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Beach Hut History

Historical Beach Huts

Beach huts have long been an integral part of the history of seaside resorts in the UK. From the wheeled bathing machines used by George III at Mudeford in 1801 and Queen Victoria at Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight, they have evolved into the modern chalets and beach huts that form an iconic part of the British seaside resort.

Bournemouth built the UK’s first municipal beach huts in 1909 – our oldest one, hut 2359 by Bournemouth Beach Office features a commemorative blue plaque and is available for weekly hire. Since the 1950’s, the number of huts in Bournemouth has remained roughly constant, with a small number of new exciting hut developments being built over the last few years. 

Today there are nearly 2,000 beach huts situated along the five and a half miles of promenade along Bournemouth beach, with around 70% of these being privately owned, and the rest being let out by the council.

A number of new schemes have taken place in recent years in order to meet the huge demand for additional beach huts. The Purbeck View huts at Alum Chine have been built following a traditional design, but have also been set in an informal village style layout, providing a community feel for the users of the huts. There have also been brand new huts in a range of multi colours installed to the east of Bournemouth Pier.

Having created the first modern beach huts in 1909, the new Beach Pods in the Boscombe Overstrand building are redefining the concept, with the award winning designs from HemingwayDesign combining traditional seaside style with modern features and appliances.

To this day beach huts remain an important cultural feature of the British seaside resort, with an estimated 20,000 huts across the UK.

Related Information


Postal Address Bournemouth Seafront Office,
Undercliff Drive, Bournemouth, Dorset
Telephone 01202 451781
Email Seafront
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