Elmley, Kingshill Farm
Elmley Nature Reserve, Kings Hill Farm, Elmley, Minster on Sea, Sheerness, ME12 3RW -
Elmley is a 3,300 acre family estate and national nature reserve on an island on the Kent coast, just 40 miles from London.
A vast wilderness. The spectacular landscape, soul stirring skies and breath-taking wildlife provide a truly inspirational escape.
We provide an extraordinary setting for a off-sites, retreats, special events and luxury stays or simply to immerse yourself in fresh air, space and nature.
We have a range of spaces to use:
Kingshill Barn - an amazing rustic cathedral like space with amazing views and large outdoor area for events, parties, weddings, and meetings.
Kingshill farmhouse is a wonderfully restored Georgian house in a stunning setting sleeping 12 in six bedrooms with en-suites.
Elmley Cottage is a modern, open plan scandi-haus sleeping 10 with panoramic views of the Reserve.
We also offer six cabin and shepherds huts each sleep two with kingsize beds, en-suites, fire pits and stunning views.
The Reserve - 3000 acres of wetland wilderness, flower rich meadows and abundant wildlife.
Elmley welcomes you to come and enjoy our wonderful venue for yourselves!
Capacity & layout
up to 200
up to 140
up to 120
up to 125
up to 125
Catering & drinks
Table / chairs included
Audio & visual
Projector & screen
Licensed for alcohol
100% refundable 14 days before the event
Just stayed two nights in Little Owl and we loved it. It's an appealing mixture of roughing it and luxury. It's birdwatching holiday meets romantic getaway. Little Owl is a traditional shepherd's hut overlooking the reserve. There is a shower and a toilet and a wood burning stove. There is a camp kitchen that you share with the nearby hut, and you can entirely self-cater, or you can order breakfasts and dinners and they bring it to you. The food is wonderful. Little Owl is small but cosy and comfortable. I have trouble sleeping in any bed other than my own, but was pleased to find that the double bed in Little Owl was really comfortable, the mattress, pillows, duvet and all the bedding is high quality and natural and I slept really well. It is also very warm, the stove heats the place up and it is well insulated. As far as birdwatching goes, Elmley is amazing. I won't list everything we saw, but we saw three kinds of owl, including a barn owl that flew past our hut, and we were able to watch flocks of curlew and lapwing from our bed. It's a great place to snuggle up together in the cold, and in summer you could sit outside till late. It's not cheap but for a treat it is worth it. We definitely want to stay again, and maybe try one of the cabins with outdoor baths, as they look great.
I've stayed with my family at Elmley twice now (once in the Roost, and once in the Woodland tent) and it's a magical place. It's a huge, working farm and nature reserve where even the drive to reach it is incredible. I've seen more wildlife on each occasion I've been there than anywhere else in the UK; 4 types of owl, bittern, stoat, redshank, harriers, marsh frogs and so many more. The staff are always a delight and it's a quiet, reflective place to spend time and lose yourself. You can visit for a day, but if you want to experience the true wonder of the place (and see the owls that come out at dusk) you'll need to spend the night, as the reserve closes around 16:30 I believe. We loved the permanent structure stay way more than the tent due to the estuary views in the morning, but both were great. I will - and regularly do - recommend Elmley to absolutely anyone and everyone. The only 'watchout' we had on this recent visit, was the sense that perhaps the reserve is starting to lose a bit of focus about where it's heading. In these tricky economic times, I'm sure it's incredibly hard to get the balance between day visitors, families, couples after a decadent night away, people searching for a wedding venue or annual members. Which sounds like the reason why the cafe has gone temporarily. As a family of 4, it's getting pretty hard to find a time we can stay over on site, as certain times of year require a minimum two night stay or prohibit kids from staying in parts of the estate. And the site shuts on certain days for weddings now too. Coupled with the expensive price of food on site (and this most recent trips need to buy a bag of fire lighters and logs if we wanted to use the BBQ), it has become a pretty decadent night away. Which is what I think they are going for, and they have every right to. And in reality, it's what made our first stay magical - we felt we had special treatment, food and lodging. But they just need to be a bit careful that all that stuff doesn't overwhelm or dissuade people from visiting for the real reason people love it so, so much; the reserve, and it's incredible wildlife.
Mark Smith (Merkleberry)
Veritable birdwatching paradise. Wonderful experience - the accommodation was really high end, exactly like the pictures. Very cosy even in the freezing winter conditions. We didn't brave the outdoor bath but I'm sure it would've been lovely. We went on a rasonably priced walking tour with warden Simon who was brilliant - incredible bird knowledge, not to mention giving us a thorough history of the interesting site. He really went out his way to make sure we saw everything we wanted. As someone who'd seen a grand total of 1 owl in his life... This was an unforgettable trip.
Arrived on a Monday for 2 day stay. The actual reserve was closed on both days. This meant the cafe was closed which was limiting for food. Luckily we had pre ordered dinner. Hospitality Barn was open and the staff kindly lit the fire and provided us with hot water for drinks
We love Elmley and it’s a very magical place. Sadly this trip we felt a bit disappointed - it’s definitely luxury when it comes to price point however there were a few things that really weren’t acceptable and I feel need some attention. We wanted a night away from London to get some fresh air and peace and quiet. Unfortunately the extractor fan of our bathroom was on permanently, which was v audible in bed and could be heard over any sounds of the birds! It was such a shame. It ran all day and night, we tried calling and texting to see if it could be turned off but to no avail. It also seems like a huge waste of electricity. Sleeping with earplugs in is definitely not what we came away for. I understand if they don’t want the whole place illuminated but we had no access to outdoor lights - all we had was a lantern without any battery which was frustrating as the sun is setting early at the moment and we couldn’t see what we were doing when cooking. They say there’s access to hot drinks (they used to have a cafe) but we found the hot water machine was cold/ turned off. Our room was very well appointed but the window was dirty which spoilt the amazing view a little and the brochure/ sink area was sopping wet. I think it needed a bit more attention to detail. I also think it’s odd to not include breakfast in the price as I imagine most people must have it. Location and access to nature are wonderful. This hasn’t put us off returning again but we’d stay in a different room.