Naturist / Nudist Beaches in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
Long Rock Beach - Swalecliffe Kent
Short walk out to a beach on a small flat headland - a rare quiet / rural spot on the north Kent coast. Overlooked with no cover by a new coast path.
Long Rock beach, on the north coast of Kent, is situated in a small nature reserve / headland, mid-way between Whitstable and Herne Bay. The Saxon Shore / Coast Path path runs though through the reserve, and has been re-routed right next to the beach, but seperated by a narrow river. There is almost no privacy.
At one time its use by naturists was officially recognised by Canterbury City Council, but this is no longer the case. The change in status is said to have been the result of the activities of "a few morons" who gave offence to walkers passing on the footpath. However, the "Naturism is not condoned on this beach" signs have gone.
Satnav: CT5 2QH (Marine Crescent) or CT5 2NY (Plough Lane)
Travelling by car, Swalecliffe can be reached by way of the A2990, from junction 7 of the M2. Turn off at the Chestfield roundabout. and pass under the railway, then immediately turn to the right into St John's Road. Car parking (Plough Lane) is fairly limited, but there is more space behind the beach huts in Marine Parade towards Tankerton (west of Swaleciffe and about 1 mile from the beach).
The nearest railway station is Chestfield and Swalecliffe about 1/2 mile inland. Turn right outside the station, cross the road at the mini roundabout, turning left then right into St Johns Rd. At the of the road follow the footpath in either direction to arrive at the signs [mentioned above] which designate the "not condoned" beach.
Buses stop at the Plough Inn (1/4 mile along Plough lane where it meets the roundabout with St Johns Rd, then follow the directions given above along the footpath.)
Either way involves about a 5 minute walk, but if the tide is in one has to walk the entire length of the beach on the footpath south of the stream which divides the beach from the mainland and cross the wooden bridge which leads to the beach if coming from the Tankerton end. This is necessary for about an hour either side of high tide.
Sometimes it is possible to cross the stream at the Tankerton end by paddling, but the council dredge this once a year and it effectively cuts the beach off at that end at high tide for a few months until the sea silts it up again.
The beach itself isn't the most picturesque, consisting of pebbles with sand and exposed mud at low tide. It also tends to be windy with no natural shelter, so windbreaks are useful. The tide goes out quite a long way as the beach is quite gently sloping. On the plus side it is easy to get to with no climbing or marathon walking involved, there are views of shipping in the Thames Estuary, the Isle of Sheppey (Leysdown is usually visible) and the remains of WW2 gun emplacements off the coast.
Since the re-routing of the coast path, the beach is no longer really suitable for naturists.
Please leave a comment via the email address below. (Facebook comments no longer work in Europe, incl. the UK)
I visited [Long Rock] last year and found a few men who had dug out the shingle to lay in. One chap was very pleasant and helpful and told me about discretion and a good place to settle but another came over soon after and was very nasty saying they did not want "intruders" there. I just wanted a quiet place with my book and to enjoy a bit of sunshine for an hour or so but felt intimidated and left. I guess if more people use this, rather like Botany Bay, it will keep it established for future use by like minded folk. I do intend to visit again.
Only the sign at the Tankerton end of the beach is missing. The one at the Swalecliffe (eastern) end is still there. Whether or not the kitesurfers are there depends on the wind direction, and strength. Some days this year there have been more than ever. Note that the Swalecliffe Brook has just been dredged (June '09), so, at least at high water, you don't get as many people walking through the naturist area.
The "Naturism is not condoned" signs have gone, as have the kiteboarders. The beach has grown significantly over the last 2 years with 2 new ridges of shingle spits having been deposited by the sea, affording more protection from the wind. The beach is still in use, mainly by the same few. No unpleasant smells from the sewage works in recent years.
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.
These photos, which have been tagged as 'safe', were all taken nearby.
Updates and Trip Reports
Tag and share your photos
UK Naturist Beaches on Flickr
Follow us on Facebook
The beach descriptions originally came from the closed NUFF website.
Thanks to its authors.