Category Archives: H&E Naturist Magazine

Nakation – France (August 2013)

This August, I spent a fantastic fortnight in France.  After deciding that Barcelona was too expensive for a 4 night break, I looked into alternative holiday destinations.  Thankfully, with the help of a borrowed tent we were able to spend two glorious weeks in France!

Looking for a place to visit (somewhere warm, naturist and not too far from the Port) I delved into my back issues of H&E Magazine, consulted the Bare Beaches handbook and searched online, we chose Euronat.

Despite the longer than expected drive from Calais (with an overnight stop in Tours), Euronat is amazing!

The aforementioned Bare Beaches book describes Euronat as “large and modern, offering camping, caravanning and luxury self-catering chalets.  There are shops, restaurants, a big indoor pool and a spa with sea-water treatments, all set in a pine forest.  It’s a peaceful place much loved by visitors for it’s friendly atmosphere.  A great place to try naked camping.”

Getting to Euronat is quite straight forward.  Take the A10 South before heading into Royan.  Here get the ferry across the Gironde (30 Euro per car one way) to Soulac-Sur-Mer.  In Soulac, take the D101 towards Grayan-et-l’Hopital where you can then follow the signs for Euronat.

Checking-in was a breeze with staff fluent in English.  They do ask for a passport photo of each guest at check in so visitors can have their identification card produced.  If you forget, they have a passport booth on site.  The card’s are used to get access to the indoor swimming pool as well as if you leave the site on bicycles (for your car, you are given a sticker for your windscreen).

Our first impression was how large the site was – it is massive!  Following the signs to our pitch, we found where we were to spend the next fortnight.  We had booked a pitch with electricity that was surrounded by pine trees, close to the sanitary blocks and waste disposal area.  Perfect!

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No BBQ’s are allowed on site so fortunately we made full use of our borrowed cooking equipment.

The commercial centre is where the bars, restaurants and shops are located.  Here we hired bikes 7 days (highly recommended) for about 30 Euros each.  Over the course of the fortnight we ate in 3 different restaurants on site:

* Bar-Restaurant L’Oree Des Pins (standard bar food including tasty pizzas, steaks and Grande Biers!)

* El Nino (spanish style tapas)

* Fish Restaurant (probably the best meal we had during the whole fortnight.  A little over-priced but good quality)

We tended to use the on-site deli counter where you could buy cartons of couscous, greek salads, local sausages and good quality Steak Hache – this we took back to the tent and cooked under the stars.

There are 2 or 3 convenience style shops, a newsagents/tobacconist, internet cafe, hairdressers and shops selling beach towels and sarongs.  Two shops worth noting though are the Boulangerie and the Cave.  Open at 7.00am, the Boulangerie was always busy particularly first thing in the morning as visitors stocked up on baguettes, croissants and delicious patisseries.  The Cave, is Euronat’s on site off-license which houses 3 enormous vats of wine where you can pick up a 2 litre bottle of vin for 2 Euros.

A word of warning though – the shops all tend to shut around 1.00pm – 3.00pm so make sure you’re better planned as we were as we got caught out on a couple of occasions!

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At night, there was often a live band playing at L’Oree Des Pins or in the main square in a temporary outdoor stage.

Elsewhere on the site there is a Thalassotherapy centre where we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon in the spa, sauna and jacuzzi (15 Euros per person for 1/2 a day).

There is also a large indoor pool, tennis courts, mini-golf, sculpture classes, pottery, basketball courts.  The list is endless and certainly provides more than enough to keep people entertained!

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The jewel in the crown at Euronat is it’s beach.  Bare Beaches describes it as a “glorious expanse of golden sand”.  The beach is a 10 minute walk from the commercial centre of a 5 minute cycle ride.  The beach is divided into 3 sections – North, Middle and South – all have lifeguards on duty but dogs are restricted to north beach.

Due to the favourable weather, the beach was always packed (particularly where the lifeguards and safe swimming zones located), although a short walk allowed everyone their own bit of space.

When the tide is out the shore-line was full of people flying kids, exploring warm pools and playing bat and ball. A word of warning though, the tide does come in very close to the sand dunes so I’d recommend you pitch up close to the back of the beach as you can.

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The beach also has unusual concrete blocks that have been graffitied, but actually make a nice addition.

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As with this part of the coast the waves can get quite big so it was no surprise that may visitors to the beach were enjoying the waves either body-boarding or taking part in one of the surf schools.

Also, this west-facing beach also allows visitors to witness the most amazing sunsets – we thoroughly recommend taking a patisserie and a bottle of wine down to the beach, sit back and watch one of nature’s wonders.

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There is a fairly relaxed approach to nudity – it is only compulsory in the indoor swimming pool and the spa.  There are signs at the beach although there was some teenagers and females wearing bikini bottoms.  This issue has led to a petition being started by (I assume) regulars of chalet owners at Euronat to campaign to the owners to enforce strict full nudity across the whole site.

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I’m not too sure that this is the way forward for Euronat – the place works because it is family friendly, relaxed and people feel comfortable.  I think if nudity was made compulsory, many people would be put off, particularly those with teenagers children and partners who do not want to be naked all the time.  In evening, 99.9% of visitors are fully clothed (it did get quite chilly at night) and to be honest I think that if you go out for a meal then clothes should be worn in the evening.

Overall, Euronat is a fantastic place to enjoy a naturist holiday.  There is a wonderful atmosphere full of people of all ages and walks of life.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.

If you have been to Euronat, we’d love to hear your thoughts as well as any views on whether nudity at Euronat should be made compulsory.

Nakation Event – Brighton Naked Bike Ride (June 2013)

After taking part in the Manchester Naked Bike Ride last year (click here for blog article), I really wanted to take part in the big one – Brighton!

On Sunday 9th June, I joined 600 or so others and circled round the gorgeous city in a protest against oil dependency and car culture.  WNBR’s take place around the world are a celebration of the bicycle as well as the power and individuality of the human body.

During the ride and immediately post ride, I have to say the whole experience was on the whole really good.  However, upon reflection I have changed my mind about participating in further rides.

The main issue that I have is with the number of intrusive photographers that the ride attracts.

The event met at Preston Park whereby the organisers had created a tented area for participants to get changed/body-painted which offered some privacy.  In addition, stewards walked around with placards asking for photographers to get permission before taking photos.  Non-participants were told to stand around the perimeter of the participants circle.  I acknowledge that the start of the ride is in the middle of a public park so making it fully private is very difficult but getting changed in front of onlookers and photographers was a little daunting.

I am mindful of my ‘day job’ and so have made sure to wear a mask at this and previous rides.  As much as I enjoy the rides, there is the sense of fear afterwards that someone is going to recognise me!

I’m not opposed to people taking photos of the event either (capturing the moment, etc) it is the photographers who turn up with their tele-photo lenses taking close up photos of female participants.  It was very noticeable that when a female participant arrived and started to undress, the photographers started twitching.

Whilst the thrill of cycling around Brighton fully naked is exhilarating, I really wouldn’t want to be a female participant – particularly if i wanted to do it as the WNBR states – ‘As Bare As You Dare’.

I am also mindful of a blog by a fellow naturist – The Naked Imp in which the author decided against participating in the 2013 Manchester Ride due to the number of close up photos of female participants that appear on porn-related websites.  I think that this is a real shame that someone who wants to participate (either as a naturist or to support car-free cultures, or both) has decided against it due to the presence of intrusive photographers.  With this in mind, I have decided to disguise all participants in the accompanying images.

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After cycling down from Preston Park, we came to the first rest spot – Hove Lawns

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Before heading back into Brighton to the second stop – Old Steine

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It was here, that I felt the most uncomfortable to be honest.  We were stood around for about 30 mins in amongst shoppers and photographers (see images above).  I actually put my shorts back on due to feeling exposed.  I didn’t see the need to stay at Old Seine for this length of time, especially as I was stood next to an elderly Brightonian who repeatedly asked me “if there were many ladies participating this year”.  I changed the subject to being from Manchester and was then asked whether there were any mixed-sex saunas in Manchester, and randomly, what the architecture was like! In addition, the PA was too quiet to listen to any of the speeches.

I was glad then, to leave the 2nd stop and head towards Kemp Town and the naturist beach

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Finishing the ride, I spent half an hour of so drinking a few celebratory beers.  However, the breeze got up so I decided to leave.

I was also put out by again, the number of photographers who were lined up along the beach taking photos of participants.  I know that participants know what they are signing up to, and the importance that the media can play in raising awareness of the cause, however, when there is a bank of photographers stood at the beach taking close-up photos, I think things are going too far.

What did amuse me (after the initial shock) was a guy post-ride sunbathing next to me who was sporting an erection who was asked if he could have his photo taken.  The guy replied no which, given the exhibitionist nature with which he was lying, I thought was a bit bizarre!

On the whole, the event was enjoyable and the response from people in the streets, stood outside bars was fantastic.  The sheer number of participants also made the event amazing and much better than Manchester.  The organisation was great with fantastic stewards and Policing.  However, if you are a female reading this, I’d think carefully about taking part given the number of voyeurs it attracts.

The Brighton WNBR Facebook page is requesting feedback for future events.  A few that spring to mind for me are:

* Increase size of changing area in Preston Park

* Scrap use of Old Steine as a rest stop – Hove Lawns was fine but think some photographers just walked down from Preston Park for another photo opportunity – maybe Old Steine was too far for them to walk to?

* Review use of PA system and location for speeches

* Liaise with Police to ensure the there is some kind of presence at the end of the ride at the beach.  What would happen if a group of photographers started to take photos at the beach on any other day? What makes it ok just because people have participated in the WNBR?

 

Nakation Event – Manchester Naked Bike Ride (June 2012)

On Friday 1st June, I did the Manchester Naked Bike Ride.

Arriving at All Saints Park, Oxford Road just around 6.30pm there was a growing number of people arriving (including some people offering body painting).

Naked Bike Rides have taken place in 50+ cities around the world with around 3000 people taking part in UK rides each year.  The purpose is ‘a peaceful, imaginative and fun protest against oil dependency and car culture.  A celebration of the bicycle and also a celebration of the power and individuality of the human body. A symbol of the vulnerability of the cyclist in traffic’.  Click here for more details.

This was the first time I had been really nervous about taking my clothes off in public – guess the fact I was in my hometown and the number of ‘spectators’ stood around watching was also quite unnerving.  I actually contemplated not doing it but the thought of missing out was too great, so I took the plunge.  I was mainly conscious about being photographed without my disguise so figured the best way was to leave the park to put on my bear mask before coming back into the park and starting to remove my clothes.

In total, there was around 100 – 150 people participating.  I’d say that the majority were naked and there was an interesting mix of people – usual amount of older men (50+) plus a good number of younger females (20-30’s) – maybe the feature of the London Naked Bike Ride in the Channel 4 documentary ‘My Daughter The Teenage Nudist’ helped to promote these rides to a younger audience?

Once naked, we were given instructions by the organisers, gave a cheer for all participating and off we went.

The route for the ride went up Oxford Road, into St Ann’s Square, along Fountain Street and down to the Printworks.  From here were turned down past Victoria Station, along Deansgate, then back up Oxford Road towards Portland Street.  Here we headed towards Piccadilly Gardens, down through Canal Street, then back to All Saints Park.

Here’s some videos of the event –

I have to say, the reaction from the good people of Manchester was fantastic – really positive and encouraging.  However, there was one incidence that was particularly unsavoury.  As we headed along Fountain Street, at the top of Market Street, there was a group of young lads who were trying to grab the female riders as cycled through.  Maybe next year, the Police can provide some officers to stand here to ensure that this does not happen again?

If anybody wants any of the photos removing send me an email at nakation@yahoo.co.uk and I’ll remove them.

Nakation Weekend

This past weekend has been amazing.  This is what happened…….

Friday 25th May

Enjoyed the evening sun (and a few pints) at the roof terrace of the Bridge, Bridge Street in Manchester.  The roof terrace is small but nice and quiet compared to the hundreds of people out around Spinningfields.  We actually thought it would make an amazing naturist retreat (not overlooked, sun trap) – just needs a hot tub in the corner!

Saturday 26th May

Spent a lovely few hours soaking up the sun in the back garden.  Managed to erect some screening to allow for a spot of naked sunbathing – Bliss!

I then went to a naturist swim organised by North West Naturists at Fit City Worsley in Walkden, Salford.  There was around 40 people at the swim, mainly aged 40 years plus, although there was a good number of couples and a handful of younger folks.

On arrival, I was greeted at the door by one of the organisers, signed in, paid my £10 and shown where the facilities were.  We had the full use of the venue which included a large pool, smaller ‘learner pool’, sauna and steam room.  The organisers also set up a small area for refreshments.  Everyone I spoke to was really friendly and will definitely go again.  For more information about North West Naturists, click here.

Sunday 27th May

Waking up to another day of beautiful sunshine, we decided to travel over to Morfa Dyffryn naturist beach in North Wales.

The beach is located north of Barmouth on the A496 (the coast road).  Almost exactly four miles from central Barmouth you’ll come across the village of Tal-y-bont.  Drive through Tal-y-bont and over a narrow bridge.  Shortly after this bridge you’ll come across a road down to the beach on the left-hand side (signposted ‘Traeth Beach’ and Dyffryn Seaside Estate).  Follow this road down to the first car park.  Here there is a road to the right signposted Dyffryn Seaside Estate.  Drive into to campsite and turn left at the small roundabout.  Here we paid £2 to leave the car all day.  There is a small shop where you can buy provisions.

To get to the naturist section, take the path at the top of the car park which takes you through a cut in the sand dunes.  Once you get to the beach, turn right.  It’s about a 10 minute walk to the naturist section as is marked by official notice posts (the large number of naturists will also inform you that you are there!).

The weather was gorgeous (if a little windy.  NB. recommend that you take a wind break), and there was a good number of naturists enjoying the sun (maybe around 100 in total).  At the start of the naturist section, most beach-goers were couples in their 40 – 50’s or families with young children.  The further along the naturist section, there was an increase in gay males.  There was a fair amount of men in the sand dunes but saw no inappropriate sexual behaviour.  Journey from Manchester took around 2 hours but was definitely worth it and we look forward to going back again this summer.

If any of you have been to Morfa Dyffryn, we’d love to hear from you!

Next up…. Manchester Naked Bike Ride on Friday 1st June!

 

Nakation News – My Daughter The Teenage Nudist

On Thursday night, Channel 4 screened a documentary entitled ‘My Daughter The Teenage Nudist’.

The programme explored the growing group of teens and twentysomethings embracing the world of public nudity.  In addition to their quest to normalise nudity, question the media’s obsession with the body beautiful, and encourage other young people to liberate themselves, it was interesting to see the Young British Naturist Officer trying to recruit younger members to the British Naturist Society.  I think that most young people are simply keen to have fun, spontaneous approach to nudity rather than joining the seemingly old fashioned naturist clubs.

Click here for a link to the documentary.

If any of you are interested in going on a holiday or a beach where you can enjoy the delights of stripping off, please check out my other posts!

Spain – May 2010 (Part 1)

We spent a week on the Costa Blanca.  During our stay we visited a number of beaches which I’ll list in 4 posts.

El Portus

The first beach we visited was in El Portus, near Cartagena.  The beach is only accessible through Camping Naturista El Portus for which a day pass for 2 adults was around 12 Euro’s.  This gives you access to the beach plus the swimming pool (although this was shut at the time of our visits).  It is possible to access the beach from the smaller village beach to the right of the campsite, although this requires a hike up and over a sizeable hill.

Upon passing through reception, there is a road that takes you down to the car park to the rear of the beach.  There are showers and toilets and a small bar/restaurant.  However, we visited out of the main holiday season so there was no ice cream stall (as we’ve seen on some photos) and therefore we would suggest taking everything you need for the day.

Directions

Getting to Cartagena from Guardamar is simple, just head straight down the AP7.  Getting out of Cartagena was more tricky! After a few hours of seeing the same roundabout over and over again, we finally picked up the right road.  You need to head for the centre of the City and look for signs for Plaza de Espana (there is an underground car park here which was handy for exploring the harbour).  From here pick up the N332 out of the city until you see a sign for Canteras.  Follow the local roads through Canteras and you’ll soon come to a sign for El Portus (after about 7km), take this turn and you’ll soon get to the campsite which is a further 4km.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=37.582065,-1.068746&num=1&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=6.881357,14.941406&ie=UTF8&z=14&ll=37.582167,-1.068442&output=embed
View Larger Map

Review

The beach is lovely with a nice family atmosphere.  There was a good mix of ages and a fair split between those staying on the site and those who had come for the day.  The beach is a mixture of pebbles and dark sand and slopes steeply into the sea, which was nice and clear and great for snorkeling.

We enjoyed it so much, we visited again later on in the week.

Sadly, this visit was not so good due to a group of males (who we saw accessing the beach over the large headland) who decided to set up near to us and then started to masturbate whilst ogling the females on the beach.  We reported it to reception who sent two members of staff  down to investigate but we decided to leave at this point.  I did notice in Theresa O’Shea’s column in H&E Naturist Magazine on some recent issues regarding public masturbating on Spanish beaches in which El Portus was mentioned. Let’s hope that something is being done to stop this – maybe securing the access over the headland?   Despite this we would still recommend the beach to anyone in this part of the country.  Check out the Camping Naturista El Portus website for more information.

http://www.elportus.com/index.htm

If any of you have visited here or stayed at the campsite, we would love to hear from you.

Also if any of you have any accommodation to recommend in the Cartagena area (nudist friendly of course!) let us know!