The whimsical beach huts of Britain
You’ve seen the families enjoying the comfort of a cuppa brewed in their beach hut as you sit there in the rain on the beach telling yourself that it’s all part of the great British holiday and wishing you were dry and warm inside as well.
Beach huts are a popular must have for most British beach holidays and can be found on almost every beach with over 22 000 of them now.
They are the colourful and often whimsical wooden huts arranged in stiff ranks along the top of many UK beaches. Some are privately owned and others rented out to holidaymakers by the local council.
Popular among the beach goers of England to change or to shelter from passing squawls or simply to store bags and other beach paraphernalia such as deck chairs and umbrellas, beach huts have been passing hands for small fortunes.
Once of the most expensive sales of a beach hut recently was for £216 000 in West Bexington, Dorset and another for £170 000 and that was on an isolated spit has no running hot water or washing facilities and requires a 30 minute walk, a ride on a land-train or a short ferry trip to get there!
The immaculately-decorated hut on Mudeford Spit near Christchurch boasts stunning dual views of the harbour on one side and The Solent on the other.
Beach huts are synonymous with the quintessential British beach break giving us respite from the unreliable weather and feeding our spirit of nostalgia. They became more popular in the early years of the twentieth century as a way to ease the burden of a visit to the seaside.
In those days men and women swam on separate beaches changing in ‘bathing machines’ which were subsequently abandoned on the beaches as times changed. The local councils were called upon to provide a suitable arrangement for changing on the beach and so ‘beach huts’ were created from many of the abandoned ‘bathing machines’. In addition, gaily striped tents were provided.
Now it seems the beach hut is back with a vengeance as families realise that ‘staycations’ are as full of fun as vacations and the youth are finding a host of new uses for their luxuriously decked out beach huts.