Sometimes let’s face it – and even though we’re British and *ahem* slightly prudish – it’s nice to let it all hang out. Surprisingly, there are a few stretches of sand not tooooo far from the capital where you can get your kit off legally, so if the weather’s playing ball (sorry), then why not head to one of these nudist beaches near London listed below? Just beware of jellyfish mind…
1. Botany Bay, Kent
Set just down the road from the hipster haven of Margate and backed by a series of dramatic white cliffs and chalk stacks, Botany Bay is a real gem of a beach it has to be said. Perfect for fossil hunting, rock pooling and watersports, it’s a Blue Flag spot that’s also home to a fantastic hotel-come-café and bar. Perfect for refreshments!
Though it’s technically not a ‘nudist beach’ per se, the area to the East of Foreness Point is known to be used by some beach goers who get their kit off. Be aware though that this spot is regularly used by families and dog walkers, so make sure you use your common sense and don’t accidentally offend anyone!
📍You’ll find Botany Bay at Marine Drive, Cliftonville, Broadstairs, CT10 3LG.
🚇 Approximately two hours from London (train from Kings Cross St Pancras/Cannon Street to Margate then a walk).
2. Abbot’s Cliff Beach, Kent
Another Kent entry here, Abbot’s Cliff Beach is a remote, shingle beach located in between Dover and Folkestone that remains fairly off the map – the ideal spot to get starkers then! Packed full of rockpools, it’s best accessed from Samphire Hoe – a 30-hectare protected nature reserve which is home to over 220 different species of bird.
Dog-friendly, it’s also a lovely spot for a dip, and given that there aren’t many people usually around, you can wander around in the buff as much as you like! Just be careful of rock falls…
📍You’ll find Abbot’s Cliff Beach at Samphire Road, Dover, Kent, CT17 9FL.
🚇 Approximately an hour from London (train from Kings Cross St Pancras to Folkestone and then a five-minute taxi).
3. Cliff Bathing Beach, East Sussex
Brighton Beach was home to the first official nudist beach in the UK, and it’s still mega popular amongst naturists to this day. You’ll find the spot to get your kit off at the Eastern end of the beach – about a mile or so from the theme park rides, bars and arcades of the iconic Brighton Pier and close to the Brighton Marina.
Officially known as Cliff Bathing Beach, it’s signposted and is surrounded by large banks of pebbles – perfect for screening if you’re feeling a tad shy. There’s also another nude beach down the way in Portslade near Shoreham if you’d rather head to the West of the city.
📍You’ll find Cliff Bathing Beach at 106 Chichester Terrace, Brighton, BN2 1EN.
🚇 Approximately an hour to 90 minutes from London (train from Victoria, London Bridge or Kings Cross St Pancras).
4. Camber Sands, East Sussex
Just a stone’s throw away from the pretty-as-a-picture Rye, Camber Sands is often billed as one of the best beaches in the entire UK. It’s not exactly hard to see why – five miles of sand backed by a series of rolling sand dunes and lapped by the waves of the English Channel. No wonder it’s featured in numerous Hollywood blockbusters…
If you’re looking to *ahem* free your bits to the elements, then make sure you head to the designated ‘naturist’ bits signposted along the more remote sections of the beach. There’s also an array of different water sports available towards the busier Western end of the sand.
📍You’ll find Camber Sands at New Lydd Road, Camber, Nr Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7RT.
🚇 Approximately an hour to 90 minutes via train (train from Kings Cross St Pancras to Rye via Ashford then a ten-minute taxi).
5. St. Osyth, Essex
Another one of the best nudist beaches near London here, St. Osyth is Essex’s only legal spot where you can get your kit off, and lies just to the West of Clacton-on-Sea. An unspoilt sand and shingle beach, it’s name comes from the dedication of a local priory to a 7th century princess – Osgyth – who was put to death there. Who knew!
The area is great for long walks with your four-legged friends as well as wild camping – just note that if you’re starkers it could get a bit chilly as this is the North Sea after all!
📍You’ll find St. Osyth at Beach Road, St Osyth, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO16 8SG.
🚇 Approximately 90 minutes via train (train from London Liverpool Street to Clacton-on-Sea and then a ten-minute drive).
6. Norman’s Bay, East Sussex
Situated on the East Sussex coast between Eastbourne and Bexhill-on-Sea, Norman’s Bay is a charming spot bordered by the nature reserve of Pevensey Levels, which is home to numerous species of rare plants and animals.
On a clear day you might be able to make out the mighty Beachy Head from here – the UK’s largest chalk cliff – and the lighthouse at its foot. If you’re looking to shed your clothing, then make your way towards Cooden Beach, where many naturists opt to hang out. Word of advice – it gets pretty windy here so bring a wind shelter with you if you’re looking to avoid getting sand in some unwanted places!
📍You’ll find Norman’s Bay at Pevensey, East Sussex, BN24 6PR.
🚇 Approximately 120 minutes via train (train from London Victoria direct to Norman’s Bay).
7. Fairlight Glen, East Sussex
A popular naturist beach, Fairlight Glen is a thoroughly scenic spot overlooking the peaceful Covenhurst Bay a mile or so to the East of Hastings. The Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve – a designated Special Area of Conservation – which backs the beach, is popular with country walkers, and you stand a good chance of spotting a wide variety of wildlife and wild flowers here.
You should note however that there can be some pretty intense tides here, and there are no lifeguards, so make sure you’re careful if you go for a dip.
📍You’ll find Fairlight Glen at Lower Coastguard Lane. Hastings, TN35 4AD.
🚇 Approximately 120 minutes via train (train from London Charing Cross to Hastings and then a 10-minute taxi from there).
8. Shellness, Kent
Rounding off this list of the best nudist beaches near London is Shellness – a lovely spot on the Isle of Sheppey that actively encourages visitors to undress with the sign: “Beyond this notice, clothing need not be worn for bathing, sun bathing, and general recreation.”
The ‘official’ spot where you can bathe in the nude is near Leysdown-on-Sea at the far Eastern end of the island. From here, you’ll be able to enjoy good panoramic views of Whitsable and might be joined by up to 100 other naturists during busy weekends. Good job it’s a big beach then.
📍You’ll find Shellness at Leysdown-on-Sea, Sheerness, ME12 4RP.
🚇 Approximately 75 miles via car (there are no direct trains).
So there you have it – a roundup of the best nudist beaches near London to soak up the sun in your birthday suit. All of them are