Elmley Nature Reserve Shepherds Huts
For nature lovers, a visit to Elmley offers something nowhere else can: the chance to stay in an amazing National Nature Reserve. As the only reserve in the UK that allows guests to extend their visits to overnight stays, Elmley gives you the chance to wake up to wildlife right on your doorstep - a truly unique experience!
With six beautifully finished, custom-made shepherd's huts on offer, you can look forward to an unforgettable escape to the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. Only an hour from London, Elmley offers remote and peaceful meadows, marshes and waterways which are a haven for wildlife. In fact, the marshes are renowned as one of the best places for conservation in the UK.
Photographers, artists and writers have been inspired by Elmley for centuries, and the landscape is even said to have inspired Dickens himself when writing Great Expectations; no surprise, then, that Elmley was used as a filming location for the onscreen adaptation! Maybe Elmley's allure will inspire you too for your next novel or photographical series?
History lovers will also be enthralled by clues of Elmley's past that are dotted around the reserve, from the Old School House that once housed 200 Victorian workers to the 17th Century farmhouse which was used to detain King James II when he tried to flee Protestant England in 1688. Elmley really does have some stories to tell!
The luxurious accommodation is a perfect match for Elmley's magnificent surroundings. Look forward to a glamping experience in one of the well-appointed shepherd's huts, all of which have en suite bathroom facilities (with delightful Green & Spring toiletries) and fully-fitted kitchens.
Samphire offers breath-taking views across the Swale Estuary and the reserve. On a clear day, you might even spot Whitstable, and if visiting in the winter, you'll no doubt spy wildfowl sheltering in the estuary. This cosy haven has been finished with Farrow & Ball colours and gorgeous soft furnishings, and sleeping two, the double bed can be reconfigured into bunk beds for friends or children.
Little Owl is similar to Samphire in its traditional style and modern amenities, and it too offers a double bed that can be converted into bunks. However, Little Owl offers the unique experience of a picture window at the foot of the bed which looks out to oak trees. From here, watch barn owls swoop as they begin a night's hunting, or hear them softly hoot as darkness draws in.
For a very special, romantic retreat, a stay in Vanellus is perfect. This gorgeous fenman's hut exudes a modern rustic feel, from the reclaimed wooden floors to the dresser created from an old railway wagon. Lie back on the heavenly king-size bed with its ash branch bedframe, and marvel at the avocets, hares, barn owls and wildfowl that may pass by your window.
The Saltbox is a stunning retreat offers a fully glazed end to offer the most magnificent views of the reserve - you'll almost feel as if you've brought the outside indoors with you! Sleeping two people in a sumptuous king-size bed, this really is a treat for a special occasion.
The Ferryman's is like The Saltbox in that it has windows for walls, allowing for sunrise and water views in the reserve. Sleeping up to two adults and two children with a king size bed, pull-out bed, outdoor shower and rustic luxe decor, it is a beautiful space.
Damson is the latest addition to Elmey, and is nestled in the old orchard area of the reserve, surrounded by fruit trees. From the reclaimed wood headboard of the king-size bed to the al fresco bath tub for the ultimate natural escape, this is one seriously relaxing hut!
All guests can make use of the 17th Century farmhouse garden in the summer and the Victorian barn in the winter. These communal areas offer a BBQ and gas burner, and on rainy days, curl up with books, games and DVDs on the comfy sofas in the barn. To add to the luxury experience, why not order your breakfast or dinner to be delivered to your shepherd's hut? Or for the ultimate relaxation, visit Elmley's very own therapy room for sensational treatments from a fully qualified holistic therapist!
So whether you spend your stay exploring the reserve, photographing the wildlife or unwinding with a massage, one thing is for sure - your visit to Elmley will undoubtedly be a truly special experience.
Things to note
Minimum 2 night stay. 1 night stays may be possible midweek on request. Treatments by a qualified holistic therapist can be requested at time of booking.
Please note that although the huts only sleep 2 most of the time, on request families or groups can have the option of pitching a sturdy made up Bell Tent next to the hut, or children can sleep on extra beds which can be supplied in Vanellus. The Ferryman's and The Saltbox have a pull out bed and a hammock to sleep up to two young children. A travel cot can also be supplied.
Tried and tested
'Our stay at Little Owl was fantastic- the hosts were so
friendly and out Shepherd's Hut was brilliantly kitted out. They really did put
the glam in glamping.'
Becky, May 2016
'What a brilliant find! We had a wonderful night away
celebrating a birthday. Gareth and Georgina made us feel very welcome, they
greeted us warmly and showed us the ropes. We had a lovely long walk on the
beautiful reserve followed by a home cooked meal (definitely book one!)- the chicken pie and crumble were delicious. We
made a fire in the outdoor pit- enjoying a late glass of wine under the stars
in the middle of a freezing March! The hut was toasty and warm, beautifully
finished off. We've already started telling our friends about it...'
Maddy, March 2016
'We absolutely loved our stay at Elmley Nature Reserve. It struck the perfect balance of complete privacy and rustic isolation with the option of little luxuries. If you want to switch off from city life less than 1 1/2 hours via train from London, then this is the place to do it.'
Anna, February 2016
Region: Sheerness, Kent
Cost (from): £105 per night
Sleeps: 2 per unit
Bathrooms: 1 per unit
Minimum stay: 2 nights
Property ref: 159
The Saltbox sleeps up to 2 adults and 2 young children, king size bed, bedding & towels, kitchenette, pull-out bed/hammock, wool throws, hot water bottles, bathroom, rain shower, bath robes, outdoor shower.
The Ferryman's sleeps up to 2 adults and 2 young children, king size bed, indoor & outdoor shower, bathroom, bathrobes, bedding & towels, kitchenette area, pull-out bed/hammock, wool throws, hot water bottles, outdoor seating.
Vanellus sleeps 2 adults and 1 child, king size bed, bedding & towels, bathroom, rain shower, bath robes, wool throws, hot water bottles, electric radiator, fire pit.
Little Owl sleeps 2, double bed, bedding & towels, ensuite bathroom, eco-toilet, wood-burning stove, vintage binoculars.
Samphire sleeps 2, double bed, bedding & towels, ensuite bathroom, wood-burning stove, eco-toilet, fire pit.
The Damson sleeps up to 2 adults and 2 young children (one under 6), double bed, small pull-out bed, hammock, bedding & towels, en-suite bathroom, shower, amenities, outdoor bath tub, fire pit, bath robes.
Nature trails, bird-watching, photography, holistic treatments, historic sites, swimming, coastal park.
At a glance
- Unique opportunity to stay on a National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent
- Six shepherd's huts available, each sleeping 2 (Samphire and Little Owl's double beds can be configured into bunks; king-size beds in The Saltbox, The Ferryman's and Vanellus, The Damson has a pull-out bed/hammock). Other options for families also available on request
- Perfect for nature lovers, photographers, artists and history lovers
- 17th Century farmhouse garden and Victorian barn available for communal use, with BBQ, gas burner, books, games and DVDs
- Onsite therapy room for holistic therapy treatments