If you’ve been around these parts for a while, you probably already know that Mrs Lighty dreams of one day owning a beach hut. When we recently visited Millie’s Beach Huts’ Abbie at Felixstowe, I felt as if all my dreams had come true, even if just for the day. A beautiful little hut, brightly coloured, decorated to perfection and our first taste of beach hut life. How were we ever going to top a day at the beach again?!
Well, the answer to that would be: another beach hut visit, of course!
And last weekend we did exactly that. We were lucky enough to have been invited as guests for another beach hut visit, this time to the Mickey and Minnie Huts, which are part of the Millie’s Beach Huts‘ range located at beautiful Walton-on-the-Naze. Our first visit to the lovely town located on the Essex coast was this time last year, when we went to visit our NCT friends who were holidaying there, and I’d lusted after the brightly coloured huts back then. What I didn’t realise was that the rows of huts extend further beyond those immediately towards the pier. They actually stretch up towards the Naze itself. This means that there are plenty of options available to you, depending on what suits your needs.This time around, we were kindly invited for the day to Millie’s Beach Huts’ Mickey and Minnie. These two Disney inspired beach huts are located approximately a 20 minute walk (with little ones aged two and three in tow, that is!) away from the pier towards the Naze, and we knew from looking at the Millie’s Beach Huts website that this was going to give us quite a different experience from being at Abbie earlier on in the year. Abbie is situated right on the promenade, right in the middle of the hustle and bustle, whereas Mickey and Minnie are in a slightly quieter location.
On arrival in Walton-on-the-Naze, we parked in a small car park perched high on the cliff face. A quick trip down the steps and we were greeted by a traditional beachside café. Both Mr Lighty and I immediately remarked that it looked like a good place to stop for ice cream later on in the day! We soon found our huts on rounding the corner from the café; they are both painted in Minnie Mouse dots, one blue, one pink, and stand tall above the first row of huts. This in itself was different from our visit to Abbie earlier on in the year; Mickey and Minnie are built on stilts, with a set of steps to access them via a trapdoor. They are also set one row up from the promenade, behind the huts that lead directly out onto the prom. Up we climbed, and realised how special these two huts were.First Minnie, we opened it to be greeted by the cheery little mouse all around us. Mr Lighty and I are both Disney addicts, and we loved the attention to detail yet again: the Minnie ears and cute polka dot mouse umbrella, the vintage Disney posters, the cheery Mickey and Minnie mugs. Baby Lighty was very excited by the various plush Minnies that were dotted about the daybed, and even more so by Donald Duck, one of his faves, up on the shelf! He immediately jumped up and down with excitement. “Minnie Mouse there Mummy!” he exclaimed, before digging around under the daybed for the basket of kiddies’ books and the Minnie Mouse themed etch-a-sketch. Mr Lighty went back to the car to grab our bags, and Mrs Lighty did the most important job of all: put the kettle on! The great thing about Mickey and Minnie is that as they are side by side, they can be hired by two groups of friends, or extended family. They hold up to six people each, but we had asked some of our lovely friends, another family of three, to join us for the day. Just as our kettle whistled, they arrived, and we opened up Mickey for them. It was just as gorgeous as his girlfriend’s hut, with plenty of details focused on Mickey himself. Our friend Mrs Cookie commented on seeing the beauty of the hut, “Well this is all very glam. We should have brought a bottle of prosecco!” That would have actually been an excellent idea, as the decked area outside would make the perfect place to relax or to celebrate with a glass of fizz! As it was, we had to make do with a cuppa, but Mr Cookie got down to the serious business of making hot dogs for lunch on the gas stove! I couldn’t believe how organised they were to bring hot dogs and buns with them, but I was very grateful as they tasted as divine as they smelt as he was cooking them! A good lunch eaten, and we headed down to the beach. Baby Cookie is 18 months older than Baby Lighty, and every time they’ve been together they’ve got on really well. Our trip to Walton-on-the-Naze was no exception, and they played happily on the beach for hours. Well, they did until Baby Lighty accidently let go of Baby Cookie’s kite (it was his first time flying a kite!) and it thwarted Mr Lighty in his attempt to run after it and catch it! Nonetheless, there was some very serious sandcastle building going on, and Baby Lighty was brave enough to go in the sea! After a good few hours on the beach, we headed back to our huts. More tea and snack time was calling. It was lovely to sit on the decking catching up with our friends, the children alternating between wanting to be in one hut and play with all of the toys on offer before switching to the other. As we sat on the balcony, sipping tea and eating biscuits, Mr Lighty remarked, “I really like this hut. I love how quiet and secluded it is.” And I have to say, I completely agreed with him. Mickey and Minnie are located at the quieter end of the beach, which means that it’s not too busy on the sand itself. There’s toilets to one side and the café to the other, however, so you don’t feel like you’re completely in the wilderness. But, being a level up from the promenade, you don’t really have anyone else walking immediately past where you’re sitting, except for other hut residents. It’s really lovely, quiet and secluded. Mr Lighty said that he could still enjoy the beauty of the hut without being ‘on show’ as you may feel that you are if you’re in a hut situated right on the promenade. We also really appreciated the fact that the decked area was enclosed, as it meant that we didn’t need to worry about our little Houdini trying to escape (parents and dog owners take note of this plus if you’re thinking of hiring a hut!). All this, and the height that Mickey and Minnie are situated at also means that you still get a gorgeous view! Once we’d been restored by our break in the huts, we decided to take a trip down to the pier. The pier is located approximately 20 minutes’ walk away from Mickey and Minnie, which was just about manageable for little legs. The children had a quick go on the 2p machines, and then there was another first for Baby Lighty: his first time on a funfair ride! He absolutely loved it, and we so enjoyed seeing his little face as he went round, as well as the cheery wave from both Baby Lighty and Baby Cookie as they came past us.
It felt like time flew past during our visit; time really does fly when you’re having fun. After two trips on the funfair rides, it was dinner time, and so we headed to a fish and chip restaurant nearby and all tucked into a hearty seaside meal.We headed back to our huts just as the sun was starting to sink over the water. There was just time for some last minute colouring from Baby Lighty and some washing up from the rest of us before we changed the children into their pyjamas ready for the drive home. I didn’t think we could top our day at Abbie earlier on in the year as it was pretty much perfect. But I have to say that these beautiful huts at Walton-on-the-Naze have stolen a massive place in my heart. Lots of laughter, lots of conversation, lots and lots of good company, all in the most perfect surroundings. Sun, sea, seclusion…all thanks to two special little huts called Mickey and Minnie. Disclaimer: Please note, we were invited as guests to visit Mickey and Minnie by Millie’s Beach Huts in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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