We spent a lovely couple of days with my family down in Bournemouth on the ‘English Riviera’, basking in the warm, albeit brief, spring sunshine. So, where better to go for a ramble with Rupert (the oh-so-gorgeous Cockapoo) than Hengistbury Head, a site that’s been occupied since the early hunter-gatherers of the Stone Age, but now a happy hunting ground for jolly holiday-makers and retiree ‘Dream Catchers’.
Hengistbury Head and the sandy beach of Mudeford Spit is home to some 300 privately owned beach huts, some of the UK’s most expensive I might add. These compact 5x3m shacks have no running water or electricity, but most do have a small galley kitchen and can sleep 4 with a tiny mezzanine perfect for squeezing in a couple of kids. Water is available from nearby standpipes and there are perfectly adequate toilet and shower blocks dotted along the spit – there’s even a super laid-back Beach House Café that serves food-and-booze-with-a-view! But these simple but cutely appointed retreats can command ridiculously giddy prices, with £375,000 the pre-pandemic record, but now, post-(ever hopeful!)pandemic, these huts can go for as much as £550,000, with a rapidly diminishing 99-year leasehold.
Many of these beach huts have cutesy punning name-plaques above their doors such as Down By The Sea, Shore Enuff, Seas the Day and even, my favourite, Jabba (The Hut), but of course possible puns are endless… Sea La Vie, Vitamin Sea, Seaclusion spring to mind, then maybe there’s Life’s A Beach, Shore to Please, Feeling Tip-Sea, Sea Duced, Dune Our Thing, Seabatical, Real ‘em Inn, Sea Renity, Shore Thing, Wait ‘n’ Sea… minutes of endless fun, I could go on. Any other suggestions along these themes would be most welcome… Answers on a postcard please…
Talk about being ‘Sea Duced’! Here’s a link to a recently sold beach hut: https://www.advertiserandtimes.co.uk/news/inside-the-mudeford-beach-hut-which-could-sell-for-a-record-9215777/