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Back to nature

Following a year-long labour of love, renovations at Kingshill Farmhouse have been completed

Back to nature: Image 1 The 18th-century Kingshill Farmhouse sits at the heart of the Elmley National Nature Reserve's 3300 acres, on the Isle of Sheppey. Just one hour from London, with miles of wilderness views it feels a world away.

The house, which is so named because King James II was locked up on the site in 1688, had fallen into a state of disrepair. The year-long project has been in the planning for over seven years and has been a project of passion for the Fulton/Merricks families along with the design team, which includes Dunn Architects and Francesca Rowan-Plowden Interior Designer (Battlel Hall at Leeds Castle and Goodnestone Park, Kent)

The aim was to restore the house to an incredibly comfortable and special house, but keeping its character and surroundings. The views were a priority with those involved so the reinstatement of large Georgian sash windows and even windows in the showers were a must! The house has been designed to have a comfortable, homely yet eclectic feel with vintage finds and bespoke pieces.

Along with large gardens, which flow onto the Reserve, it has a large high-spec kitchen, dining room, three separate reception rooms, four ensuite bedrooms on the first floor and the second floor features a family suite of two bedrooms with a shared bathroom. The house can be hired as a private exclusive use rental when taken with the other accommodation on site for private events, or for limited nights a year it is available on a bed and breakfast basis.

WEDDINGS AT ELMLEY NATURE RESERVE

Elmley is a 3,300 acre National Nature Reserve and family farm and is a conservation site of international importance, where farming and conservation go hand in hand. In 2013 Georgina and Gareth Fulton moved to Elmley, Georgina’s family farm, with a plan to offer overnight accommodation and weddings. They hosted their first wedding in 2014 and now host up to 20 exclusive and flexible weddings, along with year round accommodation in shepherd’s huts.

The venue's setting is an immense wild landscape under huge skies. The Victorian barn with its incredible vaulted ceiling is home to the weddings held here. Apart from plenty of fairylights Georgina and Gareth made the decision to leave it relatively untouched to preserve its character and raw beauty. The star of the show is the huge gable end window, which looks out across miles of unspoilt wilderness making for an epic ceremony setting!
 
Aside from the breathtaking setting, what sets Elmley apart is its relaxed and flexible approach to weddings. Couples have use of the whole farm for two nights and the freedom to make a wedding bespoke to them. Guests stay in well-designed accommodation, which along with the farmhouse includes a coastal cool cottage, six huts and up to twenty bell tents for a festival feel. Of course firepits, hay bales and fairylights are all part its charm!
 
What's more sustainability runs throughout.The off-grid site is powered by an efficient solar array with generator and huge battery storage.

For further information check out www.elmleynaturereserve.co.uk

 
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