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

Weston Mouth Beach - near Sidmouth Devon (south coast)

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1km flat walk, then steep downhill trail, to secluded beach

Weston Mouth is an isolated beach on the East Devon coast between Sidmouth and Seaton. Its tradition of nude use is well-known locally and has continued without significant problem for many years.

Getting There

Satnav: EX10 0PH, OS Map Ref: SY 160878

Access is possible on foot from the Coastal Footpath or from the hamlet of Weston.

On the A3052 approx. 2 miles from Sidford (nr.Sidmouth) turn right (south), signposted 'Branscombe' and 'Donkey Sanctuary'. Along this lane, take the third turning right to Weston (Grammar Lane) Limited free parking is available in the small and well shaded National Trust car park (on the right). This quickly fills up - it has space for about twenty cars - and additional parking is available at the nearby Higher Weston Farm (50 yards east of the NT carpark, just beyond the new barn conversions), in return for a modest donation in the charity box.

Please do not park on verges and in gateways - this causes great inconvenience.

From the car park, the coast is about a mile away via a footpath down Weston Combe, plus a futher 1/4 to 1/2 mile to the naturist section. Follow the track from the NT car park, gently downhill until you reach the last field before the cliff top. At that point turn to the right - down the slope - to where a short cliff path with "cut-in" steps leads down to the beach. The return is, of course steeply uphill and is unsuitable for the infirm, pushchairs or very young children on foot. "You pay for your day's relaxation and nuddying with some stiff exercise."

On reaching the beach, most naturists strike out to the west (right). Nude use is often acceptable from a point about 100 yards beyond the slate-roofed former Coastguard building and as far as the headland. The farther end is the favoured place for gay males.

Some naturists also use the section of the beach to the east (left) of the access - especially at busier times when the traditional area can become (relatively) crowded. On such days, the 'textiles' in the centre of the beach are surrounded on both sides by the nuddies!

Description

Like almost all the beaches along this coast, this is a pebble/shingle beach that at high tide shelves quite steeply - swimmers are out of their depth within a few yards of the water's edge. Those with tender feet may find the shingle hard to walk on: "old trainers or beach shoes to walk to and from the water are a must. The pebbles are agony on unprotected feet, especially coming out of the water. Flip-flops and sandals are useless because the smaller pebbles get trapped and hurt like hell. If you've got something you can keep on while in the water all the better. Getting into and out of the sea can be tricky because of the stones under foot."

At lower tides the beach shelves gradually and some sand may be exposed. The cliffs provide shelter from Northerly offshore winds but the vegetation at the back of the beach affords little if any shade - be prepared to provide your own protection. There is excellent co-existence between naturists - who can number over a hundred at peak times - and similar numbers of textiles - some of whom can be observed becoming naturists! This beach is largely free from 'gawkers' and similar problems - no doubt because it requires some effort to reach, but perhaps also because there is nowhere to "lurk". Everyone who is at the beach is on the beach!

If you can make the hike, Weston would be an ideal place to experience beach nudity for the first time. You may safely walk nude as far as the western headland - (where extensive rock pools are exposed at low tide) - but please take care not to 'confront' the occasional textile walker who may be appear with little warning from around the headland.
"I have never felt threatened and have wandered freely around the rocks unclad. The freedom to wander around the beach at one with nature is one of its best points."
Most of the land to the rear of the beach - and by inference the beach itself above high water - is National Trust property. Part of it also includes a nature reserve.

This part of the coast came to international attention in January 2007 when the container ship MSC Napoli was deliberately beached just offshore when it was in danger of breaking up in rough seas. Salvage work and cutting up of the remaining wreck was not finally completed until July 2009.

In early 2005, a sign was placed at the point where the coastal path meets the beach. Beneath a National Trust logo, it said: "IN ORDER TO AVOID EMBARRASSMENT TO FAMILY GROUPS, NATURISTS ARE ASKED TO KEEP TO THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THIS BEACH IN AN AREA 250 YARDS BEYOND THIS NOTICE." While this notice might have been put up with the best of intentions, a number of regular beach users have expressed their outrage at the implication that they are not families, are in some way unfit to mix with family groups and are an "embarrassment". Others have pointed out that this notice has only the force of a "polite request" and cannot be enforced. The sign has appeared and disappeared at intervals since.

Naturists who visit Weston will, of course, wish to act considerately in relation to other beach users. As at any naturist beach you are encouraged to remind those whose behaviour falls short of the normal high standards that giving offence to others is not acceptable.

Facilities

There are no facilities on the beach or in Weston. Nearest facilities are in the village of Sidford on the A3052. Nearest pub is the Fountain Head on the road to Branscombe. Several (textile) caravan/campsites are available in the vicinity - Kings Down Tail on the A3052 1/2 mile inland from Weston is well recommended .

Water Quality

Water quality is as good as anywhere along this coast and better than most - owing to the remoteness of Weston from any discharge points. Subjectively, the water at Weston is generally clean - particularly since the outfall at Sidmouth is now treated . At high tide and when the sea is calm, the water can be crystal clear.

"The cloudiness of the water varies considerably with the state of the tide. At times I have known it clear enough to see several feet wearing goggles. Mostly, though, there is water-borne sand and you can only see about a foot."

Swimming can be hazardous when the sea is rough as a result of the difficulty of entering and leaving the water through breaking waves.

Map

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Photos

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Nearby Photos

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

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