Reasons to Weekend \\ Plankbridge Shepherd’s Huts x Elmley Nature Reserve…

Slow Weekends - Wanderlust

Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge I recently hit a point where I was feeling completely overwhelmed and considering whether a period of digital detoxing might be in order. And the universe must have heard a whisper, because it was at that moment I was offered the opportunity to experience the unique craftsmanship of one the stunning Plankbridge shepherd’s huts located at Elmley Nature Reserve, a place I’d had serious wanderlust over since seeing my friend Hannah’s delightful adventures there…

My one hesitation was that I’d most likely be going solo due to my chosen dates (across a school day). On the one hand, the prospect of time alone to unwind, switch off and truly escape for 24 hours was dreamy, and on the other, I sometimes feel like my experiences are somehow fuller when shared, and I knew Boo would love it there. But, in the end, the former won out (and, I have to admit, it was wonderful!)

So, I packed my bags on a Sunday morning & headed to the Isle of Sheppey in Kent to discover for myself the beauty of Elmley Nature Reserve & the retreat of a shepherd’s hut stay…

Driving across Elmley Nature Reserve

Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge

Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge Upon arrival, I was greeted & shown to my hut, by Gareth, part of the family team that have farmed & managed the nature conservation for over 40 years. I stayed in ‘The Saltbox’, one of the newer additions to the Elmley retreats. Designed in collaboration with Richard Lee of Plankbridge Shepherds Huts, every detail is a delight from the rustic reclaimed wood seating & generous kingsize bed, the copper backsplashes, and the corrugated tin shower cubicle inside; to the Finnish thermowood tiles, outdoor shower, and incredible fully glazed bi-fold window wall on the outside. Built using English Oak, ‘The Saltbox’ is inspired by traditional Victorian Shepherd’s Huts with the utmost respect for traditional craftsmanship. The perfect retreat to hunker down & cosy up…

I’d arrived on an alternatively drizzly/misty afternoon, but just as I’d settled myself with a cup of tea, the sun broke the through the mists to afford me the full & breathtaking views across the saltmarsh & mudflats. I’d like to tell you that I went for a walk, but to be honest, I just really enjoyed being at the hut with my thoughts, playing with my camera, drinking lots of tea, reading my book, making notes & lists, and stretching out with that window wide open, watching the sunset, and listening to the dusk chorus cacophony of the wilderness, before lighting the firepit & settling in for the night…

Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge

Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge

Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge

 

 

The most magical thing about my stay, though, was the dawn. I am not generally a morning person, so I set two alarms to wake myself! ‘The Saltbox’ was designed for moments like this, and after shooting out of bed, to capture a few moments with my camera, I snuggled back under the duvet to watch only my second ever sunrise…

Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge And, bar dressing & tea making, I pretty much stayed in that spot until it was time to head home, feeling both physically & mentally like I’d taken the deepest, most wonderful breath, and with a promise to myself to return… Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge Shepherd's Hut_The Saltbox_Elmley Nature Reserve_Plankbridge

For more information on the Plankbridge shepherd’s huts, their unique craftsmanship, and where else to find a stay in the UK, visit www.plankbridge.co.uk

And for more information on stays at Elmley, visit www.elmleynaturereserve.co.uk

Disclosure: My 24 hour stay was provided  with HUGE thanks to Richard & the team at Plankbridge. Content, opinion & images are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me x

Write a comment

Stay in touch

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: