LivingTravelUK Nude Beaches - Birling Gap on England's South...

UK Nude Beaches – Birling Gap on England's South Coast

Birling Gap, between Brighton and Eastbourne on the south coast, is a quiet and picturesque beach on the National Trust protected coast. The beach, south of East Dean in East Sussex, is close enough to Brighton to satisfy nudists who are disappointed by Brighton’s own Black Rock Beach (which is ignored by a busy road and rude obscene). The only things that look out over Birling Gap are the glistening white chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters. In fact, if you are looking for a splendid place to enjoy one of the best views of the iconic Seven Sisters cliffs, this is it.

Although it is not an official nude beach, it has been used by “naturists” for years. Birling Gap and much of the nearby South Downs area are owned by the National Trust. There is open access to both the beach and the Downs. The few walkers in the area are used to seeing naked bathers and will not be surprised as long as they remain in the area that has been turned into a nude beach by mutual agreement. It’s actually hidden in a crease in the cliffs, out of sight of the beach access ladder.

How private is it?

As nudism is unofficial here, please be aware of UK laws on public nudity and good manners on the nude beach. It’s a good idea to have a lid on hand, just in case. One thing you shouldn’t worry about is getting checked out or overlooked by drones. That National Trust has a strict policy prohibiting almost all drones from flying over all of its lands and beaches on the south coast. The only exception they say is: “… contractors or personnel who meet the strict criteria of the CAA, have specific insurance and have been commissioned or authorized by the Trust for a specific purpose, and in these cases the activity is strictly controlled” . Read their full drone policy here.


Birling Gap Nude Beach Essentials

  • Description: A relatively narrow pebble beach under the magnificent cliffs of the south coast. There are some patches of sand at low tide as well as a sharp rock shelf to be avoided. The water quality is excellent, but swimming can be dangerous due to the rocks. During low tide, the rock pools are good for trying to catch crabs, prawns, and shrimp. This is a very peaceful place and visitors often have the beach to themselves.
  • Facilities: There is inexpensive, pay and display parking at the National Trust, as well as a cafeteria and restrooms at the National Trust Visitor Center, once the Birling Gap Hotel. You can buy a packed lunch from the cafe to take to the beach, but remember to remove the wrappers and trash The visitor center and cafe are open daily from 10 am to 4 or 5 pm depending on the time of year . The rural and beach areas are open from dawn to dusk, all year round.
  • Caveats: Rocks have been known to fall off the face of cliffs, so try to avoid the area of falling rock when choosing your spot. A patch of very sharp rocks makes it difficult to get in and out of the water. The best times are at high tide, when the rocks are far below the surface, or at low tide, when they are exposed to view. Check the tide tables for Eastbourne nearby (4.7 miles away) which will be similar.
  • Get there: Birling Gap is on the south coast, off the A259 between Eastbourne and Seaford. In the town of East Dean, turn south following the signs for ‘Went Hill’ and ‘Birling Gap’. Birling Gap was once a town with a small hotel. But the cliffs at this point are eroding and falling into the sea at a rate of about 3 feet per year. All that remains is a small terrace of unoccupied cabins, some of which have already been demolished as the cliffs tumble into the sea. On the shore, you reach the beach via a closed metal staircase next to the National Trust visitor center. If you see the bathers dressed on this beach, they will be near these stairs. Turn right at the bottom of the stairs and walk about 500 yards to the beginning of the nude bathing area. The further you walk in this direction, the quieter and more deserted the beach will be.
  • Visite el sitio web de National Trust Birling Gap.

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