We like staying in weird places. In the past few years, we’ve stayed in a Pineapple, a 200 year old fort, and a 16th century Scottish tower house. So when looking for somewhere to stay for our winter mini-break, I typed various synonyms for “quirky” into Google to see what I could find.
And I found the most perfect UK holiday rental that I have ever stayed in – the Fog Signal Building in Dungeness.
I knew a bit about Dungeness, but haven’t ever explored that area of the UK before so was really looking forward to days of peace and quiet, and that’s what we got. More about Dungeness in another post (and also more about the random car we had for the drive as well) – but first, more on this amazing building.
The Fog Signal Building is on a plot of land which housed a number of old (and now some new) buildings that formed the Experimental Station – a former Trinity House research station. It’s a bit hard to find historical details, but one book notes that it was built in the 1950s in order to test telemetry and fog detection.
The Fog Signal Building has been renovated to an extraordinarily high level by Johnson Naylor – beautiful limestone flooring, very cool furnishings, fancy kitchen appliances, and two (yes TWO) different types of teak baths. There’s one main room for living, dining, and sleeping with separate kitchen and bathroom and it’s all stunning. This is my dream home.
The light in Dungeness is incredible and almost other-worldly, so at numerous points during the day, we’d run outside to take photos of this iconic building.
Almost every door and window has a different view – the two lighthouses, the Coastguard Lookout, the beach (and yes, the Nuclear Power Station which was only occasionally unnerving). My favourite? Sitting on the sofa looking out towards the new lighthouse, especially at night.
Although looking out over the shingle beach was pretty perfect too.
As our stay was in November, there weren’t many people about and we’d go hours without seeing another soul. At times, we felt like we were the only ones left at the end of the world, which the Dungeness setting really helped with.
We had amazing sunsets every night. I’m fairly certain we had amazing sunrises as well, but I was too lazy to get out of bed. In fact, we slept really well the whole time except for one foggy night where the lighthouse fog siren blared for a while. Oh the irony. Of all the things to be kept awake by in the Fog Signal Building, I didn’t think it would be an actual fog signal. Admittedly, I did convince myself it was a siren from some sort of nuclear disaster next door first but I soon figured it out.
At the end of our few days, I didn’t want to leave and I am already so desperate to go back. We booked through Mulberry Cottages who have other amazing Dungeness properties as well (there are a few different websites where you can book this including Airbnb).
This is everything I want in a home, and if I won the lottery tonight, I’d drive down there to try to buy it from the current owners. I’m sure they wouldn’t sell though – you’d be crazy to let this go.
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