What are the check-in and check-out times?
Check-in is from 3pm and check-out is at 11am on the morning of your departure. With advance notice we will always try to accommodate you if you require flexibility, so please do contact us to ask. Outside of these times you are very welcome to enjoy the Reserve within opening hours and we will happily look after your bags for you.
Is there a minimum stay?
There is a two night minimum stay on weekends, and in School Summer holidays, and a minimum of three nights at bank holidays.
I won't be able to arrive until the evening, would this be ok?
Yes, you are welcome to arrive at anytime. We do try to meet everyone and show them in. However, for later arrivals we will provide you with clear self check-in instructions and we will be contactable by phone.
I have friends staying with you for a special occasion can I organise something for them?
Yes, we would be delighted to arrange a treat such as a massage or a bottle of bubbly, please contact us to organise this.
Do you do gift vouchers?
Yes, we can arrange one via email or a printed Gift Card. Please contact us.
Do you accept card?
Yes you can book online or over the phone using any card including American Express. On departure you can settle up for any extras by cash or card.
I'd like to come in Winter, will it be warm enough in the huts?
Yes, definitely. All the huts are very well insulated (with eco-wool which is made from recycled plastic bottles). Vanellus, The Ferryman's, The Damson and The Saltbox have electric oil filled radiators, Little Owl and Samphire have wood burning stoves. To keep you even more cosy all huts have Romney Marsh wool blankets and hot water bottles. Do bring warm, outdoors clothes for winter walks on the marsh. And winter is the best time for bird watching with tens of thousands winter wildfowl and wading birds visiting the marsh, along with many birds of prey.
I'd like to come on my own, and am comcerned about staying in a remote hut
We often have guests staying on their own, as Elmley is such a wonderful place to recharge in peace. Even though the huts look out onto wilderness views, they aren't completely on their own. You will be staying within Kingshill Farm, and there is always a member of staff onsite. The entry to the Nature Reserve has a locked gate, so the location is very secure.
Are you family friendly?
Yes, very much so! Elmley is wonderful for children with so much space and wildlife to explore. High chairs, baby baths and travel cots and a selection of games and books are all available on request. Please be aware that the set-up is not specifically designed for children so it does suit families who are looking for a place to rewild and relax, rather than lots of facilities and activities. Also children must be supervised at all times for their safety (it is a working farm) and to avoid disturbance to wildlife and other guests.
Is real coffee provided
Yes, we supply freshly ground coffee. All huts have a cafetiere and please ask for fresh milk on arrival.
Is there a hairdryer in the hut?
No, as we are an off-grid site we don’t provide hairdryers to save electricity.
Are towels and bedding provided?
Are all huts ensuite?
Yes, all huts have a bathroom with shower, basin and a loo. The Ferryman’s and The Saltbox also have an outside shower, and Damson has an outside bath! Samphire and Little Owl have very pleasant eco (composting) loos and there are flushing loos elsewhere on the farm for your use.
What can I expect to see?
The change of seasons are so important here and at all times there will be plenty of wildlife to see including hares, barn owls and lapwings. Please visit the Reserve information pages to find out what is about during your stay.
What is there to do?
Walk, watch the wildlife, read, paint, draw, play scrabble, talk, relax.. Elmley is a huge slice of wilderness in South East England and stays here are all about getting back to nature and recharging.
You can have a massage with our holistic therapist Roz, prices start from £45. Or organise a 4x4 bird watching tour with Gareth.
What is there is wet weather?
The huts are designed as perfect spaces to cosy up with tea and books and watch the weather from the windows. The beautiful Victorian barn is an incredible space to be in and also has a projector with a DVD player and selection of DVDs.
Do the duvets contain feathers?
None of our duvets or pillows contain feathers.
Is there WiFi?
The huts do not have WiFi, as you really should be switching off! However, you can pick up 4G on most networks and if needed you may pick up WiFi in the Kingshill Farm, please ask at the office.
There is WiFi in Kingshill Cottage.
Is breakfast included?
Tea, coffee and home made muesli are provided in the hut. Please ask if you would like fresh milk on arrival. You can order breakfast sandwiches to be delivered hot to your hut with a pot of tea and coffee- £7.50pp.
What are my options for food and drink?
We can provide cooked breakfast sandwiches, packed lunches and hot supper baskets. See Food & Drink for more information. Alternatively you can self-cater in the hut and camping kitchen. And we have some fantastic pubs a drive away. There is an honesty bar in the barn for drinks and snacks.
How far are you from the nearest train station?
The closest train station is Swale, on the Sheerness line. Trains from London Victoria, St Pancras and Stratford Intl go directly to Sittingbourne. From Sittingbourne you can pick up a taxi (around 15 mins drive) or change to get a train to Swale (3 miles from Elmley).
What are your recommendations of where to go, what to see?
Please see here or get in touch with us and we can make recommendations based on your interests– we’re spoilt in Kent for culture, beaches, walks and food!
When is the best time to visit to see wildlife
Here at Elmley we are really aware of the changing seasons, and each bring their own wildlife spectacles. Please do get in touch to let us know any particular interests and we can advise. Tours are also available with Gareth. There is more information on our Wildlife here.
Can I bring my bike?
Yes, and you can leave it outside the hut or you can lock it inside the barn. Please be aware that during the important breeding season (April and May) cycling we don’t encourage cycling to avoid disturbance to the ground nesting birds.
Are dogs allowed?
As we are a National Nature Reserve, unfortunately we cannot have dogs to stay, except registered assistance dogs.
How accessible are the huts?
All of our shepherd’s huts have three steps to access them. For guests with reduced mobility The Saltbox and The Ferryman’s are recommended as you can drive closer and there is more room. Kingshill Cottage has a downstairs bedroom with wetroom next door. Please see the accessibility guides for more information.
Can I park outside the hut?
We have plenty of onsite parking but as the huts are set within the Nature Reserve you are unable to park directly outside. We are happy to help with bags and you can drop off closer to the hut.
Is there someone available 24 hours a day?
There will normally be someone in the office 9am to 5pm and the duty mobile phone number is monitored 24 hours a day in case of emergencies. We will always be very happy to help and ensure you have everything you need. However, please be aware that Elmley is a busy working farm and National Nature Reserve and we offer a relaxing, get away from it all escape, rather than the reception services of a hotel!
What is your cancellation policy?
Bookings can be cancelled or amended 6 weeks before arrival. Please note that we are not normally able to accommodate changes or cancellations inside of this period. We recommend that guests have travel cover. Please see the T&Cs during the booking process for full details of our policy as well as our other booking terms.
Where abouts are the huts located?
There is a map of Kingshill Farm here which shows the location of everything on site.