The B&B is a converted farm and features a sun deck, hot tub, and barbeque area, and while it’s set in a rural landscape, it is within sight of other homes. This brings it into the ongoing controversy, not limited to naturism, of where to draw the line between individual liberty and consideration of others. The owners are busy planting trees and shrubs around the property, but their efforts aren’t quick enough for the locals.
Despite the weather, naturism or nudism is quite popular in the UK. British Naturism, the official naturist organization, reports a membership of more than 16,000. There are numerous clothing-optional beaches in places like Brighton, and naturists are encouraged by the fact that there is no law explicitly banning public nudity, only indecent exposure. What this breaks down to in reality is that if you bare all in front of Buckingham Palace, you’ll be hauled away. If you hike in the nude, you’ll probably be fine. In fact, British naturists say nude hiking is quite popular, although I’ve never seen any on my hikes.
I have, however, seen nude hikers at Seven Falls in the Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona, where nudity is clearly not legal. The falls are several miles up a rugged canyon far away from public view, so the cops don’t bother doing anything about it. What with all the car thefts and meth labs in the city, they have better things to do.
So if you like to get your kit off, as the English say, don’t dismiss the UK as a travel destination. The Naturist UK Fact File has tons of information. It may get cold and rainy, but at least you won’t have to deal with the desert sun and cacti like those Arizona naturists!
Photo courtesy of Peter Rivera from the Gadling flickr pool. These are statues in the Louvre, not pasty-skinned British nudists after a long winter.