Naturist / Nudist Beaches in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
Leysdown / Shell Ness - Isle of Sheppey Kent
A long drive to a flat shingle beach at the far end of the island. 15-20 mins level walk along the beach path from parking.
This 'official' naturist beach is located near Leysdown-on-Sea at the far eastern end of the Isle of Sheppey on the north Kent coast. The beach is half a mile beyond (south-east) of the main beach at Leysdown near to the place identified on maps as 'Shell Ness' and the beach is also known as Shellness.
The Isle of Sheppey is reached via the A249 road from the A2 or junction 5 of the M2 near Sittingbourne. Follow signposts for Sheerness. Once over the Swale channel turn right on to the B2231 for to Leysdown-on-Sea.
Arriving at Leysdown, follow the road through the town and along the beach, for about one mile. The road veers away from the beach a bit then comes to a T-junction [of sorts] opposite the entrance to a caravan park. You follow the road (Shellness Road) round to the left here and the road ( in reality an unmade track) steadily deteriorates.
The nearest parking is a public car park at ME12 4RR on the coast road just before Muswell Manor Holiday park. The road leaves then rejoins the coast, where there are a few more parking spaces. After this point, the coast road is private, and, as of 2021, some locals are discouraging public access. The car park right by the beach has been dug up, so its about a 15-20 min walk to the beach. This also effects access to The Swale National Nature Reserve. From the car park, walk south eastwards past some old wooden holiday chalets. The Shellness free beach starts one hundred metres from the chalets. There are 'naturist beach' signs.
"Unfortunately, there is no longer parking at the beach itself. New visitors or those returning for the first time this year will find that the plentiful and very convenient parking below the dunes beside the (sea road / track ) to the private hamlet has been dug up to make it unusable. The nearest (legal) parking is in Shellness Car Park or beside the sea wall on the way out of Leysdown - about a 15-20 mins walk to the beach. That still makes it quite accessible by naturist beach standards but it's still a disappointment. -- Jul'21
This beach is a mixture of sand, shingle, shells and - in places - mud. A recent visitor described it as 'small (fairly) clean sandy(ish) beach, over some dunes'. The scenery is typical of the Thames estuary - there are good views of Whitstable and of shipping in the Thames. At low tide the sea can be a long way out. Beach walkers on their way to Shell Ness may pass the beach but there are no reported problems. 'Free Sun' reported that the beach was sometimes used by '750 bods' - more recent reports suggest regular use by 20-30 naturists, with up to 100 at busy weekends.
Leysdown Naturists Facebook Group [private]
England Coast Path
The England Coast Path creates a right of way along the "private" coast road to Shell Ness (village), and a path behind the village to a viewpoint. The coast path continues around the entire island. See ECP - Shellness section, maps 6B and 6C
No facilities are available on the beach, the nearest are to be found in Leysdown.
Water quality is affected by detritus from London and ship litter. Leysdown meets the minimal EEC standard.
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what do you expect idea is get naked and enjoy the time.Dont care about what other thinks. have fun..
It's well signposted. Follow the road to the end, past the cafe. Details at
There is a cafe at the start of the road. I went Summer 2016 and was plagued by flies! (mentioned in an earlier post).
Hi went today for first time enjoyed it going again def thought I'd be put off by other blokes looking but can honestly say didn't mind at all will try talking to people next time even had a walk along beach
Adrian Pearson: Hi, I went there a few weeks ago with my lady partner and was a bit put off by a large man standing around [...] using binoculars too. We stood at the edge trying to decide whether to give it a go for the first time or not but decided otherwise with mr creepy trying to get attention. [...] . It was a shame, we were quite excited about doing this for the first time, we could vaguely see other people among the gr
Jason Leo : I used to live in leysdown and have recently been going to the beach and i see couples and guys chilling out nobody bothers anybody. [...] I dont really understand the whole redacted comments because how is that giving a honest review about the beach? regardless of whether you want to hide it or not it happens and i have never seen 1 single argument there about it
Hi Mandy. You dont have to go naked if you dont want to. I'm a big lad and was very self concious about my body. My first visit saw me hiding behind a windbreak but having seen bodies of all shapes and sizes, I soon realized that it doesnt matter what you look like. I now sit on the beach or swim in the knowledge that it doesn't matter how you look/feel. If you went to the very end of the road till you can't go any further, you have got to the right place. There are signs showing the official nude beach limits.
New to this been once at night do I need to go completely naked Noone was there was I at the wrong bit
This is a small nudist beach and is frequented by many couples and feels safe and friendly. It is more enjoyable when the tide is in as this makes swimming much easier. The down side is that there can be swarms of small black flies but these disappear in the afternoon. Dogs are welcome as long as they are well behaved. Unlike many nudist beaches parking is easy and very close. Inappropriate behaviour is not accepted and anybody behaving in an antisocial way will be left in no doubt that their actions are unacceptable.
Hi. This is a fantastic beach and it would be great to get to know the people I share it with. I have therefore created a facebook group for that reason. You can share stories and pictures. etc.
-| Visited today, my second time. I was the only person there but an hour [... inappropriate behaviour ...] I looked up half an hour later and they had left thankfully. I left the dunes and went for a naked paddle in the sea. The beach is full of shells but has some nice sand. Ithe water was surprisingly mild. The first time I visited this beach (last week) was my first public nude experience. I was very nervous about being nude. Especially as I am oversight, but once I found a nice dip in the dunes I soon had my clothes off and was loving it. After a couple of hours I was even feeling confident enough to walk to the rubbish bin with nothing on. I was anazed at my new confidence. I think it was because nobody stares at others and people are just doing there own thing. Seems s great beach and friendly place. Apart from the [ .... ], this is a fantastic place and I would recommend it to anybody to try.i intend to get there every time the weather looks nice. [redacted version of the original comment -ed]
First time ever on a naturist beach today!! I've thought about it for a long time, but today after much planning I went to Leysdown East beach after reading about it on Nuff. It is easter weekend so I was slightly apprehensive as I've never gone naked before and I thought the beach would be busy and possibly with kids on which would've kept me covered.I was pleasantly surprised to see just a few chilled out people going about naked. Initially I didn't want to be too near anyone so I carried on to a quiet spot where I took all my clothes off. It didn't take long until I got a bit more confident, got up and walked naked around the dunes,to the sea, went in and paddled then strolled around generally.
I felt extremely relaxed and very comfortable to be naked around other naked people enjoying a beautiful afternoon. So much so, when it was time to go, I put my clothes in my bag and walked naked to the sign at the beginning of the naturist section. I'll definately do it again.
11 I have visited shellness many times and only ever had a wonderful relaxing time, yes I am a gay man and no I dont go there for [redacted] however I have chatted with many like minded people both straight and gay, fab beach fab people, nice and easy to find nice and easy to enjoy ..
Quoting rara "where is the beach exactly please? how far down the track? I've been wanting to go there for ages!
It's all the way down the track! When you see what's clearly a car park head onto the grass bank and keep walking and you'll see the signs. I'm still hoping for a bit of late sun so that I can get at least one more visit in this year!
My husband and I and our son spent an afternoon on this beach. It was lovely to be able to relax in peace and get some sun. It was my husbands first time to take his kit off in public but nobody hassled us or peered. A lovely beach.
my wife and I have been to this beach many times, we have never seen any improper behaviour, we alway use a wind breaker, but just to shield the wind, I suggest if you don't want to be seen nude, you should not go, most of the walking about is just that, stretching the legs, we walk up and back every couple of hours, everyone there very friendly...
I've been there a few times and some people have told me it's better to stay to the left side of the permitted area (that's left as you look at the sea). That said I have not seen any untoward behaviour, I did get chatted up by a gay guy once but he politely moved on when I politely said I'm not interested (could of happened anywhere. I've always found people polite a few chats and a loan of a mallet for my windbreak etc. Going to check the tide table now to sort out my next visit.
Went to beach on 9/7/10 very hot day.People were friendly and I saw no problems to mention. It was a beautiful afternoon and I even had a nice swim in fairly warm water. Then the tide went out and then just mud
Quoting dana "I note that the posts that refered to the [inappropriate] activity that may have gone on in the past appear to have been rmeoved."
Our policy is not to publish comments that might be seen as encouraging or endorsing [inappropriate] activity at naturist beaches. Whether or not a comment falls into the this category is not always an easy judgement and we recognise that there is a risk that beach users may not be forewarned of inappropriate behaviour. As to advising visitors as to which section of Leysdown is less prone to improper beahviour, I have reviewed all the past comments about Leysdown (including the unpublished ones) and there doesn't seem to be any reference to one part of the beach being more better or worse in that respect.
Myself and my wife have visited this beach a few times recently, we always take a wind break [for privacy]. Other than this we have never seen any of the problems menstioned above.
Visited the beach on 03-Jul-10. People were friendly and I saw no problems to mention. It was a beautiful afternoon and I even had a nice swim in fairly warm water. I never got stuck in the mud and thought that under my feet it was quite firm when I put my feet down.
We went as a mixed couple 26/27 Jun.There were probably 4couples in their 40s (all nude) and 3 couples in their 20s (my partner being the only nude female,the other 2 wearing bikini). [redacted] We have been to this beach number of times over the years always hoping that it was just one off bad experience but it gets worse each time!
Visited 24 June - lovely day. Though I don't profess to be a naturist, I do enjoy the fact that you can take all your clothes off here and sunbathe, picnic or just read the paper, as I did, though my wife decided to keep her clothes on. We stayed at the very edge of the no clothing required part and nobody bothered us; very relaxing and lovely views of Herne Bay across the water, to the accompaniment of huge explosions from Shoeburyness, I think, across the Thames estuary.
[redacted] but this is Sheppey, what else would you expect!? If you do go for a paddle and the tide is out - it is a long and rather slippery walk to the sea across the mud! Beware.
I went there this past weekend (5/6/10) and it wasn't as busy as I thought. It was still awkward to get some room but managed it ok. The people there seemed to view me as probably just another perv as I only stayed about an hour 1/2 as it was so warm. Overall it seemed fine but there were the usual few guys who just walked up and down have a nose about. This beach should be a bit longer as everyone seems crammed in and it is nice to have a bit of space.
...I went with a friend and our feet were sinking and it felt scary! He told me once he sank in the sand to his waist and he wasnt risking it again. I have never come across any beaches where my feet have sank before, I was wondering if Leysdown is always like that where your feet sink?
Tara Even when the sea is right out you wont sink any further than ankle deep, there's a shell base under that mud.
I visited this beach on 23/05/10. I thought it was a nice beach and it was a very hot day with a nice breeze. The only downside was that I wanted to go into the sea and have a swim but I wasnt able to as when I was walking to the sea my feet kept sinking into the sand and it didnt feel safe and felt a bit like quicksand. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this?
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The beach descriptions originally came from the closed NUFF website.
Thanks to its authors.