Checking in: Elmley Nature Reserve - Sheerness, UK
Whilst I try not to follow the crowd too much, it's hard not to be sucked into visiting places that others have been. And when I spied Elmley Nature on my Instagram feed last year, I knew this was somewhere I wanted to visit.
You see, the male and I love those nights away; where we have no TV, and just pack up the car with cheese and wine, and a speaker (although we totally forgot that this time). Oh and our coats, because, I'm a cold person. And you just never know!
So, it almost was a bit of a no-brainer to book this for the males birthday in August.
I mean, obviously it was his birthday. And obviously it was a nice treat for him. But also, I wanted to go.
And sometimes we need to find an excuse. A perfect excuse in fact.
I expected that the Isle of Sheppey would be this ridiculously quaint place, just off from Kent. But in all honesty, the place wasn't for us. So I was a little hesitant as we headed towards Elmley.
However within minutes of heading down the long winding path (and spotting many cows), we breathed a sigh of relief as the reserve came into sight. We were taken to our home for the night, The Damson and immediately fell in love.Small but utterly compact.Everything you need is there, with a bathroom (complete with shower), cooking area and a very very comfortable bed. And yes, the bath tub outside was a big hit! But the main star of the show, is the view from the bi-folding doors.
And with it being early August, you can bet those doors were open all evening."The flies won't be THAT bad we said". We were wrong, oh so wrong.
Once we'd chilled for a little while, we decided to take a walk around the reserve. With it being a Tuesday night, the reserve was actually closed to the public, however we were able to roam and spot some more cows, as we wished.
We meandered along, laughing, doing our best Steve Irwin impressions, and taking in the beautiful surroundings. Almost, like we didn't know what we did as we walked, but all we remember, is how peaceful, and calm it was. And how much it felt like absolute bliss.
We liked it here a lot.
The evening was spent doing what we do best - eating cheese (Rosemary & Garlic Camembert FYI) and drinking a bottle (or two) of wine, with our feet hanging over the edge of the hut, doors open, the cool August air catching us, and chatting about all things life.
These are the times when we talk about everything, from our first dates to our future.And they're some of my most favourite moments.
We woke to the morning sun streaming in through the doors, as we'd decided to keep those curtains open. It's funny, as whilst I'm quite a weed when it comes to noises and shadows (and bugs and you name it, I wimp at it...), I love nothing more than having the natural light creeping in to gently wake me.Although, as I drifted off to sleep that night, I must have forgotten what August mornings are like. So 5am, there I was - wide awake.
But it didn't matter to me, because that view was still as beautiful and spectacular as I thought the night before. So I opened the doors and snuggled back into bed where I just laid - daydreaming, and watching the cows go about their morning.
We eventually got ourselves up, had ourselves a delicious breakfast with some fresh milk and made the most of the outdoor tub.Just for the two of us. With the peaceful sound of the reserve (and a few birdwatchers walking by behind us - don't fear, they can't see you!).
I didn't want to check out. Not one bit...
But like everything, good things (most good things...) have to come to an end (for now). And we loaded up the car, wished the lovely owners of Elmley a thankful goodbye and headed for home.
We simply cannot recommend Elmley Nature enough, and would suggest a two night stay, to fully make the most of your time there. Whether it's summer or winter, The Damson is the ideal place to relax, unwind and drink wine under the warm evening sky or starry cold night (just have a blanket to hand!).
More nights like this!