The Great Beach Hut Getaway


 Well, it was a crazy 24 hours for sure! On the Monday afternoon, I was sat at home and had a sudden urge to get to the coast and enjoy Beach Hut 5 at Shaldon. The only complication to my cunning plan was the boring issue of distance and logistics.

My good lady had to work and was not up in anyway for throwing a sickie (which is a relief because she works for me!!) Plus it would entail a 530 mile round trip , so no mean feat.

Not to be deterred, I packed my overnight bag, headed out to fill up the car (with fuel and also pear drops!) and then hit the hay for an early night.

At 4am, I was awoken from my slumber, and I have to say, my enthusiasm was not at the levels endured by my family the night before. Having said that, I stumbled out of the door, entered TQ14 0DL Beach Hut 5, The Strand Shaldon in to the Sat Nav and then set off on my epic micro adventure (woo hoo).

I figured that with a 4 or 5 hour road trip ahead of me, I had plenty of time to plan my itinerary and I have to admit, it was a fantastic guilty pleasure, just having quite literally the open road ahead of me, with no agenda or time pressure and just my Podcasts for company.

Seriously, the roads were clear as I hit the cruise control and made my way around the M25 and past the usually horrific Stonehenge junction. At 09.30 on the dot, I arrived in Shaldon and only then realised that I hadn’t even stopped on the way (a big thank you to the Tim Ferris Podcast)

My first stop? Well anyone who has had the good fortune of visiting Shaldon at this time of day will know that there is only one place to go… The Clipper for one of their legendary breakfasts. I opted for the Vegetarian option and on its own it was probably worth the journey – but perhaps my view is tainted by the fact that I usually have porridge every day, come rain or shine.

With a full tummy and a happy heart, I headed to the beach hut to drop off my stuff and chill out for a bit. The sun was shining, and the dog walkers were out in force on Shaldon Beach. The terrace was calling my name and a big mug of tea was the order of the day.

Entering Beach Hut 5, can only be described as walking in to a 5 star hotel suite, positioned literally right on the beach! (The terrace wall is actually maintained by the Environment Agency as it is the sea wall – it really is, quite literally on the beach).

The view was stunning, although to be fair, I didn’t capture it particularly well with my phone, but you can see the boat which was leaning against the wall next to the beach hut.

Whist sat there, nursing my cuppa, I couldn’t help but feel shocked and somewhat stunned that I had woken up in the densely populated town of Folkestone, and was now chilling out, watching a Cormorant diving in between the boats, like a missile hunting fish. It really was quite surreal.

Well after a bit of a nap (well, I am of a certain age and it was an early start and a heck of a drive) I realised that it was 11.30am ad it could mean only one thing (whilst on a micro break). It was clearly “cake o clock “. Having wandered around the village, taking in the sights and smells, hustle and bustle of village life, I ended up back at the Clipper. Confronted with a huge array of freshly baked delights, I indulged in the Lemon Drizzle, with a Chai Latte (I don’t know why, but the Kid Rock song (A Low Life, leading a high life) came to mind. It also occurred to me that I had completely fallen off the heath eating wagon.

Time for action! I went for a run (well a shuffle really) up past the Ness and then on a circuit for 40 minutes. It was surprising how many fellow joggers were out, at that time of day and also how friendly and engaging everyone was… a real tonic.

It was very noticeable that Beach Hut 5 is akin to a 5 star hotel room. When I staggered in from my physical exertion, it was absolutely awesome to luxuriate in the wet room and the envelop myself in the super soft, extra big bath towel.

Having chilled out some more, and indulged in some escapism, courtesy of my music and Sony noise cancelling headphones, it was time for dinner (not that I had much of an appetite to be fair). 

So off to the Ferryboat for a Vodka, Lime and Soda to wash down my fine sandwich (it was time to half get back on the wagon!)

The Ferryboat was lively, even for a school night and super friendly. However, being a lightweight I left early doors to get some beauty sleep in advance of the drive back to reality in the morning.

Like clockwork, I awoke from my slumber at 4am and again was on the road by 4.30am. Arriving at home and the diving in to my porridge by 09.32.

I was struck by two things. The first being how refreshed I was by the micro break and how relaxed I felt and secondly, what a great time of day to tackle the M25. I will certainly be up with the larks, whenever I need to circumnavigate that particular obstacle.

I would strongly recommend a spontaneous micro break to anyone – to coin a phrase from Strictly.. absolutely Marvellous Darling!