Can you guess what I did at the weekend? Yes, I hired a beach hut! But this wasn’t my first time – oh no, we’ve been hiring beach huts as a family for years. Since my childhood, in fact. But why should you hire one if you’re heading to the beach for just one day? Read on to find out…
It was early on Sunday morning. The sun was shining already. We threw a bag of towels into the back of the car a headed off to the beach. We wanted to make the most of a full day by the seaside but we didn’t need to pack the car full of all the usual paraphernalia (beach shelter, picnic blankets, camping chairs, flask of tea, packed lunch, toys and books for the kids etc) this time. Why? Because we had the key to a beach hut, and we intended to use it!
I’d come across local company Millie’s Beach Huts on Twitter a few years ago and, as a fan of all things coastal, I followed them. Their photos looked idyllic and I was soon longing to be beside the seaside. So when I had the needed to book a beach hut as a celebratory treat for my mum’s birthday, I knew where to look.
As kids, my family had always been on holiday to Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex and we still went there regularly for holidays as adults too. So I couldn’t think of anywhere better when I wanted to book a beach hut for the day. I browsed the Millie’s Beach Huts website and every beach hut looked gorgeous – SO much nicer than the ‘sheds’ we’d hired in the 80s!
They were painted in bright colours and pastel hues, with Cath Kidston-esque floral upholstery and Emma Bridgewater accessories. There’s even a Disney-themed hut! These were the huts of my dreams and, even though the huts are dotted around Suffolk and Essex, there were plenty of options to choose from in my intended destination of Walton-on-the-Naze.
Beach hut hire starts at just £30 for the day (with some of the larger huts costing around £50 in peak season) and you can use the hut from 9am until 8pm. Different sizes of huts are available to suit the size of your group. We booked an 8-person hut as we wanted all the family (and the little ones) to be able to join us for the day, as it was a birthday treat for Granny.
Throughout this blog post you’ve been looking at photos of the beach hut we hired for the day. This beach hut is named “Isla” and is located on the front row on Southcliff Promenade at Walton-on-the-Naze. This is a great spot for playing on the sandy beach and that’s exactly what we did all day. No sooner had we unlocked the doors than the kids ran off to build sandcastles and splash in the sea!
Isla has coral doors with bright sea green walls and is probably the most instagrammable beach hut I’ve ever seen. It’s definitely an eye-catching design and I found myself skipping as I headed along the promenade towards it. The hut is super close to the pier with it’s arcades, rides, bowling alley and food outlets so there’s plenty of things to keep your family entertained nearby.
You can probably tell that I was excited about my day in the beach hut, and I could certainly ramble on about how pretty the decor was, and how well-stocked the supplies were, for pages and pages but instead I’m going to give you a long list of reasons why it makes good sense to hire a beach hut for the day:
- You’ve got a base for the day. Members of the family can go off and do their own thing but you can all congregate back at the hut. No more “where are you?” telephone calls. You’re in the hut!
- If the weather takes a chilly turn, you can cosy up indoors and the still enjoy your day at the beach.
- Similarly, if the weather turns out to be too glorious, you can keep out of the midday sun in the cool shade of the hut (like I did!).
- There’s a gas stove so you can have an unlimited supply of tea (very important for me – I kept the floral teapot full at all times!)
- Speaking of tea, our beach hut was fully stocked with teabags, coffee and sugar. We only needed to pick up a pint of milk on our way to the hut and it was very convenient not to have to carry all these supplies with us.
- You can even cook up easy meals for the kids like hotdogs or soup because there’s a frying pan, saucepan and utensils in the hut’s ‘kitchen’. That’ll save you money on lunch, leaving more in the kitty for fish and chips later!
- Another thing you don’t have to lug down to the beach is seating. Inside the hut are directors chairs and a folding table that can be used on the promenade.
- You can eat your fish and chips at the table, on a real plate with a knife and fork. So much more relaxed than balancing a paper bag on your knee!
- You’ve basically got your own private changing room where you can slip into your swimwear for a splash in the sea.
- You can entertain kids without bringing all their toys from home as there’s plenty of games and children’s books already in the hut.
- There’s a water tap right next to the beach hut (and if you’re hiring a different hut, there will be a tap nearby) so you can easily fill the kettle, wash up and clean off sandy toes.
- Kids can settle down for a nap in the afternoon on the large daybed. Although they’ll have to fight my husband for it. He’s already snoozing!
- You can stay later than you might usually, as you can snuggle up in the hut in the evening and can even get the kids into their pyjamas and ready for bed before you head to the car.
- It really feels like you’ve had a full holiday in just one day after building sandcastles on the beach, playing on the amusements, paddling in the sea, popping into town, visiting the funfair on the pair, strolling along the promenade and having a chippy tea.
- Finally, you’ve got the best view ever!
So what do you think? Will you consider booking a beach hut for the day next time you head to the seaside? I don’t think I can go back to just a having blanket on the beach after enjoying such luxuries as a cake stand and melamine champagne glasses in the hut! It just makes life so much easier to have a base on the promenade and, for fair skinned people like me, it’s essential for shade, otherwise I probably wouldn’t venture out to the beach at all! Let me know what you think (and whether you’re already a beach hut fan) in the comments below 🙂