Picture this. You’re sitting on the sand, soaking up the fresh, sea air. Waves lapping in the distance. The sand beneath your rear. Sounds blissful, doesn’t it? That is, until you’re reminded that that very sand beneath your tush was once beneath someone else’s very nude, very naked tush.
Now a popular beach among locals and dog walkers, Fraisthorpe Beach was once Yorkshire’s designated nudist beach – where beach-goers could lay it all bare while enjoying the beautiful, vast stretch of golden sand.
It was a privilege that keen naturists enjoyed for approximately three decades – that was, of course, before both the local police and council stepped in to revoke the East Yorkshire beach’s naturist designation.
So, where did it all begin? The beach became a popular spot for nudists back in the 70s in particular, when, as the era is famous for, people were enjoying newfound liberation and progression in society. As a result, the East Yorkshire Borough Council got on board and designated the area an official naturist beach, in a bid to be progressive themselves.
Naturists from all over the country were welcome, with beach-goers from all over the nation travelling to Fraisthorpe to strip off and enjoy the sandy beach.
But of course, no good story that starts with mass nakedness simply ends there.
By the time the 90s came along, the council’s good faith had been taken advantage of, with things escalating from simple naturism, to flat-out dogging and ‘deviant behaviour’ among certain members of the community. From there, the council was forced to remove all naturist privileges, and ban the act altogether from the 1km stretch of beach.
While today, naturism at the popular family spot has completely vanished, it did take a number of years for the naturist community to stop attending.
Backlash against the council ensued, with police forced to deploy helicopters in a bid to tackle nude visitors as late as 2003. Some nudist groups report that police still occasionally patrol the area, and take down names of anyone found to be demonstrating nudism on the beach.
Today, the beach is back under the control of the Crown Estate – belonging to King Charles III – and continues to remain nudism-free.
Fraisthorpe beach is more commonly enjoyed by families and dog walkers now, due to its cleanliness, large stretch of golden sands, clean water, and fantastic cliff-top cafe bar, the Cow Shed.
It’s one of few beaches that dog walkers can use all-year-round since it’s not officially part of Yorkshire’s tourist resorts.