Opening hours (October to April): 9 am to 4 pm. We are closed on Tuesdays.
To support our work you are requested to pay £5 per car. Alternatively, join the Friends of Elmley for £30 a year and £40 for couples and families. School and community visits are welcome free of charge.
There are four hides, all offering different views and wildlife viewing opportunities. The first hide is an open air screen on the sea wall to view rafts of wildfowl and roosting wader on the Swale. Wellmarsh, Counterwall and South Fleet hides are all a mile further on. They overlook shallow pools which can be filled with thousands of wading birds. At the far end of the Reserve the remote Spitend Hide overlooks the Swale Estuary, a wonderfully remote and tranquil spot.
From the car park at Kingshill Farm it is a one mile walk along a gravel track under the seawall alongside the marsh to the first of four hides. A further mile-long trail runs beside the sea wall towards the Spitend Hide. All trails and hides are highlighted on the map of the reserve.
There is a two mile track to the reserve. You will find that your car makes a comfortable hide and there is fantastic wildlife to be seen on either side of the track. Take your time and stop at the side of the road but please remain in your vehicle to avoid disturbing the wildlife.
Parking & facilities
There is a car park with toilet facilities at Kingshill Farm.
Our Drone Policy
In order to ensure there is no disturbance to the wildlife and livestock, the use of drones (UAVs) is not permitted unless permission is specifically granted by us.
Regrettably, dogs are not allowed on the reserve even on a lead, this is to avoid disturbance to the wildlife. Registered assistance dogs are permitted.
Blue Badge holders are permitted to drive down to the first hide which is wheelchair accessible. We realise that many of our visitors enjoy the walk but need to take it in their own time, so we have placed ‘perching posts’ along the way to allow a rest!
The new Swale viewing screen provides wonderful birdwatching over the Swale only a 200m walk from the carpark.
As we are an independently run nature reserve, we are unable to support more than one organised group visit a day. Please contact us to book a group visit. Commercially run visits and groups are not permitted to operate from Elmley unless by prior arrangement. School and community visits are welcome free of charge.
Want to know more?
Head on over to our contact page to get in touch with your questions or comments.