Naturist / Nudist Beaches in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
Sefton Sands - Ainsdale - near Southport Lancashire
This beach is located a little to the north of Formby, in Lancashire. It had a long - and not altogether happy - history of use by naturists, which in recent years has included Police action.
Satnav: L37 1LJ
According to reports, some years ago a particular Merseyside Police Area Commander (based in Southport) received complaints about "[inappropriate] activity" on Ainsdale Beach. As a result he mounted a surveillance operation folowed by a raid using both mounted police and officers on foot, supported by vehicles and a police helicopter.
Several arrests and prosecutions arose from the raid and few naturists dared to venture onto Ainsdale beach while that particular police commander remained in post.
When he eventually left and was replaced by a new area commander, the new man clearly and unambiguously stated the following:
"...I have no problem with [reasonably behaved] naturists on the beach; I do not see the previous problems at Ainsdale as a naturist issue; I do not even see the problems we had as a gay issue; I do see the problem as one of people, gay or straight, men or women, singly or in a group, behaving inappropriately on the beach and in the dunes immediately adjacent to the beach..."
Having been once driven off, naturists apear to be understandably reluctant to return to Ainsdale and no-one appears to be willing to campaign for its future use.
Reports in 2005 and May 2006 suggest that naturists at Ainsdale are once more being actively persecuted by Sefton Council and the Police - chased by officers mounted on quad bikes, arrested and then pressured into admitting their "guilt" before accepting a caution.
Merseyside Police work in co-operation with all the landowners in arresting any nude people on Sefton Beach and in the dunes (which also includes Ravenmeols and Formby Point).
In 2016, the local council again re-iterated their hostility to naturism.
Will 2010-06-27 - Went to this beach on 25 June 2010. Only one other nude male, but no-one seemed to mind nakedness.. A return of true naturists to this fabulous beach is well overdue!
Matt and Suzie 2010-07-27 - We have sunbathed naked as a couple this year in May and June without problems. If you walk some distance from the main parking areas, usually past the barrier, then you should be fine. A few guys there naturist too but we got no hassle at all. Police on quad bikes on the beach but as long as naturists are discreet then there shouldn't be a problem.
Matt and Suzie 2010-09-08 - Another day today (9th Sep) spent on the beach or rather in the dunes and no issues at all. Helps that the kids have gone back to school and it was nice and quiet.
ShaunC 2011-09-14 07:42 - Can anyone advise if this beach is still safe to visit as a nudist? I can't find any information regarding the patrols and police activity over recent times.
Tag and upload photos to the UK Naturist Beach group on Flickr. Photos should be of the beach, or show the way to it. They should NOT have people in them.
These Flickr photos, which have been tagged as 'safe', were all taken nearby.