A nationwide search to find Britain's best beach hut is over! A fairy-tale red and white polka dot beach hut called 'My Happy Hut' in Dovercourt, Harwich has been crowned as the winner of this year's prestigious Beach Hut of the Year Award 2016.

Home and Garden on Female First

Home and Garden on Female First

The hut is aptly named, as owner, Anna Davies, acquired the hut to inject some happiness into her and her three children's lives, following tragic circumstances that led to her moving to the Harwich area as a single mother.

'My Happy Hut' completely captivated the panel of expert judges, which included TV favourite, Phil Spencer, co-presenter of 'Location, Location, Location'. Historian and author Dr. Kathryn Ferry, beach hut designer Pete Samson, beach hut lover and Sunday Times journalist Charlotte Vowden and previous Towergate Beach Hut of the Year 2015 winner Jane Ashmore all joined Phil on the panel to make this difficult decision.

Phil Spencer visited 'My Happy Hut' on Friday, to award owner, Anna Davies with the illustrious accolade of 'Beach Hut of the Year 2016', and present her with £1,000, a year's free beach hut insurance and a commemorative plaque to proudly hang in her award winning hut. Harwich and Dovercourt beach hut association will also benefit from this win as they will also receive £500 as part of Anna's prize.

Beach hut owners from across the nation's favourite seaside towns and beaches submitted entries, each vying to be crowned winner of Towergate's Beach Hut of the Year 2016. However 'My Happy Hut', was chosen by the judges as the pick of the bunch for its vibrancy, stand out style and the effort that went into creating a hut of happiness for them to enjoy together as a family.

This year's top 10 huts were:

  • The Bohol Hut - Hove Esplanade, East Sussex
  • Hut 279 - Hove East Sussex
  • Hut 303 - Brightlingsea, Essex
  • No 31 - West Bay, Thanet, Kent
  • No 14 - Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex
  • No 65 - Calshot, Solent, Hampshire
  • My Happy Hut - Dovercourt, Essex
  • Serenity-on-Sea - Bournemouth, Dorset
  • Millie - Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex
  • Buggleskelly - Glyne Gap, East Sussex

Phil Spencer, co-presenter of 'Location, Location, Location' and a judge on the Towergate beach hut 2016 panel said: "I have fond memories of summers spent whiling away the hours at my family's beach hut and the way this competition continues to grow and capture the hearts of seaside lovers clearly shows our affinity with beach huts in the UK is increasing.

"I think it gets tougher each year to select a winner as the standard of entries is truly incredible and we were spoilt for choice with an array of unique and fantastic designs. However, 'My Happy Hut' was chosen for its delightful décor and for bringing joy, not only to Anna and her family, but to the beach hut community. "

'My Happy Hut' has been selected because of its vibrancy. The beach hut has a fairy-tale enchantment which is brought to life by its red and white polka dot exterior, its traditional pastel interiors and carefully selected objects which add to its happy seaside vibe. 'My Happy Hut' has glass double doors and windows behind what its owners call the 'drawbridge'. The front drops down to create a decked area, making it perfect to use all year round.

On being told the news, Anna Davies said: "I am genuinely shocked and excited that 'My Happy Hut' has been crowned beach hut of the year! It's a wonderful acknowledgement of how much love and hard work we have poured into our hut, so to receive this accolade, and of course meeting Phil Spencer, is just wonderful. I love the beach hut community spirit and once a year we go on a Dovercourt beach hut crawl enjoying food and drink at every hut we visit along the way. This hut has been my salvation and continues to bring myself and my family joy every summer."

Emma Watson from Towergate said: " This was a standout entry this year. It oozes joy and happiness - as soon as you see it you can't help but smile. "My Happy Hut" captured the judges attention because of its wonderfully bright decor that helps cheer up everyone's day. It clearly plays a huge part in making memories for the family and is a great attraction along the beach front.

Congratulations goes to Anna and 'My Happy Hut' and to our other beach hut of the year finalists".

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