Dreaming Of Beach Huts

Zoe PayneBlog Post4 Comments


wells-next-the-sea-beach-hutsBrightly coloured beach huts help make the British coast wonderful. They go together with ice creams and sandcastles. And of course the unreliable British weather!

It is estimated that today there are at least 20,000 beach huts along our shores.

Previously they were known as bathing machines where beachgoers, including King George III, wheeled down to the shoreline to protect their modesty as they entered the sea.

The wheeled huts remained relatively unchanged in appearance from their introduction in the 1730s until as late as the 1930s.

Then as attitudes to the human body changed, the huts became permanent structures on promenades and undercliffs. But the function of them still echoes their past in that they provide shelter, basic storage and privacy. They are a simple, informal daytime space which can be both private and social.

Did you know? – The oldest public municipal hut is at Undercliff Drive in Bournemouth, not far from me. Built in 1909, hut 2359 has a commemorative plaque.

The playful use of design is often used to enhance the basic form of a beach hut. Although many beach huts do remain plain and unadorned due to council regulations. However, it is colour that remains a defining characteristic of the beach hut. They tend to be either bold primary colours or muted seaside pastels colours such as green and blue.

Did you know? My local area of Bournemouth has over 1,900 huts, equating to around one in ten of the country’s beach huts.

The popularity of the beach hut shows no sign of slowing down, with both private and municipal beach huts being built to meet demand. The desire for the beach hut is experience is very often out of reach financially for many though. With the beach huts on Mudeford Spit in Dorset, close to my home, always making the headlines with the most expensive beach huts at circa £300k; more than a lot of people’s homes are worth.

So a popular option is to hire a beach hut; the site Beach Huts For Hire is a great place to go as they have hundreds of beach huts listed for hire (and for sale) so you can pretend you own a beach hut for a week or so! We did this a few times last year, and I can’t wait to do it again this summer with my family.

It has always been a dream of mine to own a beach hut; sadly it’ll probably always just remain a dream. But I’m happy to lust after them and enjoy the beauty of them from afar.

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