THE beach huts along Hove seafront are a much-loved sight and their owners take pride in making them look as good as possible.

But throughout December some of them will be getting a new look as part of a very special life-sized advent calendar.

For the last nine years, 24 huts have thrown open their doors for one day each during December to reveal specially decorated and festive creations.

Last year’s huts, pictured here, included ships and camels, a Holly and Ivy pub, angel’s wings, a nativity and lots of colourful lights, tinsel and other decorations.

The annual event regularly draws large crowds as people come along to see which hut is open on that day and what it looks like.

The calendar was the brainchild of Reverend Martin Poole, priest in charge at St Luke’s Prestonville in Brighton.

He said: “I own a beach hut and nine years ago I was talking to some of the other owners and we were saying it was a shame the doors opened inwards because if they opened outwards they would look like advent calendar.

“That sparked an idea and it went on and developed from there.

“It has become very popular. I think people like the opportunity to get away from the shops and appreciate the real meaning of Christmas.

“It is great fun. Some of the owners put on quizzes and stage performances so it is always worth coming down each day to see something different.”

Only one hut is open on each day from 5.30pm to 6.30pm and those involved are based between Hove Lawns and Hove Lagoon.

Rev Poole said: “Even in the worst of the weather we get dozens of people along and on the last night on Christmas Eve this goes up to between 400 and 500 people.

“It is a really lovely event and we hope to see as many people as possible there again this year.”

The first hut, number 218, has been decorated by students and staff from St Christopher’s School in Hove, and the school choir will also be performing tomorrow.

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