolls and Limonata and sat on the bench to enjoy the peaceful area.

dungeness fish snack shack

As we drove off the Dungeness stretch of land I spotted this cottage and intrigued, asked husband to stop so I could go back and take a look. Ignoring the raised eyebrows (not another photo) I walked back to the side of the cottage and took this photo. I posted it to my Instagram feed and was later informed that the place belongs to Derek Jarman, film director, stage designer, artist, and gardener.

The poem on the black timber wall of Derek Jarman’s cottage is from John Donne’s poem The Sun Rising and reads:

Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us ?
Must to thy motions lovers’ seasons run ?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school-boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices ;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
In that the world’s contracted thus ;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that’s done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ;
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere

Derek Jarman's cottage Dungeness


A really lovely day and a perfect family visit, cost of entrance to the Dungeness Lighthouse is £4.00 fpr adults and £2.50 for children. Students and concessions £3.50 A family ticket for 2 adults and four children aged 5 – 15 costs £12.50. Under 5’s go free.

Dungeness Snack Shack, Crab rolls £5, Lobster rolls £9 also can be made on flat bread. Well worth a stop off. There’s a local fresh fish shop in the blue painted hut with a fabulous display of fish that you will want to buy and take home too.


  1. September 15, 2015 / 10:25 AM

    I have wanted to go to Dungeness for ages. Hopefully October will offer bright mild weekends so we can try it!

    • September 25, 2015 / 5:14 PM

      You must and do try the Snack Shack, it’s such fun!

  2. September 16, 2015 / 10:38 AM

    I have not been down there for ages and never in the lighthouse, I used to go to work alot at the plants. Those views look amazing xx

    • September 25, 2015 / 5:15 PM

      The views are stunning, I can see why so many people choose to live there as there is a sense of freedom around you. Interesting to hear you used to work at the plant, we must chat over a coffee sometime :)

  3. September 17, 2015 / 9:35 PM

    I’ve got a bit of a thing about lighthouses and I’ve always wanted to go to Dungeness, it’s intrigued me for ages. Great photos.

    • September 25, 2015 / 5:16 PM

      Thanks Liz, I must admit I was a bit put out that I couldn’t get my spiral staircase shot as this one has floors in it, you can even get married there …

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