Since I wrote a review about a visit to Elmley Nature Reserve in January last year it has obviously been closed due to Covid-19, however, it has now re-opened for day visits but not every day, and even then booking a slot is required and the cost has changed, so it’s essential to go to the website for details.
For a special birthday I paid for my son to stay on the nature reserve in a shepherd’s hut for two nights last week and he enjoyed it immensely. His hut, Little Owl, had a double bed and a shower room with toilet. Two people can stay in the small shepherd’s huts but they are quite small so it might be difficult in bad weather. There are chairs and tables and a firepit outside: there is a wood burning stove inside the hut but you wouldn’t really want to light that in the summer so there is also a camping gas stove for boiling a kettle etc. For a break from cooking, meals are available to order and can be delivered to your door, or alternatively, they can be eaten at `socially distanced` tables in the large barn that is for guests only. The menu changes weekly and the choice is interesting, with a lot of vegetarian dishes. Drinks and snacks are also available from the barn and you can ring to have them delivered to you. Obviously there have been changes and enhanced cleaning put in place because of Covid and it all felt very safe. I haven’t stayed there myself yet – although I’ve booked for September so will then be able to write a review on what it’s like with two people in the hut.
As my son doesn’t drive we took and collected him and therefore saw the inside of the hut and the facilities. The owners and staff are very friendly and helpful. There are not as many wild birds there during the summer but during our walk that day we still saw a few birds including Marsh Harriers, Skylarks, Shelduck, Reed Warblers, Reed Buntings, Yellow Wagtails and a Little Owl; we also saw hares and a weasel and many butterflies.
“For opening times, prices and accommodation availability”:http://elmleynaturereserve.co.uk