It's quite difficult to do a nude hike of any length in the UK. There are nude beaches, but so far as I am aware, no nude trails. There are a few intrepid souls who put on hiking boots and nothing else, and simply go for it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of very prudish people in the UK, and if you expose yourself to the general population someone is bound to complain. The 'Likely to cause offence' mantra is thrown at them and they may even be hauled up in front of a magistrate. It's not a serious offence, but you can spend a lot of time mouldering in a police cell instead of getting out there ....
So for me, a nude hike means a beach with the duneland behind it, and there are few better places than Ross sands in Northumberland. Click on the map for a larger view.
Its not an official nude beach, so you have to be careful to respect other users - but if you pick your time on a sunny day, it's perfect. The beach is 4 km long with water at each end - the only reasonable access is from Ross Farm where you can park the car.
Two days ago it was a sunny morning and I walked the track to the beach. Half way across the farm you can leave the footpath, cross a cattle grid and you are in pretty wild country but still half a mile short of the beach. There was no-one in sight so I removed every item of clothing and put them in a plastic bag. Bag in a rabbit hole and I set forth totally naked - not a stitch except sandals and carrying nothing. I walked across the farmland to the beach and then to Budle Bay. I then walked the shoreline right up to Lindisfarne Harbour - round the pinnacles at Gule Point, back down the inner beach to the wideopen - then back down the main beach and across the farm to recover my gear. A round walk of about 10 km completely nude - plus another 3 km round walk from the car park wearing shorts and a top.
I did meet one other walker - a middle aged gent, dressed in walking gear, who was walking up the beach as I walked back down. I veered away from the sea so as not to meet him directly, but he veered too and we met. We exchanged smiles and he said I was probably more appropriately dressed than he was - he was right - it was 18 degrees and he was perspiring - I wasn't, just pleasantly cool but warm enough while walking. He was interested to know how I managed to be totally naked on the beach, so I explained about the plastic bag and the rabbit hole. After a few minutes of conversation I was getting cold - quite a chill breeze on the open beach which I hadn't noticed while walking - so we moved up to the top of the beach and sat a while in the lee of the dunes - he was really interested in why I walked the beach naked and was not at all discomfited by the difference in our dress. I told him how my father had taken me to Pilchards Cove in South Devon when I was a young boy, and once exposed (!) to the nudist lifestyle (and particularly to the joy of nude sea swimming) I was hooked for life.
He said he might try a bit of nude sunbathing, and with my encouragement he did. He was a bit embarrassed by his initial arousal, but I told him to just enjoy it - it didn't bother me in the slightest - so he just lay back and after a very pleasant half-hour in the sun I got up and left him to it - hopefully a convert to the nudist way!
and of course the beach is the perfect place for some serious naked sunbathing!
If you do visit Ross Sands, please respect other users, and above all, please please please leave nothing behind - there is no-one to clear up after you!!
I hope one day to do a proper nude trail, but somehow I don't think it will be in the UK!