Waiting lists for beach huts in Whitby, Scarborough and Filey are closed by council as demand soars

It is one of the surest signs of spring and summer ahead when the historic and quintessentially Yorkshire beach chalets are brought back out of winter storage, dusted off and put back along the sea-front along the North Yorkshire coastline.

The seaside break has been a tradition on coastlines around the country for years and generations of families have headed to the beach armed with picnic tables, flasks, buckets, spades and baskets of sandwiches for affordable and wholesome days out.

Between Whitby, Scarborough South Bay and Filey there are several hundred of the colourful, wooden huts - but, they have become so sought after that before the holiday season even begins, waiting lists to hoards of locals and holiday-makers alike wanting to rent one have been closed already for 2022.

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A few have been set aside for a daily or weekly use but the demand for annual and rolling lets got so high that Scarborough Borough Council, which manages the chalets, has decided it was better to stop taking requests - some of which have been in years.

Brothers Daniel (11) and Luke (9) Shipton cycle along the sea wall at Whitby with their black Labrador dog, Frankie, ahead of the Easter holidays.

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“Some weekly summer lets (and in rare cases daily lets) are available, but due to high demand each year they must be booked in advance.”

It costs £17 for a beach hut in Whitby for the day in off peak times and £679 for the season between May and September. The newer beach huts cost £1435.

In Scarborough a week at peak times would cost £186 and should you manage to get one for the year, the price is just short of £1150.

Filey’s beach huts are £35 for the day at the height of summer and from £1,015 for an annual rent.

However, in other parts of the country as demand for the staycation continues to soar, beach huts can go for more than an average terraced house.

A report last year said that the average cost of buying a beach hut had increased from £25,578 to £36,034 within a year.

However, property listings this week show a beach hut for sale at Brackenbury Cliffs, Felixstowe for £55,000 and one at Avon Beach in Mudeford near Dorset for offers above £95,000.

Last month SBC agreed to spend £380,000 on reinstating historic chalets in the town as part of a wider bid to regenerate the area.

The original, grade II listed, chalets were damaged - or had to be demolished on safety grounds – when a retaining wall collapsed in 2018 and now repairs have been completed, proposals for 10 new chalets were approved.

They will be built to a higher standard than the originals, some of which have been serving holiday-makers since the early 1900s, with installation of electricity, a water supply and drainage.

It is yet to be decided if they will be sold on the open market, retained and rented out or a combination of both.