The best nudist beaches in the UK are often found along secluded sections of Britain’s coastline. Either backed by sand dunes or cliffs, naturists in Britain can find clothing-optional beaches in most regions of the country.

    If you intend to visit a nudist beach, just be sure to do so respectfully and follow common practices. For example, stick to designated areas, keep your distance from other bathers, and leave your camera in the car. If you’re looking for a place to relax in the sun and not worry about tan lines, these are the best naturist beaches in the UK.

    1

    Brighton Naturist Beach, East Sussex

    The UK’s first naturist beach

    Brighton Beach is home to the first official nudist beach in the UK, and it’s still a popular place for naturists today. The southern English city is renowned across the globe for its tolerant attitudes, which extend right down to the shoreline along Brighton Beach.

    You will find the nudist section of this popular stretch of coast at the eastern end of the beach. It’s around a 1-mile walk from Brighton Pier. Officially known as Cliff Bathing Beach, you’ll find several signs informing beachgoers of the boundary of the nudist section.

    Location: 106 Chichester Terrace, Brighton BN2 1FG, UK

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    photo by Clem Rutter (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    2

    Studland Naturist Beach, Dorset

    A long beach that runs along the South West Coast Path

    Studland Bay in Dorset is worth the long journey across the Hartland Moors, especially if you’re looking to get back to basics. Protected by the National Trust, this sheltered crescent of sand is one of the prettiest in England and is home to one of the best nudist beaches in the UK.

    The beach runs for 4 miles, north to south, so it’s able to accommodate plenty of different types of visitor. It’s home to sailing clubs at its southern end, a nudist section at its secluded northern end, and soft, golden sand for relaxing on in the middle section. The South West Coast Path runs along the beach, so it’s a popular spot for ramblers, too. Studland Bay is only 8 miles along the coast from Bournemouth, but you will need to take a ferry across a small strait, which adds to the journey time.

    Location: S W Coast Path BH19 3BA, UK

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    photo by Matt Brown (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, East Sussex

    A naturist beach backed by sand dunes

    Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is a mostly shingle beach where you can feel free to go skinny dipping in the lapping waves. Rye Harbour is close to the more popular Camber Sands, with the naturist section found around 2 miles from Camber. The further west you walk, the more secluded the beach becomes and the better it becomes for baring it all.

    Be aware that part of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve runs along the Rother Estuary, which is renowned for riptides and a strong current.

    Location: Harbour Rd, Rye TN31 7TX, UK

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    4

    Druridge Bay, Northumberland

    Join the annual skinny dip every September

    Druridge Bay is one of the finest nudist beaches in northern England. This secluded yet wide stretch of sand has welcomed naturists since the 1960s and is backed by the Northumberland Coast County Park.

    This Northumberland beach is the site of a charity skinny dip each year to celebrate the autumn equinox and raise money for good causes. The Three Rivers Outdoor Club is a group of naturists who regularly meet at Druridge Bay to enjoy camping and outdoor pursuits like swimming.

    Location: Morpeth, UK

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    5

    Pedn Vounder and Treen, Cornwall

    One of the UK’s most remote and beautiful beaches

    Pedn Vounder and Treen is a stunningly beautiful beach where clothing is optional. Backed by steep cliffs, this small Cornish beach is found on the far southwest tip of the UK. It’s a place for adventurous types who really want to get back to basics. This means no lifeguards, toilets or shops.

    But be warned, the walk down to the beach is quite treacherous, so don’t strip off too early. Also, pay close attention to the tides as it’s inaccessible at high tide.

    Location: S W Coast Path, St Levan, Penzance TR19 6LF, UK

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    6

    Rhossili Bay, Wales

    Primal nature on the Gower Peninsula

    Rhossili Bay is a beautiful and raw beach on the south coast of Wales. The northern end of the beach is well known to naturists, while other stretches of the coast are used by families and surfers.

    After lounging on the beach, you can explore the shipwreck of the Helvetica, which washed up here in 1887, or walk along the clifftop paths. One of the peninsula’s highlights is Worm’s Head, a rock formation that sticks out of the water in Rhossili Bay.

    Location: Rhossili, Swansea SA3 1PR, UK

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    7

    Holkham Bay, Norfolk

    A nudist beach in Norfolk backed by a bird sanctuary

    Holkham Bay is a famous nudist beach in the east of England. Located in Norfolk, close to Wells-next-the-Sea, the beach is backed by a pine forest and a bird sanctuary so you can enjoy relaxing in the nude to the sounds of birdsong overhead.

    Holkham Bay lacks facilities such as toilets or shops, and it’s incredibly wide at low tide, so there’s plenty of space to keep yourself to yourself. The beach is pet friendly so it’s also popular with dog walkers.

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    8

    Winterton Dunes Nature Reserve, Norfolk

    Get back to nature with an incredible variety of wildlife

    Winterton Dunes Nature Reserve is a secluded stretch of coast around 20 miles east of Norwich. This area is teeming with wildlife and it also welcomes nudist bathers who like to relax among the miles of sand dunes that make up this part of central Norfolk.

    In this area, it’s possible to see an abundance of wildlife, including seals, butterflies and, most famously, birds. Winterton Dunes Nature Reserve is a famous nesting spot for many types of seabirds. The Norfolk Coastal Path runs alongside the reserve, so this area is also popular with hikers.

    Location: Great Yarmouth NR29 4BJ, UK

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    9

    Walney Island, Cumbria

    Relax on the beach with views of Morecambe Bay

    Walney Island is a remote stretch of coast close to Barrow-in-Furness in the northwest of England. The beach is backed by dunes and is blessed with fine, soft sand. The far northern end of Walney Island is a nature reserve so you can enjoy the sun, sea and sand with many species of birds and even seals. In fact, Walney Island is home to Cumbria’s only known colony of grey seals.

    If you take a 20-minute walk from Earnsie Bay you'll find the nudist section of the island. Pick up supplies before you head to the naturist section as there are no other facilities.

    Location: Walney, Barrow-in-Furness LA14 3BP, UK

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    photo by Chris Upson (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    10

    Botany Bay, Kent

    Naturist bathing backed by white chalk cliffs

    Botany Bay is a beautiful beach surrounded by white chalk cliffs close to the town of Broadstairs. Parts of this Blue Flag beach are designated as ‘clothing optional’ although this stretch of coast also attracts families and dog walkers.

    Botany Bay is the northernmost of 7 beaches close to Broadstairs and the most secluded, although this part of Kent is lined with beautiful beach towns. If you’re in the mood for adventure, you can visit Margate, Ramsgate and Deal, all in 1 day.

    Location: Marine Dr, Broadstairs CT10 3LG, UK

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 8 am to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday from 8 am to midnight

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    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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