How about our own list for North America? Australlia and New Zealand? Let's here about your favorite places to skinny-dip.
My favorite . . . the wide and sandy flood plains of the North Fork of the Skykomish River below Jacks Pass (Google Map)
From the Guardian
Kate Rew reveals her top 10 places to take off all your clothes and go skinny dipping – and invites suggestions for more
- Monday June 16 2008
Skinny dipping appeals to a whole bunch of people who are not into nudism. There are a whole host of reasons to abandon your bathers – it's dark, they're already wet, you haven't got them. Or it just feels better.
There's an Adam and Eve quality to wild swimming: on a riverbank bodies stop being objectified and start being appreciated as brilliant vehicles you get to go places and do things in. Inhibitions fall away as fast as the wind flaps away towels.
So take a quick look around, check you're not offending anyone - then strip off, and jump in …1. Fishing Cove, Gwithian, Cornwall
For me, a tan isn't a tan without a tanline: brown bodies and white bottoms bouncing headlong towards water have a wayward abandon that is lost when no part of the body has been kept private from sun. But while you may want to sunbathe with your pants on, going to a beach where you can swim with them off is still a pleasure. Naturist beach Fishing Cove, 1km from Gwithian (east along the coast from Navax Point about halfway between Portreath and Hayle on the B3301) is hidden away down a steep cliff with a secret garden approach, great jumping rocks, a bay to swim to and every chance of seeing Atlantic grey seals, which haul out at Godrevy Point nearby. Clothes can be worn.2. Llyn Morwynion, Snowdonia, Gywnedd
There are multitude of reasons to use birthday suits rather than bathing suits in the llynnoedd (lakes) around Wales: long hot hikes benefit from having little to carry, and the one big downside of skinny dipping (offending others) is unlikely where llynoedd are remote. In amongst the gruff bare rocks, heather roots, sky and bogs, polka dot bikinis seem out of place, and skin becomes the more elegant vehicle.
Llyn Arenig Fach, Llyn Hywel and Llyn Edno are all high, wild and atmospheric places to disrobe, but my favourite is Morwynion (OS map OL18, SH658303 – note there is a reservoir of the same name in the area). There is a good hike across crow country to get there, and a rock jetty that heats up in summer – good both to lie on, and for a graceful (rather than hobbling) entry into the water.3. Lady Falls, Brecon Beacons, Powys
There are a multitude of bathing spots within Coed Y Rhaeadr ("wood of the waterfalls"), all recommended by dedicated river swimmer Rob Fryer. The ultimate for a skinny dip is one mile into the wood at the paths end: Lady Falls, a round pool surrounded by trees and steep banks, with the River Neath falling about 40ft from a huge-flat, overhanging ledge. "Almost a spiritual experience," says Rob.4. Blackmoss Pot, Stonethwaite, Cumbria
There was a time when skinny dipping was less about pleasure than a back-to-nature wash. Unzipping a tent flap and plunging straight into a mountain stream or lake provides a mix of both, the delight only intensified if someone's brewed tea by the time you get back out. In Scotland there is a legal right to wild camp, in England and Wales it's generally accepted in places like the Lake District, Dartmoor and Snowdonia. So you could try a wild camp at Blackmoss Pot, a popular climbers' dipping spot in the Lake District. The pool is sheltered pool, the water is crystal clear, there are great jumping rocks, and a 20 metre swimming channel between high rocks.
The Scottish Right to Roam is based on responsibilities as well as rights, see yours as a wild camper at the outdoor access Scotland website.5. Newnham Riverbank Club, Cambridge
Star jumps may be a problem in view of passing punts, but Newnham Riverbank Club, on the green and dreamy Cam, is an English skinny-dipping haven. Just £16 will buy a year's membership for the club grounds, and ready access to the tea and cake that are a frequent fixture of the clipped lawns. Elegant steps lead into the water, and there is delicious swimming up to Grantchester meadows (where Virginia Woolf and Rupert Brooke swam naked in a river smelling of 'mint and mud') surrounded by billowy banks, kingfishers and dragonflies.
And all of this can be done naked, as the club operates a "clothing optional policy", dropping their towels and slipping into the water discreetly when there's a gap in the traffic (more than one swimmer has had to tread water while becoming increasingly chilly to avoid causing offence when getting out).6. Berneray Beach, Berneray, Outer Hebrides
The Outer Hebrides are so remote that the beaches are tracked by deer and sheep rather than people. The landscape of white sand beaches, electric blue water and peat bogs is littered with stone circles and animal bones. It's a place that emits a primeval call: go skinny dipping. Clothes seem out of place here, an unnecessary impediment between you and the elements. I relished the bittersweet pleasure of cold water here more than anywhere, with thermals, ski gloves and thermoses for afterwards, the exposure itself becomes an unmitigated pleasure.
Berneray Beach has white sand, crystal clear sea, seals, fresh Atlantic winds bringing in forbidding storms and squinting sunshine in quick succession, and three miles of beach for those that fancy a very long streak.7. The Thames, Oxfordshire
Water seems to change consistency in moonlight, lapping over hands like ripples in mercury, and night swims have their own sounds: in the early evening crickets strike up as the thrum of distant traffic dies down, by nightfall the wet slap of water against riverbank is newly heard in the hush. The only safe place to indulge a night swimming urge is perhaps a spot that's well known to the swimmers, and for friends and I that's a stretch on the Thames: we go during summer when there's a full moon, rolling down tops and throwing clothes back on the banks, the silkiness of the river all the more delicious for being naked in the black water.8. Wellsfoot Island, Dartmoor
Forget driving and getting stuck on coastal roads: for a happy summer find yourself a nearby inland beach. Passing Wellsfoot Island, an improbable sandy beach on the River Dart, the other day some swimmers and I came across a group who had done just that, and were lounging under a red tarpaulin, with sun hats and books. Swimming in the Dart, which drains straight from the sky down through moor land, is a bit like taking a mineral water bath – all the better, perhaps, to do so unimpeded by clothes? To find Wellsfoot Island, park at New Bridge and take the path on the east side of the river through ancient Holne Woods, passing Horseshoe Falls (a possible natural Jacuzzi come spa bath when river flow is low) until you reach the beach.9. Lumb Falls, near Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire
This quiet circular swimming pool is overhung with ferns and ivy, with mossy cliffs sprouting small waterfalls like a Japanese garden. The water is brown and cold, but a great place to strip off and plunge in, massaging shoulders and the crown of your head under the falls.10. Covehithe Beach, Suffolk
Local birdwatchers in hidden stake-outs with binoculars that wander away from the marsh may not thank me for saying, but Covehithe Beach is a great beach for skinny dipping. With a short explosive run from crumbling cliff to brown sea one's dignity (and others sensibilities) are likely to go unharmed here on quiet days. It's a great beach for shoreline swimming, and the brown sea and crumbling cliffs provide a post-apocalyptic beauty.
· Know a better skinny dip? Please suggest your favourite spots on the Outdoor Swimming Society swimming map.
· Kate Rew is founder of the Outdoor Swimming Society and author of Wild Swim: River, Lake, Lido and Sea: the best places to swim outdoors in Britain. (Guardian Books, £16.99).