Written by Adrienne Schuter
Beach huts…can’t live in them but can’t live without them. They are the most uniquely British thing ever invented. In 250 years they have gone from wheeled bathing tents for wealthy invalids taking a therapeutic cold sea bath to the pricey and popular static huts lining every seafront promenade. Even Queen Victoria had one at her holiday home on the Isle of Wight.
This time of year there is nothing better than a day at the beach, but lugging all the family gear you need turns what could be a day of fun into a jungle trek. Towels, swim suits, dry clothes, food, drinks not to mention the bats, balls and special toys children insist on taking. And then it’s having to keep an eye on everything when you get there.
The ideal solution? Hire a beach hut. Whether it’s for a day or a week these little gems of English uniqueness offer families the ideal base from which to enjoy a day at the seaside.
Round the coastline of East Anglia we are pretty lucky to have miles of some of the most beautiful beaches stretching from The Wash in the north right down to the Thames Estuary in the south, all dotted with rows of beach huts. These days beach huts come in all sizes, but many are beautifully designed with kitchenettes and storage so plenty of room for all the family’s ‘stuff’.
From the little island of Mersea in Essex to the more rugged and expansive beach of Holkham in Norfolk there are some stunning huts offering families little havens of shelter. But if families want more variety a beach hut at Southwold in Suffolk offers them the chance to visit a pretty market town right behind the sea front.
If seafood and entertainment is what you prefer then visit Southend on Sea for the children and Leigh on Sea for its famous cockle sheds. In fact there is nothing like a bowl of cockles sprinkled with vinegar and brown bread and butter to create a real flavour of a day at the seaside.