The house boats of Shoreham-by-Sea


Just down the road from our flat, lined up along the riverside, are several dozen house boats moored up in the muck. Many of them aren’t really seaworthy anymore (says the very not water knowledgeable lady on the internet), but they are mostly inhabited, and the area has a sub-culture all its own. A narrow stone path that goes between the house boats and the back gardens of the regular houses which back up right to the shore means that it’s easy to get up close and personal to the boats, which come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re looking for a minesweeper from the Cold War to live in…..well sorry, someone in Shoreham has already beat you to it.

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Some of the boats house families or retired couples, some of them, hippies who host yoga classes and teach various crafts. There’s lots of DIY and recycled bits on display. There was even an art gallery/dance show in one of the boats last week for a local festival. Since low tide leaves the boats stuck in the mud at least half of the time it can all look a bit decrepit over that way. But the romantic idea of a bohemian life living out of a little boat still doesn’t seem too terrible (if the right boat came along, that is). But I’m more partial to the canal boats, if the option’s on the table!

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