Naturists campaign for ‘naked sunbathing rights’ for Hampstead Heath’s lady swimmers

PUBLISHED: 07:10 22 January 2015 | UPDATED: 16:33 22 January 2015

Hampstead Heath nudists: A photograph by Anastasia Trahanas for her art project Naked Britain

Hampstead Heath nudists: A photograph by Anastasia Trahanas for her art project Naked Britain


A supporter of the naturist movement has branded the City of London corporation “sexist” for allowing men to strip off on Hampstead Heath while only allowing women to go “topless”.

Retired archivist John McPartlin, 66, said in a letter to the Ham&High today: “The only place in the whole of London where public naturist sunbathing is possible is at the men’s outdoor pond on Hampstead Heath. At the ladies’ pond only topless sunbathing is permitted.

“That women who would like to acquire an even, all-over tan, the same as the men, are not able to do so is a real equalities issue, one would have thought.”

Mr McPartlin, who lives in Creighton Avenue, Muswell Hill, has written to Hampstead Heath boss Sue Ireland at the City of London Corporation pointing out the inequality of this rule.

He told the Ham&High: “It is not fair at all. Naturists just want to be themselves.

“They are not doing any harm.

“Ladies should be allowed to be nude in a beautiful, secluded area of the Heath.

“It seems rather sexist not to allow this.”

The retired University College London library archivist took up the issue after volunteering to be photographed nude on Hampstead Heath for a project by photographer Anastasia Trahanas.

Ms Trahanas has been travelling around the country photographing naturists and others for her art project Naked Britain.

She said: “John contacted me after hearing about my work. He wants to be photographed naked on the Heath.

“He is a supporter of the naturist movement and is very passionate about it.’’

She would like to photograph naked women at the ponds for the project.

“It seems very unfair they are not allowed the same freedom as men,” she added.

The photographer had welcomed apparent moves by The Sun to drop bare breasts from Page 3, stressing that her topless photographs are completely different.

Speaking before the newspaper’s U-turn, she said: “Page 3 objectified and sexualised women. My art is not of a sexual nature and shows the natural beauty of people when they are naked, at their most vulnerable.”

Mr McPartlin said: “I am writing to the City of London Corporation, which administers the Heath, one of the requirements of which is that it does so in the interest of all Londoners.

“It has not been helpful in the past, but that may have to change.”

He also supports a petition on The Naturist Action Group’s website, urging the corporation to allow naturism on Hampstead Heath.

He said: “Naturist Action Group has suggested a number of quiet places where it believes such sunbathing could take place without affecting other users of the Heath.”

A spokesman for the City of London Corporation said: “We have to balance the needs of a range of visitors to the Heath’s swimming ponds and the current arrangements have evolved over a number of years. We are yet to see a demand for a designated nude sunbathing area from the swimmers at the Kenwood Ladies Pond.”


  • nudismnaturism is partly about body acceptance, yes? No matter the size or shape, we naturists accept everyone without judgment. Meet nudist singles and nudist personals? Please google"nudistpersonals org" to search your nudist partner

    Report this comment

    Sara Louise

    Thursday, January 22, 2015

  • Nudism is NOT about seeing or being seen. It's about de-stressing, relaxing, and returning to innocence. It's about accepting yourself and others for who you are, how you act, and what you say, rather than what you look like, wear, or own. If you're looking to ease your way into the nudist lifestyle, nudist resorts , nudist beaches and nudist dating site (check localnudistsingle com) are available that offer a slightly less adventurous experience.

    Report this comment

    Sara Brown

    Thursday, January 22, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 23:42

The Conservatives have selected their parliamentary candidate to contest Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, in one of the most marginal constituencies in the country.

Yesterday, 21:21

Former advertising director Shauna Kelly is through to the knock-out rounds of TV MasterChef contest.

Yesterday, 22:11

A former health secretary has presented new evidence of “deliberate, provable acts of cover-up” in the contaminated blood scandal and demanded a Hillsborough-style inquiry into the tragedy.

Yesterday, 12:23

French-born Camden councillor Leila Roy says she will apply for British citizenship if National Front leader Marine Le Pen wins France’s second election.

Yesterday, 16:59

A headteacher has lauded her staff and students after the latest Ofsted inspection at Hornsey School for Girls.

Yesterday, 10:46

Jessica Learmond-Criqui, of NW3, writes:

Yesterday, 10:13

MPs would be given the chance to halt a Brexit deal secured by a Labour government, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has said.

Mon, 17:02

Police have thanked the press and public for their help after finding a 39-year-old woman who was missing from Marylebone and last seen at the Golders Green Parish Church on February 12.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news


Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now