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Seven of the best family beach huts for hire this summer

Rent one of the many brightly coloured beach huts dotted around the British coastline this summer and make your family day at the seaside a breeze.

Published 4 Aug 2021, 15:00 BST, Updated 12 Aug 2021, 10:44 BST
This sweet little blue and white hut is situated right next to the sea, on Mersea ...

This sweet little blue and white hut is situated right next to the sea, on Mersea Island in Essex. It’s decorated in a shabby-chic style and has beach toys, deck chairs, windbreaks and an oven with two gas rings. 

Photograph by Colchester Streets

Beach huts have exploded in popularity this year, as we embrace the staycation and seek to really make the most of the UK’s beaches. Many have mod cons such as gas stoves and fitted kitchens and are stocked up with supplies for the perfect beach day — buckets and spades, deckchairs, windbreaks, even body boards. And they also mean that little ones can retreat to the shade when the midday sun gets a bit much. We pick seven of the best operators across the UK offering beach huts the whole family can enjoy.

Enjoy tea and scones with Mary Poppins herself (well, an actor with more than a passing resemblance) at the Practically Perfect Poppins experience at Walton–on–the–Naze, Essex. 

Photograph by GETTY

1. Red Beach Hut, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex

For a memorable day by the seaside, The Red Beach Hut offers the Practically Perfect Poppins experience. It’s easy to spot the hut in Walton-on-the-Naze — it’s the only one painted bright red. Once you’ve settled in and made your kite from the supplied activity kit, Mary Poppins herself (well, an actor with more than a passing resemblance) appears to entertain little ones with songs before everyone heads to the wide, sandy beach to fly the kite. You can even book a Practically Perfect Picnic to enjoy in the beach hut. Prepared by Cardamon the Wonderland Kitchen, in Colchester, it’s filled with sandwiches, cakes, chocolate and other goodies. If you can tear yourself away from the golden, sandy beaches, the hut is also close to Britain’s second-longest pier and a short stroll from the town, which is home to a host of quirky, independent shops.

How to do it: The Practically Perfect Poppins experience costs £215 and includes daytime hire of the beach hut. redbeachhut.co.uk

2. Summerlea, Southwold, Suffolk

Located close to Southwold Pier, Summerlea is a modern hut with a traditional, blue-and-white nautical theme. It comes fully equipped with sun loungers, chairs and a table, a two-ring hob with a grill and games for all ages. It’s perfect for popping back to between visits to the boating lake, or to the Punch and Judy show on the pier, and a great location for making the most of Southwold, a lovely seaside town. Discover the lighthouse, which you can climb up if your kids are over 3ft 6”, while the pier itself is really special — the extraordinary Under The Pier Show is a highlight with around 20 weird and wonderful mechanical arcade machines.

How to do it: Day hire costs £70-£80, depending on season. southwoldbeachhut.net

3. St Annes Beach Huts, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire

Ideal for groups, St Annes Beach Huts offers group hire so you can plan your trip with other families and follow in the area’s beach hut tradition — there have been huts of one shape or another on the Fylde coast for hundreds of years. These modern, stylish beach huts all come with mains electricity and fitted kitchens. Rental is from 10am to midnight, so you can stay for the fantastic sunsets this part of the coast is renowned for. The beach is expansive and sandy and there’s also an historic windmill to discover and one of the premier links golf courses in the world, Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club. The towns of Lytham and St Annes, which make up this genteel seaside resort, have retained the charms of their Victorian heyday. They feel a world away from the bright lights of Blackpool, two miles away.

How to do it: Day hire from £85, depending on season. stannesbeachhuts.co.uk

4. Bournemouth Beach Lodges, Boscombe, Bournemouth

Ordinarily, a beach hut is a fairly rudimentary construction that’s only used during the day; what’s on offer here represents a bit of an upgrade as you can stay overnight. Overlooking Bournemouth’s seven miles of golden sands, these beach huts are both traditional and extremely stylish, and, come evening, a pair of sofas fold out into both a comfy double and a single bed, and there’s a mezzanine floor with an additional double and single. Each hut comes with an electric hot-plate barbecue, a kitchenette, a private deck and a bathroom with a toilet and hot shower. Stair gates, a travel cot and a highchair can also be provided, and some of the huts are dog-friendly, so even the four-legged family members can come along.

How to do it: From £350 for four nights. bournemouthbeachlodges.co.uk

Read more: 13 incredible family glamping experiences in England and Wales 

5. The Little Beach Hut Company, West Mersea, Essex

There are four huts available to hire from The Little Beach Hut Company on Mersea. Bertie is a personal favourite. This sweet little blue and white hut is right on the front row, making it perfect for families, as children can just go straight out and play on the sand. It’s decorated in a shabby-chic style and has beach toys, deck chairs, windbreaks and an oven with two gas rings. Those who want a little more room could consider the equally cute Peggy, Lottie or Kittie — also all on the front row but a bit bigger. Mersea Island is cut off from the mainland twice a day by high tides, so make sure to check the tide tables before you set off.

How to do it: Day hire from £60. thelittlebeachhutcompany.co.uk

The interior of Bertie beach hut situated on the island of Mersea, Essex. 

Photograph by GETTY

6. Accessible Beach Huts, Bude, Cornwall

Located at the entrance to Seaside Award-winnning Summerleaze Beach, a five-minute walk from the centre of Bude, the Accessible Beach Huts are an excellent spot for a family day out. Positioned on their own patio area, they’re ideal for large families and those with limited mobility. All offer unobstructed views of the harbour, beach and beyond. There are also more beach huts nearby, of varying styles and size but all featuring bold and photogenic yellow, blue, green and red doors. While there, enjoy the wide, sandy, award-winning beach and the sheltered sea pool, which is ideal for little ones who want to have a play in the saltwater but aren’t quite ready for the waves. For older children, there’s rock climbing, diving and surf lessons on offer.

How to do it: Day hire from £30, depending on season. visitbude.info

Read more: Six educational family trips, from Iceland to Ireland 

7. Barry Island Beach Huts, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

Painted in bright, primary colours, the 24 beach huts here are an eye-catching sight. They’re set on Whitmore Bay, a sweeping crescent of golden sand with a wide promenade. There’s plenty here to keep children happy — a climbing wall, blocks to clamber over in the shape of ammonite fossils which are misted with water in warm weather and adventure golf. The beach huts are quite basic, but they do have electricity sockets and the larger ones also have access to running water. They’re also an excellent place to store all the family’s beach paraphernalia while out and about. And yes, it’s the very same Barry Island from TV comedy Gavin & Stacey. While here, make a beeline for the Barry Island Pleasure Park, home to a host of traditional amusement park attractions, including the dodgems, waltzers and fun house.

How to do it: Half-day hire from £6.25, depending on the season. Full-day hire from £11.50. valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

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