By Suzy Bennett, destination expert 9 MARCH 2016 • 6:08PM
Copyright Daily Telegraph
Telegraph expert’s rating: 9/10
These two classic British beach huts on Ness Beach in Shaldon, South Devon, make for a fun and nostalgic seaside escape. Inside a space no wider than two metres, the designer owner has ingeniously managed to shoehorn in everything a small family might need for a short break: a comfortable king-sized bed, sofa bed, kitchenette, shower room and dining table. Beach-facing bi-fold doors make the huts bright and airy, and lead to a small sun terrace with views across the water to Teignmouth. The English Riviera is a short drive away, while Dartmoor National Park, Totnes and Exeter are also close by.
Inside a space no wider than two metres, the designer owner has ingeniously managed to shoehorn in everything a small family might need for a short break
Just a beach ball’s throw from the water, on the rust-red sands of Shaldon Beach on the Teign estuary, these huts are as close as you’ll get to sleeping on a beach in the UK without a tent. The English Riviera is just down the coast, with its array of sandy beaches, family attractions and bustling seaside towns, chief among them Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Further afield is genteel Totnes and Exeter, and the wilds of Dartmoor. Just around the headland is well-run Shaldon Zoo, with a small, fascinating collection of endangered primates, and, next to that, carved through magnificent red cliffs, is a smugglers’ tunnel leading to secluded Ness Beach.
Traditional from the outside, inside these pastel-painted huts are kitted out in mod cons and high-tech fittings. The décor is bright and simple: white-washed walls, and furnishings in classic nautical blue and red stripes, with quirky, marine-themed touches such as porthole mirrors and wall-mounted fossils. The huts’ small size means they’re a tight fit so are best suited to small families who are happy to sleep in close quarters. Low headroom in the mezzanine bedroom may not appeal to some. You’ll be sharing a wall with your neighbours so are likely to hear muffled voices.
The huts’ small size means they’re a tight fit so are best suited to small families who are happy to sleep in close quarters CREDIT: (C)SUE@VAUGHTON.COM/SUE VAUGHTON
The Tardis-like huts are an ergonomic marvel, containing within their clapboard walls a comfortable king-sized, sofa bed, clothes-hanging rail, fully-fitted kitchen with Neff appliances, wet room, dining table and chairs, television, DVD player, Wi-Fi and under-floor heating. Bi-fold doors lead to a terrace with sun loungers and outdoor seating. Ventilation is provided by electronic, rain-sensitive skylights, but the lack of black-out blinds on these may be a problem for light sleepers in mid summer. There’s off-street parking.
Value for money: 7/10
BH2, the biggest hut, starts at £120 per night, with a two-night minimum stay. Free Wi-Fi.
The Clipper Café, directly next door, serves wonderful breakfasts, as does the Ode Café. The more upmarket Ode Restaurant offers fine dining and offers takeaways for hut guests.
The Tardis-like huts are an ergonomic marvel, containing within their clapboard walls a comfortable king-sized, sofa bed, clothes-hanging rail and a fully-fitted kitchen with Neff appliances CREDIT: (C)SUE@VAUGHTON.COM/SUE VAUGHTON
Access for guests with disabilities?
The Strand, Shaldon, Devon TQ14 0DL