THE shortlist

METROPOLITAN LIFE TOP 10 NUDIST BEACHES

Holkham Beach, Norfolk: The Cote d'Azur of the British nudist scene, this private beach is part of Viscount Coke's Holkham Hall Estate. Favoured by royalty: Charles and Anne were regulars in the 1960s. "A dream," says nudist Kelvin Roffe.

Getting there: park on Lady Anne Road in Wells-next-the- Sea. Walk one mile through the woods.

Beach quality: u u u u

Gunton Sands, Lowestoft, Suffolk: Arrive early to get your patch of sand on an otherwise stoney beach.

Getting there: after the Lowestoft lighthouse turn on to the Corton Road B1385. Pass the golf course and enter the free car park. Walk down the concrete path, turn left and walk about 200 yards along the beach.

Beach quality: u u u

Morfa Dyffryn, Nr Llanenddwyn, Wales: One of the most popular nudist beaches in Britain. A two-mile, broad, sandy beach backed by sand dunes and marshland. Very safe and sheltered, with good camping and caravan facilities - ideal for children.

Getting there: six miles north of Barmouth with easiest access between Tal-y-Bont and Dyffryn from the A496. Head west for Benar Beach car park; walk north for 20 minutes along the foreshore.

Beach quality: u u u u u

Calshot, near Fawley, Hampshire: An idyllic beach sheltered from the woodland by fallen trees and backed by 10ft sandy cliffs. Avoid in late afternoon when it loses the sun.

Getting there: take the A326 to the SW of Southampton for Fawley. Take the B3053 and follow signs for Calshot castle. Walk SW along the beach for 20 minutes from the car park at Calshot.

Beach quality: u u u u

Cleat's Shore, Lagg, Isle of Arran: A fine sand beach situated on the southern side of the island. You have to be fit to get there, but it's worth it. The scenery is beautiful.

Getting there: there is a bus service to Lagg which drops you 45 minutes from the beach, but it's easily accessible by car.

Beach quality: u u u

Pagham Harbour, West Sussex: A quiet beach with magnificent scenery. It is a major nature reserve and, despite the name, is devoid of boats. Have some money with you to stock up with fresh fruit and veg as this is a major market gardening area.

Getting there: drive to the main car park at Church Norton then walk SW round the harbour edge to the first breakwater.

Beach quality: u u u

Portslade, West Hove, Brighton: A sand and shingle beach with plenty of sand at low tide. The family area takes up the east end of the beach while the gay area is to the west. Safe and popular.

Getting there: find the beach road at the western end of Hove Promenade via the road to the south of Shoreham Harbour.

Beach quality: u u u

Ardeer Beach, Ayrshire: A rather pebbly mile-long beach where nudists constantly battle to clear up rubbish. However, it is sheltered and there is car parking close to the beach.

Getting there: find Ardeer village which is near Stevenson and follow the boundary of the ICI building to Beach Holiday Park. From there a footpath takes you to the beach.

Beach quality: u u

St Osyth Beach, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex: A well-used, privately-owned riverbank beach with large areas of grass and plenty of facilities. You can drive right down to the beach. The hitch? The river tends to wash rubbish up.

Getting there: find Hutley's Caravan Park near St Osyth village and the beach is a short walk from there.

Beach quality: u u

Studland, Poole, Dorset: Nudists are tolerated by the National Trust, who own the nature reserves behind. There are nudity warning signs just before the area. The beach is part of a broad bay from Sandbanks to Studland village and divides naturally between nudists and textiles (non-nudists).

Getting there: access is via the chain ferry / Studland road. From the ferry car park you walk along the beach and around the point until you reach Studland Bay.

Beach quality: u u u u u

Compiled by Cayte Williams with help from the Central Council for British Naturism

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