Pictures of brightly coloured beach huts are synonymous with The Suffolk Coast; from the simple wooden shed, to the extravagantly painted hut with veranda, beach hut living is not just for the summer months, for some, it’s a way of life.
With Southwold’s eye-watering beach hut price tags (the going rate is £120,000!) you could be mistaken for thinking that a slice of beach hut life is out of reach, but with a range of hire and purchase options at seaside resorts along the coast, a life by the sea could be closer than you think.Beach hut owner Gwen Smith, owns a hut at Felixstowe and has embraced the ‘hut’ way of life for over 10 years.
As with many beach huts though, there was high demand and Gwen had competition to win her hut: “It was a sealed bid process and so there was immediate interest, and everyone wanted to know whether they had paid more or less than their hut neighbours!”.
Having spent every summer at the hut since she bought it, and like many hut owners, Gwen’s children have grown up at the beach, spending every summer enjoying the golden sands: “The spot we have is perfect, it’s good for swimming and is safe, being based there allowed my children a sense of freedom when they were growing up... they are in their late 20s now and still love it!”.
Like many hut owners, once they own their own little piece of The Suffolk Coast, they never leave: “It is particularly lovely in the evenings especially if a group of neighbours meet up for fish and chips, we all have battery operated lights in the hut so can stay until after the sun goes down! There is a great sense of community especially at the beginning of a season when people haven’t seen one another for six months”
.As we speak to Gwen on an overcast day, blankets at the ready with tea being served in floral tea cups, it’s easy to see why those who own one rarely leave, and frequent their huts, come rain or shine: “I will never sell my hut! It’s going to be passed on to the family, there’s nothing like watching the boats sail by whilst enjoying a pot of tea".
How to get your own slice of beach hut heaven...
Whilst many beach huts are owned, there are a few locations along our coast that offer huts for rent in the winter as well as the summer.
Certainly the most expensive spot, Southwold doesn’t have any council-owned beach huts, however, some are available to rent directly from the owners for short periods.
Southwold Beach Hut Owners Association lists huts available to hire, but there are also many agencies that hire them on behalf of owners.
Like Southwold, Felixstowe beach huts are privately owned and the plots rented through the council. However there is a waiting list, but take a stroll along the prom and you may spot one available for short term let. You can find details of plots that go up for sale at www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/yourfreetime/tics/beachhut
One of the only locations to still have beach huts for rent and with a long, sandy, award-winning beach; Lowestoft South Beach is ideal for families. Huts are available to hire for the summer season (April to October), through the winter, and for short hire periods too. For more information visit, sentinel.onesuffolk.net/home/Beach-Services/Beach-Huts/