Skinny Dipping in Edinburgh and Lothians

A guide to all the best places to go Skinning Dipping in all weathers:

There are many great places to go swimming naked here on the east side of Sunny Scotland. This is a list of the ones that I have visited many times either on my own or with in a group and that I recommend. 
Unlike in England we have access to Rivers and Reservoirs thanks to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code!

It is worth noting that Edinburgh isn't afraid of nakedness either: it gets involved in the World Naked Bike Ride each year; the Forth Naturist Club hold regular swimming events in Haddington; there have been shows featuring nudity in the International and Fringe Festivals; there are several Life Drawing workshops in the city centre; Vet Students, Hockey and Netball players have all stripped-off naked for charity calendars; the Beltane fire festival has performers dancing around semi-naked, and there is also a naked house cleaning company! .. and I mustn't forget Antony Gormley's naked man sculptures along the Water of Leith. So it is fair to say that Edinburgh certainly isn't a prudist city. The entirely fictional Association of Scottish Nudists appeared in Alexander McCall-Smiths 44 Scotland Street (published in The Scotsman) to discuss hosting the World Naturist Federation's conference - he even joked that they hold a New Year run around Moray Place Gardens in another magazine. 

There is also a dedicated facebook skinny dipping group called Edinburgh Skinny Dipping Stories which mainly covers Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian, but also has events in The Scottish Borders, Fife, Falkirk, Stirling and Perthshire. 

And furthermore... it isn't illegal to be naked in Scotland. Of course there are some limitations - there mustn't be any clear sexual motive or behaviour, no disorderly conduct and you mustn't be deliberately trying to cause a state of fear and alarm in members of the public -- therefore it is probably wise to avoid stripping off at some locations during the school holidays as they'll just get far too busy. Having said all that it is quite a liberating experience and you must try it. There is a freshness to swimming naked. Not to mention less hassle dealing with soggy costumes etc. 

Selected Skinny Dipping locations around Edinburgh and the Lothians.


Glencorse Reservoir is great because you are hidden behind a large wall from the main path... 

Gladhouse Reservoir is perfect for sunrise dips and late night camp fires

North Esk Reservoir is ideal on calm sunny mornings... and you can combine a hill walk with it too! (optional) 


Portobello Beach is stunning for sunrise swims in the summer...

Harlaw Reservoir is perfect on windy days during the week...  

East Lothian

Peffer Sands Naturist Beach is the most idyllic spot during the summer months...  

Longniddry Bents 1 (Seaton Sands Beach) is perfect for sunset swims at low tide

Aberlady Naturist Beach is the perfect place to sunbathe


My Outdoor Swimming 

and Skinny Dipping Story


GENERAL WINTER SWIMMING SAFETY: Please avoid swimming alone where possible. Avoid taking a hot shower to warm up after a swim as that can cause you to faint - It is best to warm up gradually. Avoid diving into the water as cold water on your body causes your heart to beat faster and cold water on your head causes it to go slower - which could result in a cardiac-arrest.
You'll need lots of layers of clothing, hot apple tea and some dark chocolate for after the swim. As well as some electric hand-warmers, a dry hat and also boots that have zips in case your fingers don't work! (I stick on a thermal vest, t-shirt, polo shirt, 5 jumpers and 2 coats when it gets really cold!)
BEGINNERS - Only stay in for a few minutes at a time until you can build up a tolerance. Be aware that air temperature and wind speed can impact on your recovery time.
More advice here:
Having said all that it is an amazing experience and very exhilarating. I look forward sharing this adventure with you all.... particularly the sunset swims as they are food for the soul.

Skinny Dipping in other languages: Dünnes Tauchen, Inmersión Flaca, Baigner à Poil, Natación Desnuda, Nadar Nu, Idem na nudapláž, Идем на нудистичку плажу,

There are other areas that I recommend..... but you'll have to join Edinburgh Skinny Dipping Stories to discover them. 

Lee Live: Photographer, Edinburgh