Elmley – our cosy stay in a Shepherds Hut surrounded by nature
I have finally had a chance to share our amazing stay at Elmely Nature Reserve after our fantastic two night holiday there in November. Although we had a lovely trip to Devon the month before, the trip was soured slightly after having our car written off when parked just weeks before – it meant spending a lot of time in Devon trying to sort out what was happening and meant we maybe did not relax as much as we would have liked to.
By the time November came around we had another car and were so looking forward to our first stay in a Shepherds Hut and experiencing the amazing Elmley Nature Reserve in all its glory and it did not disappoint. Elmley is a 3,200 acre estate based on an island in the Thames and is a complete oasis of calm and completely off grid too so was just the kind of environment we needed after a busy year.
From the moment we drove onto the reserve we were greeted by the most beautiful lapwings, literally feet from our car. Now I do love my bird photography and as regular visitors to the Arundel Wetland Centre, these birds are very hard to spot. In fact I think in all our visits to Arundel we maybe saw one in the very far distance, like a speck on the landscape. Imagine our surprise when we arrived at Elmley to be surrounded by these gorgeous birds – it really was such a treat.
There are various huts and accommodation options available to stay in at Elmley and the hardest part is just which one you choose! Once we were parked up we were greeted by the lovely Georgina who showed us to our hut for the next two days, the wonderfully named Little Owl! We unpacked, lit the fire and then enjoyed seeing the sun set from the window of our cosy little hut with lots of exploring planned for the following day!
On the Sunday morning we were blessed with the most amazing light and sunrise that just had to be captured! After an impromptu photo session from the comfort of our hut, we set out to walk to the furthest bird hide on the reserve, named Spit End. On our journey we saw so much wildlife and arrived in no time (we were practically blown there in the strong wind we had that day) and spend a good hour at the hide spotting plovers and other wetland birds from the comfort of the hide.
After a slightly slower walk back we arrived at our hut and warmed up by the fire with tea and cake before again exploring the area around Little Owl. A delicious dinner cooked on the stove and a cosy evening in the hut before we settled down for the evening with a book and some wine and discussed the days events and bird sightings.
What a contrast the weather was the following morning and we had somehow managed to sleep through quite a storm, packing the car and heading off in the most torrential rain! Elmley really was the most amazing place to stay and truly get away from it all. If like me you love birds, nature, peace and quiet and walking, I would highly recommend a stay here and we are definitely planning our next trip back.
ELMLEY NATURE RESERVE l NATURE RESERVE l KENT l PHOTOGRAPHY l NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY l BIRDS l WILDLIFE l WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY
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