Sunshine, sea, sand and pretty pastel beach huts - what could be more perfect?

On a bit of a whim, Al and I headed off for a daytrip to the seaside on Sunday. Lovely sunny Sunday! It was the kind of day just crying out for adventure, especially as we emerge from our grey winter slumber. So we packed up some lunch and drove down to the beautiful Christchurch in Dorset.

We started off at Hengistbury Head and walked along the beach by the crashing waves to Mudeford Sandbank, home to rows and rows of pretty pastel beach huts. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to feel the sunshine on my face and take my coat off!! All the while listening to the sound of the waves....So please forgive me if I got a little trigger happy - I haven't been outside much lately ;)

I bought a Blythe with me (Simply Peppermint) for some pastel beach hut shots - a lovely combo! We tried some posing on the sand, but that didn't work so well and she took a bit of a nose dive into the sand ;)

It really was a taste of summer. Everyone was eating icecreams, the dogs were out in force and the kiddies were building sandcastles. A magical day!

I absolutely adore the beach huts here. Whilst some were still boarded up from the winter, lots of families were using them - lolling around reading and playing in the sand. I'd love to rent one in the summer.

I think I could photograph beach huts all day long and not get bored! Al had to drag me away :) These lovely huts have featured in some previous posts too in case you are interested: Summer 2013 and October 2011. And I've been spamming Instagram like mad with beach huts!!

There really is nothing finer than feeling the sun on your face whilst listening to the waves crash and roll and crash and roll - I love the rhythm of nature.

If you fancy taking a little slice of the seaside home with you, feel free to have a browse through my Seaside collection in my Red Bubble print shop. There's a Blythe section too.

Have a lovely week everyone - let's hope the sunshine continues!

Oh I do love to be beside the seaside.....

Warning! This post contains gratuitous shots of beach huts... :)

Beach hut bonanza

So, although we were staycationing for our August holiday, we snuck out on a sunny day to get our sea fix. I used to live in Jersey, C.I and desperately miss the sea, so we try to go at every opportunity. This time we opted for the very lovely Christchurch as it's not too far from Oxford, and it's full of pretty pastel beach huts - double bonus as far as I am concerned!

Beach hut bonanza
Beach hut bonanza
Beach hut bonanza

We parked up at Hengistbury Head and picnicked on the beach and then wandered leisurely across the beach to Mudeford Sandbank where all the pretty pastel beach huts are. There are soooo many and each one is different!

Hengistbury Head
Sea grasses
Beach hut bonanza
Beach hut bonanza

It was so lovely to see everyone in full holiday mode - lots of families were staying in the beach huts and it looked like so much fun! There were delicious smelling bbqs, tables set-up for al-fresco eating with pretty tablecloths, people lazing in sunchairs reading, kids making sand castles and generally having a lovely old time..... I'd love to stay in a beach hut one day - imagine waking up ON THE BEACH with the waves right in front of you - heaven!

Beach hut bonanza
Beach hut bonanza
Beach hut bonanza
Beach hut bonanza

We had a lovely old time soaking in the atmosphere (and the smells!), eating ice cream (obligatory on the beach!), watching the waves and having a snooze in the sun :)

Beach hut bonanza
Summer by the seaside
Let's go fly a kite
Follow the path
Help is at hand
Beach hut bonanza

In the unlikely event you haven't seen enough beach huts, you can find more in my Christchurch set on Flickr. Now sing with me: Oh I do love to be beside the seaside.... Tara for now, Zoe xx :)

A lovely long October weekend mooching around Christchurch and Hampshire

It's becoming something of a family tradition to head down to Christchurch in early October for my sister's birthday. Once again we were blessed with gorgeous sunshine and warmth - nothing quite like strolling along the beach listening to the waves crash in October sunshine....and then eating lunch outside surrounded by pretty pastel beach huts :)

The full set of photos can be found on Flickr, as always.

Last beach hut (for today) I promise!
Baby blues
Lovely day for a walk on the beach....
Sea Chest

Yes, the sunshine and stunning greenery and dappled light really was tonic for the soul, and wonderfully refreshing. I have just bought a second-hand Fuji X100 and this was it's first outing - loving the simplicity of a fixed lens and just having a small light camera around my neck :) We very much enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the beautiful grounds of Mottisfont - a very grand National Trust property in Hampshire. The river walk is just divine at this time of year.

Cascade of leaves at Mottisfont
Riverside reflections at Mottisfont

We then topped off a wonderful day by heading home via the New Forest and pottering around Blackwater Arboretum in the golden hour. It took us a while to find it (it's not sign-posted at all!) but it was well worth it. Will have to go back for more another time!

Blackwater Arboretum, New Forest
Blackwater Arboretum, New Forest
Blackwater Arboretum, New Forest
Blackwater Arboretum, New Forest

And last, but by no means least, my sister and I spent a good bit of the weekend talking Blythe. My sister has recently rediscovered her love and talent for knitting and sewing and has recently set-up an Etsy shop selling Blythe clothing. We had so much fun trying things on and styling some photo shoots :)

Strawberry Shortcake :) #blythe #punkaholicpeople #onblythestreet
Flower girl #blythe #snowflakesonata #onblythestreet #poppytreelane
Walking the dog #blythe #onblythestreet #poppytreelane #factoryblythe
Love this mohair knitted coat my sister made - will be added to her shop soon  #blythe #phoebemaybe #onblythestreet

Christchurch: October photo fun by the sea

We were lucky enough to be able to stay in a beautiful riverside holiday home in Christchurch in October for my sister's birthday. It's such a great location - lots of walks by the sea were had (including a gorgeous walk from Hengistbury Head along the beach to Mudeford Sandbank, where rows and rows of colourful beach huts can be found, with a tourist "train" to take you back again!), plus lovely walks in the New Forest in its autumn colours, with lots of friendly ponies, and a trip to Mottisfont house and grounds - an impressive National Trust property with an amazing walled garden full of perfect Dahlias for photographing.

We packed a lot in for a long weekend and returned feeling decidedly chilled out - I thoroughly recommend it! Oh, and we had a super lovely dinner at the colourful Cheese & Alfies in Christchurch town centre too - you must go there if you get the chance :)

A few photo highlights below - the rest are on Flickr, as always.

Colourful beach huts at Mudeford Sandbank
Pastel beach huts
Port hole in the sky
Playing in the waves
Lavender softness
Cottage garden
October pinks
Pretty as a picture
Me with a lovely New Forest pony