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Grab your sunnies, we’re off to the beach

A day at the beach is what many dream of and now there are chances to stay overnight at Boscombe.

A summer breeze brushes over her face as the sun beams down from the blue skies above. She’s sat on the warm sand, picking up handfuls and watching the grains fall through her fingers. She feels the cold sea wash over her toes as she looks across the water, watching her family splash around.

After a long day, Liz Withington, heads back towards her beach hut on East Beach in Sheringham, North Norfolk, and packs up her belongings ready for the journey home.

She explained that, with a young family, it was logical to buy a hut when they spent so much time at the beach.

“We might go in the evening and cook tea down there and have a glass of wine,” Liz explained. “We might go down in the day and take the dog down and play on the beach, go for a swim.

“My favourite thing about having a beach hut is sitting in the evening when everyone else has gone home watching the sun go down with a glass of wine.”

Beach huts have been found along seafronts in Britain for years. In Mudeford which is in Christchurch, Dorset, it has been possible to stay in beach huts overnight, however this is now possible at Boscombe beach in Bournemouth.

Boscombe beach

Costing £1.75 million to build, 15 new eco-friendly luxury beach huts have been built at Manor Steps near Boscombe. These developments are part of Bournemouth Borough Council’s Seafront Strategy.

The strategy aims to “develop a world-class seafront that will enhance the natural assets of the coastline and create public spaces and facilities to inspire new generations of visitors,” according to Bournemouth Borough Council.

Ecologic Designs created these huts and are best known for designing innovative and modern beach huts in Mudeford.

These are two of the new beach huts

Sleeping up to six people, the huts include more than what a visitor would usually expect from a beach hut. Kitchens equipped with an electric cooker and microwave are provided as well as showers to allow visitors to wash of the sand from a busy day at the beach.

The arrival of Boscombe’s new beach huts have caused mixed opinions from beach hut owners in the area.

When asked on her views of the luxury beach huts, Liz said, “That’s not a beach hut. A beach hut is camping on the prom.” Liz’s main concern is that the huts are too expensive and therefore limit the number of people who can access them.

However for local businesses it appears that the huts will leave a positive imprint in the sand.

Jeff Skeoch, a company owner of the Sorted Surf Shop in Boscombe explained that the arrival of the beach huts will help his business.

“It (the beach huts) could only be positive,” said Jeff. “If you’re attracting people who have money to spend on that kind of thing, they are more likely to be the kind of people that impulse buy from our surf shop.”

Similarly, Mark Cribb, owner of Urban Reef, a seafront restaurant and bar in Boscombe, believes the huts are a good idea.

“The lodges will be a good thing for the restaurant”

This is Mark’s restaurant, Urban Reef, at Boscombe beach

“Due to government cuts, the authorities need to be savvy in making money,” he said.  “It’s the first opportunity for the council to prove they can run something that is usually public sector.”

Mark is also an owner of The Urban Beach Hotel near Boscombe beach. He suggested that the new beach huts could create a little competition for his hotel because tourists will look towards unique accommodation, which the beach huts offer.

For Mark’s restaurant, the beach huts could bring a little more business, he said.

“The lodges will be a good thing for the restaurant; we’re the closest restaurant to the lodges and so we expect to see people using our pizza delivery and coming into our restaurant for breakfast and dinner,” Mark said.

Whilst Mark is expecting new users of the beach huts to visit his restaurant, many could be down by the beach taking advantage of their new kitchens.

After enjoying a barbecue, visitors can now continue their holiday into the evening, staying overnight in the new luxury huts.


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