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Dungeness named one of world's most authentic tourist destinations  Nov 25, 2008

The seaside resort of Dungeness, best known for its nuclear power station, has been named out of the world's most "authentic" tourist destinations.

The Kent town is one of 12 British locations – including Leeds and the remote Scottish county of Wigtownshire – contained in a Top 50 list compiled by travel experts and commentators.

Dungeness was nominated by philosopher Alain de Botton, who described it as a "beautiful rugged stretch of shingle coast, dotted with vividly painted clapboard houses", and encouraged visitors to ignore the "unprepossessing" nuclear power station that dominates the beach.

"For decades, artists and writers, most famously the late Derek Jarman, have been drawn by the sublime empty skies and bracing winds," he added.

The list, compiled for the British Airways High Life magazine, also honours the authenticity of the towns of Deal and Ramsgate in Kent, Lewes in West Sussex, Hastings in East Sussex, Salcombe in South Devon, the Holderness Coast in Yorkshire and Ludlow in Shropshire.

The eccentric village of Portmeirion in North Wales and and Causeway Coast are Northern Ireland are also included.

Leeds in West Yorkshire is praised as a city where the bus drivers still call you "luv" and where "the tourist can experience a different way of living in a city", while Wigtownshire is described as "so quiet and remote that visiting becomes a spiritual experience".

The list, which honours locations that have not sold out their roots or exaggerated their historical importance to attract tourists, also includes Hanoi in Vietnam and Zanzibar in Tanzania.

Dungeness named one of world's most authentic tourist destinations
Dungeness: 'A beautiful rugged stretch of shingle coast' / Photograph by Philip Hollis

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