Family holidays

Isle of Sheppey – Elmley Nature Reserve

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Who knew one could leave London and drive to an island in less than an hour?

A little while ago we’ve been to the Isle of Sheppey where we found the Elmey Nature Reserve, a 3,300 acre estate run by the loveliest couple ever, Gareth and Georgina Fulton, who took over the land from Georgina’s parents and installed their first Shepherd’s Hut in 2012.

What a delightful find!

Here’s why…

I had been eyeing a shepherd’s hut stay for while – insta is great at planting seeds in your mind, right? 🙂 And their grid is almost as beautiful as the real thing! This time we stayed in the Elmey Cottage, newly refurbished with sweeping views from the huge windows for wildlife and gorgeous skies!

We left the shepherd’s hut for another time (we are definitely going back soon).

This tiny paradise has it all: a bit of history, a lot of nature!! Think birdwatching, outdoor bath tub, fire pits until dawn, luxury cabins, a stunning farm house and the Grand barn for unforgettable events – I keep sharing it with my soon to be married friends for a good party excuse to go back!

 

Where to stay…

There are quite a few options in terms of accommodation – very surprising and beautiful contrasts if you ask me: there’s the cottage we stayed in, a gorgeous variety of shepherds’ huts, the Farmhouse – also newly refurnished, and a few bell tents.

 

The Elmley Cottage

The Elmley Cottage was a dream. Open plan coastal living, gorgeous bedrooms (which can accommodate up to 10 guests) with plenty of outdoors space for BBQ and games, fire pit and enough space for the kiddies to run wild…

There is so much photography of the house below in case you’re looking for a getaway or simply a tiny dose of interiors inspiration.

There is nothing they didn’t think about: luxury toiletries, beautifully decorated bedrooms with most comfortable beds almost too pretty to sleep in, tastefully decorated bathrooms for added comfort etc. All furniture is so well organised around guests’ needs. There’s a perfectly good reading corner pretty much everywhere inside the house, while our children had the best time playing games indoors or going for a run outside.

elmley reserve nature

Picnic breakfast with a view…

A quick tour of the house…


Kitchen with a view!!

The open plan livingroom…

It’s all in the details…

Come dine/ come wine with me!

Hallway details…

Bedroom details

Oh, these bathrooms…


The Farmhouse

Ohhh, I just wish I could get married again! Only to be able to book this beautiful house!

The beautiful 18th Century farmhouse opened quite recently following an extensive restoration and offers the experience of a luxurious private home. Whichever is your excuse for a getaway, weddings, celebrations, company retreats, this will definitely create some unforgettable memories. I’ll leave you with a few pixels to savour…

Each room has a unique design by talented Francesca at Rowan Plowden Designs


 

My favourite room at Elmley’s!!

 

 


 

The Barn

…if you’re looking to get married or have a large party to arrange, this is the place!

With a stunning view 🙂

 

The Shepherd’s Huts

We weren’t able to see much of the huts (except for the photo below) as they were in use and as they are very private in order to allow maximum comfort to their guests, however you can find more here. These are the ones we are planning to go back for, especially as my other half is adamant to have one built as a holiday house in Transylvania 😉

 

Bell tent village

I’ve learnt that there are 20 bell tents available, and each can sleep 1 to 4 people. The tents are made of thick cotton canvas to traditional design and are very spacious – you can comfortably stand up to change. The Bell Tent Village also has dedicated loos, showers with an amazing view and a camping kitchen for a recovery breakfast. Thought you might like these details for a more unique accommodation choice 😉

I cannot recommend this stunning place enough. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway, far away from the buzzing city, with kids or no kids, for a couple bonding excuse, birthday treat, or anything, you name it!

And the hosts can’t be any more welcoming, if you have any questions or enquiries, feel free to add them in the comments box or speak to them directly.

Last, but not least, my favourite part about Elmley:

Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. The farm is off-grid and is powered by a very efficient solar array and generator with big batteries. The huts are handcrafted using natural materials and eco-friendly insulation. Food is locally sourced.

Wildlife conservation is at the heart of everything we do, and we believe that the best way to safeguard to natural environment is to ensure that people understand and appreciate their local wildlife. We are passionate about sharing Elmey and its wildlife to new people and ensuring our guests have the best possible experience of the peace and nature at Elmley. 

We are proud of Elmley’s heritage and are committed to enhancing it and restoring its historical buildings for future generations.