Original article from Kent Live
Finally it seems the sunshine is returning just in time for Bank Holiday weekend.
If you've been desperate for a trip to the beach it looks like this weekend might be your best shot.
And If you're one of the more braver types who likes to sunbathe in the nude – then there are five Kent beaches for you to choose from.
The law says it is not illegal to sunbathe naked but becomes an offence if you're stripping off with the intention to "upset or shock".
Prosecutors say a balance needs to be struck between the naturist's right to freedom of expression and the right of the wider public to be protected from harassment, alarm and distress.
But if you just like making sure you've got absolutely no tan lines, then you might want to know about the handful of nudist beaches scattered across Kent.
Signing up to the KentLive newsletter means you'll get the latest news direct to your inbox twice a day.
It couldn't be simpler and it takes seconds – simply press here, enter your email address and follow the instructions. You can also enter your email address in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms.
You can also sign up to our website and comment on our stories by pressing here and signing in.
But beach-goers are warned that while some of these beaches are well established, there are often localised rules in place.
These are the five nudist beaches in Kent.
Botany Bay, Margate
Botany Bay has two beach areas.
The main (southern) beach is the one favoured by most of the public and especially families.
Whereas, the "naturist" part of the beach involves a short walk to the northwest and comprises a sandy beach with a narrow strip of sand dunes backed by low chalk cliffs.
Most naturists tend to settle on the edge of (or in) the dunes. Although the dunes can be overlooked from the clifftops and there are some walkers along the waters edge.
Sandwich Bay, Sandwich
At the Southern end of the long sandy bay there is steep stone beach which protects a private estate. As you go North and the sand takes over there is a family beach popular with windsurfers.
Going still further north, the road ends and the thin line of dunes starts. This area, at the north end of the beach, is favoured by naturists and is just a one-mile walk from the Bay's public car parking area.
A commentator on the site said: "As the dunes start so the beach seems to become less 'textile' and the further north you go the more naked couples you will find. The line of dunes doesn't afford much in the way of privacy from the footpath, but most people don't seem to be too worried.
"When the tide is out there is a massive sandy beach to stroll along and the beach is said to be well-used despite the cost of access by car and the long walk from the car park to the nude section. Distractions include watching the passing Ramsgate-Dunkirk ferries!"
They added that adjoining the whole beach is a golf course and that the members aren't too keen on naturists.
They said: "Reports suggest that estate security guards are always on the lookout for "flashers" and WILL call in the police. Also, local residents are trying to prevent naturist use of the beach, so BEWARE.
"To avoid trouble you should walk a long way past the car park – nearly to end of the beach – and keep out of sight of the golf course."
Long Rock Beach, Swalecliffe
Long Rock was previously designated for naturist use. However signs were replaced stating that 'Naturism Is Not Condoned On This Beach'.
By this it is assumed that the local council does not explicitly approve of naturism, but at the same time is powerless to stop it. The signs were reported to be removed and the naturism continues.
One experienced naturist said of Long Rock Beach: "The beach itself isn't the most picturesque, consisting of pebbles with sand and exposed mud at low tide.
"It also tends to be windy with no natural shelter, so windbreaks are useful. The tide goes out quite a long way as the beach is quite gently sloping,
"There is also a nearby sewage works which "can smell quite unpleasant on occasion if the wind is from the SW".
"On the plus side it is easy to get to with no climbing or marathon walking involved, there are views of shipping in the Thames Estuary, the Isle of Sheppey (Leysdown is usually visible) and the remains of WW2 gun emplacements off the coast."
They added: "Despite the change of status and council disapproval the beach continues to be used by a number of naturists."
Shellness, Isle of Sheppey
This beach is a mixture of sand, shingle, shells and – in places – mud. This 'official' naturist beach is located near Leysdown-on-Sea at the far eastern end of the Isle of Sheppey on the north Kent coast.
The beach is half a mile beyond (south-east) of the main beach at Leysdown near to the place identified on maps as 'Shellness'
A recent visitor described it as "small (fairly) clean sandy(ish) beach, over some dunes".
Another visitor said: "The scenery is typical of the Thames estuary – there are good views of Whitstable and of shipping in the Thames. At low tide the sea can be a long way out. Beach walkers on their way to Shellness may pass the beach but there are no reported problems.
"'Free Sun' reported that the beach was sometimes used by '750 bods' – more recent reports suggest regular use by 20-30 naturists, with up to 100 at busy weekends."
The beach is made up of pebbles and shingle with high chalk cliffs.
It is inadvisable to sit directly under them, since cliff falls are frequent. Bathing is possible at high tide, but there may be problems with rocks at low tide.
Abbott's Cliff/The Warren, Folkestone
Abbot's Cliff is shingle, can be windswept and some people might find the very high cliff "backdrop" a bit intimidating.
One naturist member said: "Although it is possible to park a car and gain access from Samphire Hoe (except at high tide!), an alternative way to get there is by walking along the sea wall from the Eastern Pleasure Beach off Wear Bay Road, Folkestone.
"It's a two-mile trek but remains accessible irrespective of tides."
They usefully added: "The anti nudity by-law applying to other beaches in the 'Borough of Folkestone' may not apply at The Warren, since there is a suggestion that the land in this area belongs to the railway authority – the Abbots Cliff railway tunnel runs through the chalk cliff immediately behind the beach and responsibility for the sea defences to protect this stretch from erosion seem to lie with the railways."