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Admitted you need to have a very large pocket or to have won the lottery but someone will become the proud owner. The Hope Bay Studio complex at Kingsdown near Deal is available on the open market. This comes with 13 acres of garden for your own personal use. Within this complex is a range of white & blue bungalows and garden sheds, also included is a unique light and airy artist’s barn which feature high ceilings.
Whilst these attractive and functional garden outdoor buildings are an incentive to buy then the truly breathtaking views from the garden extending through 180 degrees and giving a fantastic vista is surely the cherry on top. As far as you can see to the left and right is the English Channel and in front of you, on a good day, you can see all the way across to France.
There is only 21 miles between this superb spot and Europe and the only house closer is an house in St Margraret’s-at-Cliffe. And strangely when you get home your mobile automatically switches to a French mobile network, which might not be what you are expecting whilst on the English mainland.
Justin Ramsey, who was brought up in the house with his late father, Dennis, said on a clear day you could even see the Normandy coast in detail. It was Dennis who had his 9 x 6 studio workshop there in the garden and I’m sure that the beautiful setting and views was a great inspiration to him and aided his creativity. He did say on a rough day that France would be out of view but there is still plenty to look at with the Channel ferries moored out at sea waiting for the wind to drop so they can reach harbour. Sometimes there could be 4 or 5 ferries out there tossing about with passengers wishing they were on dry land, the White Cliffs so near but so far!.
I do know that the sea front in the bleak winter is a special place, totally enchanting in a strange way, from my childhood in Cleethorpes. Walking along the sea front down as far as Grimsby, well wrapped up, was a lovely feeling.
The contrast inside the 9ft x 6ft garden studio against the crashing of the waves could not be greater. Superbly tranquil and the celebrated artist, Pietro Annigoni, who was a god father to Justin, had written about the serenity at Hope bay. He wrote in one of Ramseys Snr’s catalogues ‘The studio is surrounded by silence.’ He also wrote ‘A silence enhanced by the sea, the wind and the seagulls, which make it all the more profound and solemn’.
Being 10 minutes from the main road, it’s not a place to be if you need the company and security of people and the access to Hope Bay Studio is down a pot holed bumpy and rutted lane. After you leave this road you the follow a narrow stretch of cliff top tarmac, also not good if you don’t like heights or being close to the edge of a cliff. The only sign of human life is the boats and ships out at sea and maybe the odd tractor on the gold course adjoining. This is the price you pay for being 8 miles away from Dover in the north eastern direction.
However, this remoteness is Hope Bay’s main claim to fame. Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and who lived nearby, set the headquarters of Sir Hugo Drax in his blockbuster film, Mookraker. Sir Hugo, who is building an atomic rocket, as all these mad people want to do so they can conquer the world, created a landslide to try to stop James Bond and his gorgeous companion, Gala Brand (what a name!!) Luckily they survived so that another 20 films of so could follow on.
Back to real life, Hope Bay boasts 5 bedrooms in the main bungalow and also 2 bedrooms in each of the outlying bungalows. Mainly used for guests and staff in the past the main attraction is the view. Along with many out buildings and sheds and other 9X6 utility buildings, someone will certainly have a complete change of scenery and purpose in their life, maybe it should be you moving?