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Elmley Nature Reserve Shepherds Huts

England / Sheerness, Kent
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Full description
Eclectic accommodation and seasonally-inspired dining on a National Nature Reserve in Kent, with an abundance of wildlife right on your doorstep.

For nature lovers, a visit to Elmley offers something nowhere else can: the chance to stay in an amazing, family-owned 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, particularly if you also indulge in a guided tour.

With a selection of beautiful accommodation 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!  

History lovers will also be enthralled by clues of Elmley's past, and the many stories 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.  

The luxurious accommodation you'll discover 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 Bramley toiletries) and fully-fitted kitchens.

Samphire offers breath-taking views across the Swale Estuary and the reserve, with a double bed that can be reconfigured into bunk beds for friends or children. Little Owl features a picture window at the foot of the bed which looks out to bird-filled oak trees.  

For a romantic retreat, a stay in Vanellus is perfect, while 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!  

A truly beautiful space, The Ferryman's showcases 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 décor. Meanwhile, Damson is nestled in the old orchard area of the reserve, surrounded by fruit trees.

Stay in the 17th century farmhouse if you prefer more traditional hotel accommodation, boasting five elegant bedrooms. Or how about a bespoke-crafted hut, instead? Each sleeping two adults and two small children, the ultra-luxurious huts each boast a dreamy outdoor bath, fluffy bathrobes, and a soft-glowing woodburner inside, along with tea-and-coffee-making facilities and a full bathroom. The largest hut, The Roost, also boasts a kingsize bed with a gorgeous reclaimed timber frame.

There is also a wondrous selection of furnished bell tents to choose from, which are ideal for couples and small families seeking a more rustic experience. Simply choose your favourite location... woodland or meadow-facing for families, or adults-only Acorn Corner tents, with views of the Swale Estuary. Woodland tents even feature electricity, taking holiday convenience to new levels.

Where to dine? The sumptuous Kingshill Barn is home to a café, bar, and restaurant in Summer, all offering locally-sourced produce from the Garden of England, prepared to seasonally-inspired recipes. In Winter, dine in the Farmhouse for an intimate supper club feel or have a private 2-course hamper delivered straight to your hut (available year round). Huts and Cabins can order a delicious breakfast hamper to be delivered direct to your retreat, so you don't have to tear yourself away from your cosy bed or those endless views ... or how about a private two-course supper later on?

Whether you spend your stay exploring the reserve, discovering the secret beach, photographing the wildlife or indulging in a freshly-mixed cocktail, one thing is for sure - your visit to Elmley will undoubtedly be a truly special experience.

Things to note

Minimum 2 night stay at weekends only.

Please note that although most of the huts sleep 4, the second bed is really only suitable for children under 10. One child can sleep on an extra bed which can be supplied in Vanellus. The Damson, 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. The Roost and Martha's Hut have a sofa bed which is suitable for 2 children under 10.

Please note that for safety reasons, the wood-burners in the huts cannot be used if children are staying.

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.'

'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...'

'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.'

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The basics

The basics


Region: Sheerness, Kent
Cost (from): £105 per night
Sleeps: Varies
Bedrooms: Varies
Bathrooms: Varies
Minimum stay: 2 nights
Property ref: 159

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Facilities

Facilities

The Saltbox sleeps up to 2 adults and 2 young children, king size bed, bedding & towels, kitchenette, pull-out bed/hammock (only suitable for under 6s), 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 (only suitable for under 6s), 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, double bed, small pull-out bed, hammock (only suitable for under 6s), bedding & towels, en-suite bathroom, shower, amenities, outdoor bath tub, fire pit, bath robes.

Huts (2 adults, 2 small children)

Martha's Hut: kingsize bed, sofa bed for 2 small children (under 10), woodburner, tea-and-coffee-making facilities, mini fridge, full bathroom with shower, towels, bathrobes, Bramley toiletries, outdoor bath, firepit.

The Roost: kingsize bed with reclaimed timber frame, sofa bed for 2 small children (under 10), woodburner, tea-and-coffee-making facilities, mini fridge, full bathroom with shower, towels, bathrobes, Bramley toiletries, outdoor bath, firepit.

Bell tents

Woodland bell tents (2 adults, 2 small children): electricity for lights and phone charging, double bed, fold-out camp bed or futon, all with bedding, blankets and hot water bottles, private firepit, Adirondack chairs and bistro set, cool box and ice brick, hammock or tree swing.

Meadow/Sapling bell tents (2 adults, 2 small children): double bed, fold-out camp bed or futon, all with bedding, blankets and hot water bottles, private firepit, Adirondack chairs and bistro set, cool box and ice brick.

Acorn Corner bell tents (2 adults only): double bed with bedding, blankets and hot water bottles, private firepit, Adirondack chairs and bistro set, cool box and ice brick.

On site: communal bathroom facilities with individual shower huts and Bramley toiletries, communal camp kitchen, on-site café, bar, restaurant and courtyard, meal delivery, guided wildlife and photography tours.

Local activities

Nature trails, bird-watching, photography, holistic treatments, historic sites, swimming, coastal park.

At a glance

At a glance

    • Unique opportunity to stay on a family-owned National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent
    • Six shepherd's huts available, most sleep families of four (Samphire and Little Owl are for 2 people; king-size beds and pull-out beds, suitable for 2 smaller children in The Saltbox, The Ferryman's and The Damson; Vanellus can accommodate 1 small child).
    • The two self-contained cabins each sleep 4 guests (2 adults and up to 2 children, under 10), while during the summer months you can stay in a sumptuous collection of furnished bell tents that each sleep 2-4 guests.
    • The 17th century farmhouse offers more traditional, upmarket B&B accommodation in five bedrooms.
    • Perfect for a romantic grown-up escape, nature lovers, photographers, artists, history lovers and foodies?
    • In Summer the on-site Kingshill Barn is home to a café, bar, restaurant and courtyard. Meals and hampers can also be delivered to your chosen accommodation.
    • A selection of guided wildlife and photography tours are available.
      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.'

      '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...'

      '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.'

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