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Five secluded spots in Southern England to transport you to another world

Dungeness, Romney Marsh COURTESY

  • LIFE
  • Life Desk
  • Published: 18 Feb 2021, 06:58 PM

Travelling may need to be a little closer to home this year. Make this a cause for celebration and discover some of the UK’s hidden gems and fascinating curiosities. From a desert landscape to an ancient moss forest, the South of England alone contains enough other-wordly landscapes to transport you to another realm. We round up six of our favourite spectacular spots in the south that are secluded enough to still feel like you’re discovering it for yourself.

Dungeness, Romney Marsh

Home to 600 plant varieties, two nuclear power stations and countless remains of old fishing huts and wrecked boats, this desolate desert landscape looks like a film set trapped in time. The barren beach terrain is also home to delightful art installations and surprising food stalls dotted amongst the eerie scenery. Walk along the beach to spot the lighthouse, the fog signal structure and the charming Prospect Cottage, which was the home of director and artist Derek Jarman. 

Wistman’s Woods, Devon 

Walking into this mysterious moss forest of ancient oak trees feels like you’re stepping into a fairytale. Some say it’s haunted, some think it’s inhabited by pixies – but with more than 100 different species of moss blanketing the trees and rocks in different shades of green, it’s easy to imagine magic emanating from the twisted oaks. The gnarly branches may seem daunting at first, but don’t be afraid to explore deep into the woods – the ground is easy to traverse and it’s a rare treat to feel so cocooned by nature. 

Leather Tor, Dartmoor

Some argue Leather Tor should be renamed Cliff Tor, as its peak towers over dramatic sights of Burrator Reservoir and winding river views lined with stunning alpine forests. While not as high in altitude as some other Dartmoor peaks, it’s a mere 1.5 mile walk – short for Dartmoor standards – for breathtaking rewards. For the brave, climb onto the stack of rocks rising from the edge of the cliff for an extra rush when looking over the magnificent steep drops. 

Land’s End, Cornwall 

Curl your toes over the craggy cliffs of Land’s End, Britain’s most south-westerly point, and feel like you are at end of the world. Winding paths along the cliff edge provide uninterrupted views over Cornwall’s rugged coastline and the Atlantic Ocean, while the regular fog signal from the distant lighthouse echoes through the site, adding to the edge-of-the-world vibe. If Land’s End shopping complex – which resembles a 1950’s beach resort – isn’t for you, head to the 200-year old Greeb Farm instead where you can pet the animals while enjoying the magnificent scenery.  

Southend-on-Sea beaches, Essex 

Usually bursting with beachgoers, the past year has seen less tourists grace Southend’s shores. While the main City Beach still receives its fair share of visitors, a short walk away from the main station are quiet stretches where you can have the sea to yourself. With Southend’s huge amusement park and various arcades closed temporarily, the colourful coastline now resembles a ghost town. Take advantage of the quiet season to wander through the otherwise bustling resort and enjoy the sights before the crowds return. 

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