“The Fifth Quarter of the Globe”

For gray-card’s Passport to the World Passport.

Dungeness in Kent is an odd place. It’s aptly and affectionately referred to by locals as the fifth quarter of the globe. It’s a fitting title.

There’s not much there really: a huge mass of shingle, the largest in Europe; decaying and dilapidated remnants of a once thriving fishing industry - boats and huts are slowly yielding to the wind and sea air; and a massive, throbbing nuclear power station, which constantly emits a low somniferous hum.

Oh, and there’s still fishing, which means some amazing seafood. The Pilot Inn serves the hugest portions of fish and chips you’ve ever seen. There’s also Prospect Cottage, of course, Derek Jarman’s old cottage. There’s the impressive diversity of flora and fauna, some of which is only to be found here. There’s also the narrow gauge Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway that runs back and forth under steam power. And I forgot to mention the “Listening Ears” -
image three - relics of WWI and the days before radar.

It’s my favourite place in England. It’s almost perfect flatness means you can watch the sun come up over the sea, rise to its full height and then sink into the land behind you. It’s serenely restful and somewhere I get to as often as possible.

I love it here!