Southbank London – beach huts, boats and ice cream

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

London’s South Bank has been rolling with a strong British seaside theme since April (until Sept 4th), with 48 tonnes of sand and a series of beach huts adding some ‘kiss me quick’ ambience to the centre of London.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

As part of the installation, there’s a row of fourteen artist-designed themed beach huts situated by the Thames.

This one is decorated with the names of places in Essex directly adjacent to either the River Thames or the North sea, and was (ahem) ‘imagined’ by Phill Jupitus.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

The ‘Under the Pier’ hut contained a collection of home-made coin operated machines and low-tech simulator rides made by Tim Hunkin.

They’re a load of fun and the original machines can be seen on Southwold Pier – see my 2007 feature for more.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Taking a photo inside a hut.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Looking inside the ‘Shell Grotto’ hut.

Shell grottos started life as pagan shrines dedicated to water nymphs in ancient Greece, but became popular as ‘cavern-like’ retreats in 19th century England and were seen as melancholy places associated with creativity (as least that’s what the South Bank website says).

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Inside the grotto shed.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Traditional ice cream van by the Thames.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

A man inside a large plastic gull.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Blue, yellow and red.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Bunting on the austere lines of the Royal Festival hall.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Seaside scene.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Fairground ride with the distinctive Shell Centre building behind. Constructed in 1961 to a design by Sir Howard Robertson, the tower stands at 107 metres (351 ft) with 27 storeys.

Notably, the tower was the first skyscraper to exceed the height of the Victoria Tower of the Palace of Westminster in London.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

The enduring appeal of these ‘human statues’ continues to elude me, but they must make some money because the South Bank is ruddy well festooned with them.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

Art installation by the Festival Hall.

Southbank London - beach huts, boats and ice cream, August 2011

[ South Bank website] – [Camera used: Nikon D5100]