British Isles Slow Travel

The best camping and glamping in Kent

From working farms to nature reserves.

Barton’s Point Coastal Park

Marine Parade, Sheerness, ME12 2BE

This tranquil lakeside park covering 40 acres is a short walk from Sheerness and Minster beaches. From April to September there are pitches for tents, touring caravans and motorhomes – there is no electric hook up but it is dog-friendly. If you’re not self-catering, there the cosy and rustic Boathouse Café on site for meals and provisions.

Elmley Nature Reserve

Elmley, Isle of Sheppey, ME12 3RW

Covering 3,200 acres, Elmley is the only nature reserve in England that it’s possible to overnight in. Each of the four super stylishly decorated accommodation types have an individual appeal. For the full glamping experience, opt for one of the spacious bell tents located in meadows and forest settings; these are only available between mid-May and mid-September and each has a mattress bed on a wood platform. Bathrooms for these are communal. For more privacy, but still close contact with nature there’s the high-spec shepherd huts and cabins which are fitted with en suite bathrooms. If you prefer bricks and mortar, there’s a modern cottage that sleeps up to 10. The star of the show is the reserve’s Victorian farmhouse with five high glamour decorated en-suite rooms and four sitting rooms. The farmhouse’s Elmley room, with its romantic four-poster bed, double rain shower and roll top metal bath with a view across the reserve, is used as the bridal suite when weddings take place at the property.

Eternal Lake Nature Reserve

Buckland Lake Reserve, Salt Lane, Cliffe, ME3 7RT

Camp beside the spring-fed chalk lake on this SSSI-protected nature reserve. If you don’t have your own tent, then book ahead for their glamping cabin or a ‘pod’ both of which have an en-suite shower and mini-kitchen. Meals are available at the Pureplanet Café, one of the best places to dine on the Hoo peninsula, serving dishes made with organic vegetables along with vegan and gluten-free menu options. The reserve also hosts a range of activities and spiritual events including yoga and tai-chi classes and gong sound baths. 

Feather Down Sunninglye Farm

Dundale Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 9AG

Get up close to chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, a horse and a donkey on this farm, 3½ miles southeast of Tunbridge Wells, run by the Miles family for over 50 years. Each of the six well-designed tented ‘cottages’ has a fully-equipped kitchen and wood burning stove, and a campfire site with a BBQ. They’re located in a woodland area near the Teise River.

Glamping at Preston Court

Court Lane, Preston, CT3 1DJ

Open from May to September when you can stay in comfortably furnished bell tents in a meadow or a woodland site at this 600-acre estate ten miles east of Canterbury. Both sites are self-contained with shared Wendy House kitchen and bathroom cabins with hot showers. The glamping tents are furnished with painted wooden or iron bed frames with sprung mattresses guaranteeing a comfortable night’s sleep under duck down duvets. Sheepskin rugs and throws are also on hand should it turn chilly.

Greenhill Glamping

South Alkham, Dover, CT15 7DG

Set on a farm owned by the Burrows family for over 50 years, this lovely glamping site overlooks the peaceful Alkham Valley in the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, midway between Dover and Folkestone. The two accommodation choices are a shepherd’s hut and a ploughman’s wagon, both over a century old and beautifully restored, with comfortable beds and mod cons. The family also run the award-winning Alkham Court Farmhouse B&B with four luxury guestrooms and a separate hot tub and sauna in an oak-framed barn.

Little Switzerland Campsite

Wear Bay Road, Folkestone, CT19 6PS

Open from March to the end of October, this camping site has a fantastic location overlooking Folkestone, with direct access to the Warren nature reserve and the Channel. There’s room for 16 caravans and 22 tents with facilities including shower, toilets, a laundry and a café with amazing views.

Nethergong Camping

Nethergong Hill, Upstreet, CT3 4DN

The camping options at this lovely countryside site, 6½ miles northeast of Canterbury, range from spacious bell tents and shepherds’ huts to a converted Romany wagon. It’s open from April to September. Visit early in the season and you’ll catch the croaking chorus of the marsh frogs and nightingales singing at night. There’s also a resident swan family, and a variety of ducks and owls to be spotted. Well-behaved dogs are allowed and you can build a campfire in their portable firepits.

Romney Marsh Shepherds Huts

Gigger’s Green Road, Aldington, TN25 7BT

Kristina and Paul Boulden run a farm four miles northwest of Dymchurch where 1,000 Kentish sheep graze on clover-rich pastures. You can stay at the farm in one of three bespoke, high-spec shepherds’ huts with en-suite bathrooms, pot-bellied stoves and compact kitchens stocked with locally produced foods. They work with local tourism businesses to provide extras such as jeep safaris of the Marsh or photography and felting lessons. On site also is the showroom for Kristina’s Romney Marsh Wools selling products made from the fleeces of the farm’s sheep, as well as other products ranging from hand creams and soaps to beautifully tailored woollen fabric waistcoats.

More information

For more information, check out Simon Richmond’s guide: