We are just an average couple of motorhomers, 2 grown-up daughters, both with children, and have been motorhoming for 10 years and currently on our 2nd van. We have toured France mainly but dipped our toes into neighbouring countries staying on aires, as we are inherently set in our frugal ways caused by the mortgage and living in the commuter belt of leafy Surrey.

We go across La Manche 2-3 times a year and up to a month but very much in our early 50s yet still feeling mid-30s. We have done the whole of France, made the mistake of trying to get 3 regions done in a fortnight, as most others have and are now going back to rediscover that we rushed through.

Throughout our journeys, we wandered across naturist beaches of all types, rivers, lakes, sand, rocky and even parks. It never offended us but being British and conscious that speedos don’t look great on anyone bar Adonis, so the Bermuda shorts and tankini remained, as persons on the same beach went topless and in the distance, we could see skinny dippers.

Then we lent the daughter the motorhome (another error) and she went motorhoming like we hadn’t before. Firstly, she paid for a site. I thought I had dragged her up properly, then she told me it was in St Tropez. Another area I would not visit for fear of overcrowded tourists, and yet I felt a bit envious. So we went. We went to the local aire which was 15 euros a night including electric and the french neighbours were engaging and told us about the naturist beach 5-600 metres away. The wife would occasionally go topless, on foreign shores only, lying down only, on sparse beaches and when it was very hot. We made a decision to go and have a look. More in the manner of “Never seen an actual naturist beach” and an inquisitive mind, more than “Shall we give it a go” though the thought, no doubt went through our minds individually, but again, being British, the subject was never verbally raised.

Once we got there, we noted the pathway along the back of the beach. We saw about 100 different groups, mainly couples, of all persuasions, just lying there in the buff, sunning it up. Some ladies kept their bottoms on, all the men were nude. “Shall we?” Anyway we went down on the beach, selected our area, with the apparent unwritten law of respecting space and I dropped my trousers and lay on the towel, the wife went topless. 10 minutes passed and I had forgotten I was nude. “This is no different to showering after football” I thought to myself apart from some of the people are women. I remembered my diversity training (I was awake during it) and thought that this should not concern me if it doesn’t concern them. About half an hour later the wife went for a dip, in her bottoms, returned, and the wet bottoms kept picking up the sand. She later said she felt odd so she took them off, and there we were. Naturists or not, we were naked on a beach.

When we got back, we realised we had a good time but something was different. Why, apart from the naturism, had we enjoyed the day more than another day at the beach was the question we couldn’t put our finger on. It was more peaceful. Surely, clothing slightly bigger than a handkerchief, couldn’t have made our day more peaceful and enjoyable.

Well, when we eventually worked it out, the reason it was so peaceful, was the lack of screaming kids, no balls, no crying of “I want an ice cream” just people sunbathing in the peace and quiet.

So we made an informed decision to try it again. Next time was at Lac de St Croix. We didn’t know if there was a naturist part or not but found a secluded spot in the trees by the lake. Another peaceful enjoyable day, but then came the issue of how to find these places. These hidden spots that I never knew about. Some googling revealed a Nudist Compass app which shows you where they are with reviews.

Four years on and we have visited a quantity of these beaches, as our preference for sunbathing. We have come across the odd one, where the single male “Meerkats” appear from the dunes, and these beaches are not for us but a different type of naturist, but reviews on the app do indicate which ones to avoid if that is not your thing. These beaches, if visited early in naturist career, would give a very negative view.

We have moved on in our progression of defining ourselves as Naturists by trying out a Naturist Campsite (or 8) in France, Spain, Croatia and Austria, but only under ACSI prices, (I haven’t changed that much) and yet nobody who actually knows us has the slightest idea we practise taking our clothes off in public. Everybody we have met whilst nude, we are highly likely to never meet again. I also don’t know anybody who admits to being a naturist. I would hazard a guess that (apart from the campsites) we have had half a dozen conversations with other naturists in varying languages and would guess that we have been to at least 50 beaches/lakes/rivers to date. My crossword solving skills have improved and the wife is getting through her Barbara Cartland’s very quickly.

This year the Ardeche and Provence are calling (again) and our eyes are firmly set upon 3 or 4 naturist campsites without booking anything, from the end of April to the middle of July, as booking one up and the weather being poor might be bad and is against my frugal judgement, which still exists. However, about £100 for a week in the South of France in May is very possible if the exchange rate improves a little.
Why we never tried this before, is beyond me. If thinking of giving it a go, I would suggest a beach on foreign soil/sand and check out reviews on the app or website prior to going to make sure it is a naturist beach per se. The only other advice is Suntan lotion!

We asked the contributors of this article for a photo of but all they sent was this!