Naturist / Nudist Beaches in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland

Calshot Hampshire

nuff-beach
nuff-calshot

Quiet pebble beach on the west side of the Solent Estuary

Calshot naturist beach lies on the north shore of the Solent estuary, south from Southampton. Another traditional nude beach a little to the west - at Lepe - is said to have been 'occupied' by textile beach-goers of late.

Getting There

O.S. Map Ref: SZ 472998 to SU 473003, StreetMap, GoogleMap

From the M27 west of Southampton at Junction 2, turn south onto the A326 to Marchwood, Hythe and Fawley. At Fawley bear right onto the B3053 to Calshot. As you approach the beach, there is a paying car park on the right but if you continue past this and turn right into a short one way system, it is usually possible to park along the road, free of charge.

By the cafe, there is a gap in the beach huts allowing access to the beach. Walk the full length of the beach in a south-westerly direction, probably no more than half a mile, towards the Isle of Wight in the distance. The naturist section starts around the first of the (very dilapidated) groynes. This is past a very elaborate mock-Grecian boathouse and the enormous beach gates to a clifftop house called Nelson's Rest.

DO NOT venture beyond the large fence across the beach, beyond which is a nature reserve.

"When I went for my first aimless stroll along the beach, I eventually fetched up at the southern boundary, where I paused for a while. Unlike Studland, this boundary isn't between nuddies and textiles, but between a public-access area and a nature reserve. Going into the reserve (which stretches down to low-water mark) is prohibited, and there's a substantial full-height fence so the boundary is very clear."

For those without a car, the beach can be reached by cycle from Hythe. Get to Hythe on the ferry from Southampton, which has adequate public transport links. Bit of a climb from Hythe up to the main road, then relatively flat. No specific bike parking, so lock it/them to roadsigns etc.

Access Issues

[Jul-20] Had some feedback about access problems. A weathered sign dating back to a 1930's refers to a court case which decided that both the shore and (unusually) foreshore were private. There is permitted access along the rather pretty beach as far as the nature reserve wall (no access). It seems naturists are no longer welcome in this section.

The England Coast Path review has not helped - the route is inland (!) at this point. I think the fact that the owners use a section of their beach as a no-access "nature reserve" greatly helped their case to keep the public out. Technically, the nature reserve fence shouldn't go below the high tide mark as it hinders the absolute right of marine navigation - even over private foreshore at high tide :)

This webpage on the beach's geology has a picture of the sign.

Description

The beach faces just east of south. Much of the beach is pebbles, but some sand appears at low tide (and can be found underfoot further out).

"The water's not as clear/clean as Studland, and you need plastic sandals to cope with the
stones, sandcastles are impossible except in a couple of places at  particular states of the tide, but it's still a lovely place..."

At high tide there can be very little beach exposed between sea and cliff/vegetation - so check tide tables. The top of the beach has a relatively steep slope, but at low tide the slope is very slight - you may need to wade out some way to get to swimming depth. The beach is backed by trees and scrub - but this area belongs to the nearby Estate and naturists should refrain from trespassing on private property for the sake of the tolerated use of the beach. There are good views of the Isle of Wight, sailing and the occasional cruise liner. Reports suggest the beach is often quiet mid-week, becoming more popular at weekends  "with the inevitable 'rubbernecks' on Jetskis and speedboats".

Facilities

The nearest facilities are where you entered the beach, a small cafe selling ices, teas, burgers, chips etc, and toilets in the pay car park.

Water Quality

Calshot is probably the last mainland beach for tens of miles to have something of the clean water characteristics of Studland and Hengistbury Head. Even at Calshot, there is significant variation in appearance (and temperature) of water with state of tide. Summer 1999: water meets Environment Agency "guideline quality" standard.

Map

Comments

Please leave a comment via the email address below. (Facebook comments no longer work in Europe, incl. the UK)

Photos

Tag and share your photos to the UK Naturist Beaches group on Flickr.

Photos should be of the beach, or show the way to it. They should NOT have people in them.

nuff-beach
nuff-calshot

Nearby Photos

These photos, which have been tagged as 'safe', were all taken nearby.

Loading...
Now would be a good time for a cup of tea.

Guidebooks