Return to Eden

Return to Eden

JOURNAL: Days to remember

archive entry: 30th August 2008

My Naturist Eden
The Naturist at Shoreham Beach
The last weekend of August 2008 summed up Shoreham for me.
I thought I would record it for posterity!


Will Golden reflects on British Naturism Day at Holkham Beach

Well my good friend, Joeberks (InTheBuff), came up with the wheels, punished overall by the whiplashes of a 240 mile round trip.

How off the beaten track is this venue? Well, Satnav's dulcet tones left us at Wells-next-the Sea, whence we had to take further directions (twice), arriving after a further round-trip at about 1:45pm. The powers that be kindly warned us of the ample hike from Lady Anne's Drive carpark, but failed to advise us that there was what seemed a further 2-mile walk from the BN beach campsite to the sea itself. It is the first nudist beach I have ever visited that is wider than it is long! Knowing that the Wash (just up the road) is notorious for it's 20-mile tides, one kept an ever-vigilant look at the long-distance tidal threat to the tentsite. Having never visited the Sahara, I have not seen so much sand.

The usual suspects were there to keep us well fuelled with tea and to cajole us into beachvolley, unsuccessfully in my case (injured reserve; sprained ankle). The refreshment tent was kept busy by over a hundred supporters who largely simpered back to their solitary retreats in the dunes and their exposed windbreaks on the beach itself. Yes, the wind was reasonably strong, so much as to sow the grain of my quinoa lunch across the beach. Next year's maize harvest should be a bumper crop!

The wind had other victims. There had been a proliferation of greenfly in these parts over the months and the email message had obviously reached The beach was infested with millions of our colourful European invaders, with the xenophobic wind tossing them repetitively on their backs in a humorous flail of tiny legs. The main worry was not the inconsequential nips and bites, but how many made their involuntary way into our lunches.

A changing weather forecast, no matter which website you counselled, turned out to be pessimistic. High cumuli teased us throughout but it was very simply a sunny day at the beach, despite the wind. Considering the North Sea is one of the Northern Hemiphere's coldest seas, rumoured to supply Tesco with ready frozen mackerel, the water was as a warm jacuzzi. Punctuated with the occasional splash of the youthful fry of naturism's future shoals, a keen crowd of BN human basking whales and porpoise dotted the shore line and was ill-advisedly coerced into a hearty photographic run from the sea. Frighteningly, this is due to adorn the pages of next year's Country and Coast magazine with local historic images harking back to naked Vikings, charging and hollering in a coastal invasion.

The peaceful image of the traditional British Naturism day therefore took on a temporary more boisterous hue that eventually saturated into the calm of a warm evening, tempting so many to stay beyond their scheduled departure.

As the sunny day dozed gilded towards 6pm, I reluctantly folded away my tent and headed back with Joe via the concrete and tarmac confessional boxes to financial penance. The thought prevails of a place in the sun beyond maps, where even the most diligent creditor could never find his David Livingstone.

And yet, Holkham Beach remains enchantingly an escape TO rather than an escape FROM.  

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