The vast poetic landscape of Dungeness is the backdrop for this stunning designer beach house, with glorious sea views and an internal railway carriage!
El Ray stands like a beacon to contemporary design against the huge seascape beyond its glass wall and yet inside the kitchen is built around an original 19th-century railway carriage. It is this juxtaposition of ancient and modern that makes El Ray truly unique.
This gorgeous holiday home has an open plan living space with a central wood burner and looks out onto a south facing sunny deck which is built to provide shelter from the winds.
The 180 degree views from the deck are spectacular across this unique shingle spit dubbed as Britain’s only desert - the perfect location for a romantic holiday getaway. The two bedrooms look onto two internal courtyards which provide lovely sheltered sun traps.
The Dungeness Nature Reserve is a magical place to visit all year round. A recognised Site of Special Scientific Interest it is an area of shingle beach saltmarsh sand dunes. The unique landscape is a nature lover’s paradise perfect for walking and popular with photographers worldwide.
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El Ray: sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. Parking for 2 cars. Open garden
Entrance hall leading to large open plan kitchen, sitting/dining room with wood burner and TV/DVD player (the TV is for DVD use only)
Kitchen with electric oven and hob, larder fridge (please note no freezer), washing machine
Glass doors opening on to decked area
Bedroom 1 (sleeps 2), double bed
Bedroom 2 (sleeps 2), double bed
Bathroom with walk in shower, basin and WC
Electric underfloor heating and wood burner
A large south facing deck with garden furniture overlooking the shingle beach and sea
Two internal courtyards protected from the wind
Situated on the Dungeness Estate which is home to an unusual landscape. The headland on the south coast of Kent is formed largely of a shingle beach. The Dungeness reserve itself is set back from the sea, boasting mile after mile of open shingle, fresh water pits, wet grassland and stunning wildflower meadows. Dungeness is one of the best places for wildlife in the UK and designated as a Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Natura 2000 site with plenty of walks to enjoy.
For train lovers amongst you, pick up the miniature steam trains that run from Hythe, New Romney and Dymchurch and stop off at Dungeness and climb the stairs to the top of the Lighthouse for a stunning 360 degree view of the area.
Gardeners may be aware that Derek Jarman’s House and garden is located at Dungeness and you are free to walk around and enjoy his planting and sculptures.
So whatever the season you can be sure to enjoy Dungeness and all it has to offer. Don't forget to bring your raincoat as the weather can be known to turn, and your camera to capture the wonderful sights on offer. You will soon discover why it is popular with wildlife enthusiasts, artists, and walkers. Oh... and make sure you visit the renowned Snack Shack at the Dungeness Fish Hut to pick up the daily catch to cook on the BBQ or enjoy a spot of lunch!
Beautiful location 4.3/5
El Ray is stunning to look at and the location is breathtaking. The facilities inside as great and the two bedrooms made our stay very comfortable. There was plenty of hot water and the fire made the lounge area lovely and warm in the evenings. The only downside to El Ray is the parking. I do think they need to invest in the infrastructure for the parking for guests especially as you can only reverse out to get back onto the main road. We did not feel confident that our vehicle could reverse out of the space allocated with the shingle driveway. A neighbour also advised me that serval other guests had also got stuck there recently. I do think some renovation work is needed to the house as there is clearly a problem with condensation and water coming in as the interior wood around some of the windows is black which just makes the place feel less luxurious. I do think this lack of attention to details do impact on how guests feel especially as the rental price is high.
Emily Whitebread | 19 December 2022
El Ray Dungeness Beware 4.3/5
El Ray looks like what it says on the pictures and if you want an unusual place to stay in Dungeness it ticks most of the boxes. Great Views , Isolated and a really interesting design. There is however a BUT. The access is treacherous. On the face of it it looks simple you drive up to the door park and you are there. However although the owner provides detailed instructions- which involves reversing back 40 m - difficult in the dark as I discovered IF you diverge from the track you get stuck in the famous Dungeness Shingle. I did and we had to call the AA out to pull the car free, and then remove all the tyres to get rid of the pebbles. Why this problems has not been addressed I do not know as I have not been the only casualty. It was an expensive and time consuming addition to my stay. So great place but drive with great care .
Roy Simpson | 13 October 2022
A stunning house in a stunning location. 4.8/5
This visit to El Ray was a birthday present for my husband. My daughter and her dog joined us. The house is stunning architecturally and in a perfect location, right on the beach. We were not disappointed on entering the property as it is just as amazing inside as out. The railway carriage kitchen and decor is fabulous! It was lovely and clean and remained warm. We did not need to use the underfloor heating for our entire stay and lit the log burner mostly for its drama and comfort. We were very lucky with the weather and sat outdoors, enjoying the sun. We were also lucky to experience a storm on the Friday night - exhilarating! There is so much to do in Dungeness. We visited Hythe on the light railway (wonderful), ate at the The Pilot (yummy fish & chips), climbed the lighthouse (not for the feint hearted), ate at The Snack Shack (a must as fabulous fresh fish) and walked through the RSPB nature reserve (beautiful). It is not a cheap place to stay and could perhaps benefit from having some shower gel, milk and basics for visitors. Bloom responded quickly to our messages and queries. We would love to visit the area again in this or another Bloom property.
Belinda Jeffries | 13 October 2022
El Ray 3.8/5
I booked El Ray as a surprise birthday present for a keen walker and bird watcher. I knew the location and position of the house having been to the area before and loved it. The house is quirky which is one of its charms The kitchen well stocked for 4 people, lovely views and access to the pebbles. But on the downside. The sofa is in need of replacement as it is not very comfortable and looks very old, one of the mattresses is so so hard that if 4 were staying it would mean a very uncomfortable night for someone. I think overall it is overpriced - arrival time was 4 (although we were informed we could have an earlier arrival that afternoon it was too late for us as I had booked lunch on the way) and out by 10 - making our 2 night stay quite short. Also more information would be welcomed, both for the house and surrounding area. We could not get the DVD player working there was very little in the way of instructions and a phone call to the contact did not help. We have stayed in and returned to many many cottages over the years but I think El Ray will be a one off visit. It makes it hard to recommend this to others, the area yes I would but with many other properties available in the same area not this particular one. I hope this is helpful to both owner and agent.
Guest | 01 September 2022
Wonderful and unusual place to stay. 4.5/5
Mind-blowing sunrises, very cool accommodation. Private outside space was a real bonus. Can't wait to go back.
Harriet Warner | 23 January 2022
Amazing views, unique experience 4.7/5
You either love or hate Dungeness. To me its bleak and beautiful and its a fantastic place for birdwatchers like me. El Ray is a stunning property with magnificent views. You could spend all day just gazing from the huge windows over the vast expanse of shingle beach to the sea beyond. Sunrise & sunset are spectacular. If you are lucky and have a clear night, the stars are beautiful to behold with little light pollution. Locations and properties such as these dont come cheap, but they are unique and if you want to stay somewhere different, this is for you. Its the sort of place you wish you could retreat to whenever life gets on top of you. The huge wood burner soon heats up the living room and is very cosy when the wind and rain are battering against the windows. Bad weather almost adds to the experience. WiFi is surprisingly good. The place is well equipped but a few extras would in my opinion benefit El Ray. You wont find complimentary toiletries, there is no microwave and only a DVD player with no smart TV. A welcome pack with local walks, attractions, restaurants etc would also be appreciated. We found the mattress in one of the bedrooms to be thin and uncomfortable so moved to the other bedroom which was much more comfortable. These are minor things though and I would highly recommend staying here. The host Sophie is friendly and easily contactable should you need anything. I hope my honest review is helpful.
Donna Joyce | 10 December 2021
A real tonic by the sea 5/5
We and our 13 months old dog had a wonderful short stay. Its a magnificent house from the location to the big design and the elegant small touches. Very comfortable and tastefully furnished. Inner courtyards very useful with the dog as was the long lead so we could all sit out on the decking and admire the beautiful sunsets. Dungeness and the Marsh are stunning locations, and the Iast few hot days of summer helped. Just the sound of sea and gentle breeze to listen, aside from the occasional tannoy announcement from the power station. El Ray is now definitely on our short list of places we would return to in the future.
Yvonne Court | 25 September 2021
Our stay at El Ray 5/5
We loved our stay in this beautifully designed, unusual house with the most spectacular views. The kitchen within the railway carriage was particularly well appointed. We will come again!
David Appleton | 17 July 2021