A trio of contemporary-luxe huts hidden in a stunning natural wilderness; stargaze from your bed
Just an hour from London is a secret corner of Kent that few know about: the peaceful Isle of Sheppey. It’s largely made up of a breathtaking nature reserve – 3,200 acres of salt marshes and reed beds, home to lapwing, barn owls and thousands of wading birds. Skies are spectacular, views stretch forever. And the best news of all? You can appreciate the panoramas from your bed.
There’s a small collection of places to stay within the reserve, and these 3 huts are our favourites. Their design is exquisite – inky-blue panelling, rustic wood, copper accents – and an entire wall of each is a window. Ensuite shower rooms offer Bramley toiletries and bathrobes, and there are alfresco showers or baths, too; wildly romantic. Ask for breakfast to be delivered to your door (halloumi, bacon and avo sandwiches, excellent coffee), then stroll to hidden hides to watch wildfowl and relish the silence. Swallows swoop, dragonflies flit. Just being here will nourish your soul.
Getting there: drive or train to Swale then take a taxi (15 mins).
This is the only family-owned and managed National Nature Reserve in the country and also the only National Nature Reserve you can stay on in England. Their main focus is conservation and the reserve is an internationally important site for wildlife (e.g. wintering wildfowl, breeding wading birds, hares, owls along with a diverse range of insects and fauna). The huts are crafted from sustainable timber, with recycled plastic bottles for insulation, and local fabrics and products used throughout. Finally, the whole property is off-grid for power; they generate their own electricity with solar, a very efficient generator and huge battery storage.
- Take a guided 4×4 birdwatching tour with Gareth or simply go on restorative long walks across the beautiful marshland, keeping your eyes peeled for wildfowl formations and boxing hares.
- Sheppey is home to some beautiful beaches. Minster Leas has a string of coloured beach huts and a lovely promenade; breathtaking Shellness is made entirely of shells.
- Or drive an extra 10 mins to Whitstable with its independent boutiques and oyster shacks – the award-winning Sportsman is amazing for lunch.
- Kent Downs is an AONB. Take a walk along its chalky white cliffs and rolling green hills.
- Faversham has a buzzy market 3x a week – antiques, art and food. While you’re here, head to Macknades, a farm shop and food hall, to stock up for supper at your hut.