Whatever the weather, we’ll have a great time!
Martin Warrillow, Nick Caunt and Andy Wyman round up the highlights from a week which saw BN members smiling through the gloom.
Nudefest, BN's annual event in Cornwall, has become the naturist highlight of the year for many. Newperran Holiday Park, near Perranporth, welcomed us back for
one of the most exhilarating weeks possible. The program for the week was absolutely rammed with a huge variety of activities. I counted over 100 different things to attend or do.
There were eight different acts giving 12 different performances. The toughest thing for those at Nudefest is deciding what activities you will have to miss because there is so much on offer.
For those that 'love' their bodies, there was Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, meditation and numerous therapies. For those whose body is not a temple there was beer tasting, winetasting
and a visit to Skinner's Brewery in Truro! If you felt guilty about your alcohol intake, there were enough sporting events during the week to make the Olympics look
like a small-time occasion.
This year, the first major happening was a return to the Eden Project, which is a brilliant venue in itself for tourists. The event was given a special atmosphere with the superb
folk-singing duo Lily and Meg. They were followed by Rachel on viola, who is fast becoming a highlight for naturist gatherings.
In the early part of the week, when the sun was shining, it was a great opportunity for a coastal walk. There was also a glorious nine-mile trek across Bodmin Moor led by Nick
Caunt. The moor is ideal for naturists, with not another soul to be seen.
Seventeen hikers assembled and after the car pool arrived at the moor without incident, we were joined by another naturist from Somerset Strolling Bears, who were the walk
We soon reached King Arthur’s Hall, a large rectangular stone-faced depression of unknown purpose, and the group were already nude. We remained nude for the
remainder of the nine-mile walk as the weather was perfect for nude hiking. We only met one group of three in the whole day and they passed us without concern.
The walk included ascents of Garrow Tor, with its ancient village and rocky summit and Brown Willy which, at 420m, is the highest point in Cornwall. A lovely picnic lunch in the
sunshine was enjoyed in a rocky area on its flanks. We also visited two large and impressive stone circles and found the Logan Rock, which provides the surprise of
rocking when you climb onto it.
After the walk, we quenched our thirsts with a welcome pint in the nearby Old Inn, the highest pub in Cornwall.
Tuesday’s visit to Perranporth Beach was badly affected by the weather. It was sunny when the party set off, but raining by the time we reached the beach. We had a nice
walk in good company, some brief skinny-dipping and a friendly chat with the lifeguard, but the wet weather spoiled things.
Thanks to the 27 naturists who turned out and did their bit to support the continued naturist use of this beach. Hopefully, we can eventually get a good turnout and good
weather to enjoy this superb beach.
For music-lovers, the week had something for everyone. On Monday, there was a karaoke evening with some very polished acts followed by country music group Lazy K
on Tuesday. The Mi Tunes sessions were as usual presented well by Brian Taylor to enthusiastic audiences.
In fact, enthusiasm was the key word for the whole week. Nudefest is far more than the sum of its parts. Yes, the organisation behind the week had been brilliant and the
whole week is cleverly choreographed by Andrew Welch and his helpers. But the very essence is about those attending who are determined that they will have a great time, no
matter what the weather.... and boy, did the weather test this theory later in the week. It's amazing how so many people who are often strangers to each other get quickly
into a happy and smiling community. The trip to Skinners Brewery was a good example. Within minutes of entering the bar, everyone was stripped off and chatting and it
looked (almost) like a typical pub scene anywhere in England. The guided tour resulted in lots of good-humored banter and the journey back on the coach had community
singing. Good friends are made on evenings like that. Most evenings ended with dancing in the campsite pub. These were memorable times with everyone smiling on a packed
By the middle of the week, you could have learned how to play Pétanque, had a go at belly-dancing, been initiated into the finer points of archery, had your body painted, taken part in a battle with laser guns, won at bingo, played football, rounders and volleyball, racked your brains at a quiz and participated in a book discussion.
You're still not tired and want a change...? Well, of course, there was also the chance for a naturist visit to Newquay Zoo and the Blue Reef Aquarium.
By Thursday, however, the weather had really set in. Driving rain and a howling accompanied the coach trip to Skinners and conditions didn’t improve until early on
Of course, that meant that everyone simply crowded into the bar and made the best of things. On two occasions, the lunchtime ‘Party in the Park’ became ‘Party in the Bar’; the
popular MiBeer session was moved indoors; Billy Bottle and Martine, whose sun-tinged jazz would have been perfect for a summer’s day, instead played to a packed room - and
all of the traditional end-of-week festivities went ahead.
The Saturday night sing-along was even more boisterous than I recall from last year; our new DJ, standing in for the unwell Jim Russell, clearly loved the experience and Lily and
Meg, back for a second set after their triumph at the Eden Project, had a packed room spellbound and hushed with their haunting folk music.
As is the way, of course, the weather perked up early on Sunday morning - so much so that the service of worship led by the Christian Naturist Fellowship attracted more than
30 people out of their caravans and into the marquee at 9am. The editor of British Naturism led the service, a moving experience for him before packing up and heading
off for a six-hour train ride home - all of which was conducted in sunny weather.
Much thought was given at the higher levels of BN before the change of date to July was made for next year’s Nudefest. Knowing the British weather, it may not work but
everyone who attended Nudefest 2012, whether for the week or just a few days, had a fantastic time - whatever the weather.