There is an unmistakable primal appeal to being out in the great outdoors, enjoying the beautiful vistas and the sweeping panorama, away from the hustle and bustle of city life and at one with nature. That sense of peace and oneness with the natural world is even more apparent when you are naked.
For many naturists, naturism is about embracing the natural world. For them it is not just about getting an all over tan. For people who love the ‘nature’ in naturism there are few things better than going out for a walk in the countryside naked. It is exhilarating, liberating, uplifting and if you are in England or Wales (sadly not Scotland) it is also completely legal.
I recently joined a group of friends in going for a naked walk in the Brecon Beacons, up to the top of Pen y Fan, the highest point in South Wales. It was a sweltering hot day, so we were all glad to strip off. Along the top ridge there was a gentle breeze and the walk was delightful. We encountered several groups of hikers and walkers. The first to meet us remarked “Nice day for it.” an chatted with us for a bit. A group of younger men greeted us with a cheerful “Good effort lads.” At the peak of Pen y fan a couple of hikers suggested to their shirtless friend that he should join us, as he was already half naked. There were a few smirks and second glances, some others may not have approved, but there were none who raised any objection.
One thing I will say is make sure to use sun screen. You may find yourself getting unusual tan lines from your backpack. It is also very easy to rub off the sunscreen if you are repeatedly removing your pack to get water etc, so be sure to rub a bit more on your shoulders from time to time.
Where to walk: In theory you can walk naked anywhere in the UK, however if you want to avoid confrontations it is better to stick to more remote areas. Nudity in the UK is only illegal if there is the intent to cause distress, although the general public may not know this. By going to a remote area you are minimising the amount of people who see you and thus clearly making an attempt to avoid causing undue distress. After all, most people don’t want to end up like Stephen Gough. Last year Nigel Keer was arrested in Yorkshire by an off duty policeman for hiking naked and was fined, however the charges against him were overturned. Because it was in open countryside in broad daylight the judge decided there was clearly no intent to cause alarm and that the policeman had overreacted.
The advantage of more remote areas is that the people who visit them tend to be more adventurous. They are far less likely to be shocked by the sight of a few naked people. In a recent trip in the Brecon Beacons we encountered several groups of walkers an in general their attitude towards us was quite positive. However, in accessible rural areas near where people live you are likely to met local dog walkers etc, who can be less tolerant. If local people routinely go to that area they are more likely to be upset by encountering any group using it in a way that they object to, whether it be for biking, partying or nude hiking. Despite it being legal to be naked in England and Wales some naturist hiking groups encourage you to cover up when encountering other walkers.
Source: Naked Historia
Original publication 15 July, 2013
Posted on NatCorn 7th April 2021
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