Shellness Beach (Leysdown Naturist)

  • Shellness Beach - Kent
    © David Anstiss and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Shellness Beach - Kent
    © Stefan Czapski and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Shellness Beach - Kent
    © Stefan Czapski and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Shellness Beach - Kent
    © David Anstiss and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Just under a mile along the coast from the resort of Leysdown-on-Sea, on the Isle of Sheppey, is Shellness. This is a world apart from its rowdy neighbour with just a few ramshackle beach chalets and old, land-bound boats.

    Shellness beach is quite well known in these parts, and mainly on account of it being an official nudist beach. In the summer it can get quite busy here, however, for much of the rest of the year it can be quite empty. The naturist section of the beach is actually known as “Shell Beach” and is located before you reach the hamlet of Shellness (which is surrounded by private land).

    Whilst I haven’t fact-checked this, it is quite probable the name of the beach refers to the largely sandy beach is covered with small sea shells above the tide mark.

    Also known as:

    Leysdown Naturist

    Type of beach

    Sand & shingle

    Lifeguard service


    Dogs friendly beach?

    There are some restrictions in the summer months when parts of the beach become a tern nesting area.

    Kent dog friendly beaches »


    • Swimming/bathing

    Nudist/naturist beach


    Nearest town



    ME12 4RP

    OS grid ref.

    TR 0525 6834

    Submit a correction

    Shellness Beach Reviews

    Public parking

    Miffed naturist
    Jun 11th 2021

    The naturist area is signposted by Swale Council with strict warnings about inappropriate behaviour.
    On the back of each sign is a small map showing the now dug up area behind the bank as being PUBLIC PARKING.
    I’d suggest residents enquire at Swale Council why they declare an area that some say is private, as to why that council claims it to be public.
    Alternatively, you could relocate to under the flight paths for Heathrow and try to stop those flights?
    The beach has had public access from way before you moved there. Nothing worse than folk moving to an area and then trying to change it for their own selfish needs.

    Jun 09th 2020

    I have been a visitor to shellness for 3 years . The only naturist beach I go to.
    I’ve never been when its crowded.  Always at least 30/40 feet to the nearest person.
    No facilities , but Neptune beach cafe is now open .


    Medway couple
    Aug 12th 2020

    Having visited this beach several times over the last couple of years as newbies, we have found it ok, yes there are the odd strange men that want to ogle and lurk nearby, but we ignore these…......, today was a totally different kettle of fish though!! We arrived at around 11.20, found a spot about 20 feet from the nearest couple who had windbreakers up around them and looked totally unassuming…........ oh but that couldn’t be further from the truth as we soon found out! Some random guy soon arrived and started talking to our “unassuming” neighbours, he had all the patter and small talk, he had been to every swinging and hedonistic place that ever existed on planet earth, by this time my partner and I were holding on to each other as tight as we could, frozen, not by fear but by the thought of him coming to harass us as well, so we pretended to be asleep, but still listening to the conversation next door, suddenly it went rather quiet…........then we heard bang bang bang, it was ok, it was just the husband of the couple putting the windbreaker right around them! Then all we could hear was ooh, aah, ooh and various panting from the female of the couple… Mr Random had done his deed, asked the female if she always gushed like that, to which she replied no, we were stifling our giggles, then the male from the couple said, right we’re going!! Mr Random said his goodbyes and off he went, the male of the couple not so happy then says to his wife, I love you, but this is not to happen again!! Quite an eventful afternoon, we’re still giggling about it now ???????????? For this reason alone we give it an entertainment value of five stars!!

    Feb 24th 2022

    I have been using this beach for10 years or more.Friendly people,lots of regulars.I can`t waite for the sun to come back out.As for parking it is now a real pain,but get there early enough,no problem.Stay all day,FANTASTIC

    could be nice

    Jul 30th 2020

    beach is lovely but shame people ruin it by having sex on beach in front of people
    made us feel uncomfortable so we not been back

    Loss of parking

    Jun 17th 2021

    We used to like coming down for a relaxing day topping up our tans. Nice sociable beach with mainly friendly chatty people.

    Unable to visit now as someone has taken it upon themselves to dig a trench all along the parking area, effective making it inaccessible.

    I have contacted Kent County Council Highways and they have informed me that Shellness is not private but administered by the council. They have promised to investigate the issue and report back. Hopefully the parking will be reinstated.

    Most of the folk visiting the beach are well behaved and friendly and it’s one of the most litter free places I know. I can understand that a few people don’t stick to the rules and I wouldn’t want to watch that myself but you’re only going to see it if you’re on the beach. Perhaps the complainants would care to explain why they were there?

    Walk or cycle to the beach

    Steve Lewis
    Jul 02nd 2021

    The trench preventing parking on the access road means that you have to park sooner and walk along the seafront, or just go on your bicycle. I do like the beach but sex acts in broad daylight are a bit off putting. There is always a strong longshore tide so swimming is best done in one direction.

    Parking / community warden

    Sue Williams
    Oct 19th 2020

    Today we thought we would take our parents out for a beach walk . We drove to shellness the little car park was full so parked behind two cars what had parked slightly on the bank with still room for cars to pass on the road safely..Concrete bollards where towards the private end opposite the car park with no parking which had been placed on the road with rope from one to the other , so not even council signs but hand painted concrete bollards ..Well were verbally abused by a man who drove out of the private road and left his truck in the middle of the road…The first words out of his mouth were that we were morons.. And said we couldn’t park there.. I said there was no parking signs where we were parked and so he then started taking photos of us and the other cars and said he would be reporting us . So I asked well who are you and he said ‘well I’m the Shellness Community Warden ‘ we were absolutely disgusted that we were spoken to in this way he certainly doesn’t have any people skills and shouldn’t be allowed to be a community warden with an attitude like that.. I did say if you asked us nicely we would have moved , he just walked off taking more photos off the cars in the car park too ..

    Residents talk rubbish !

    Beach goer
    Jul 13th 2023

    I’ve used this naturist beach for a number of years and always found the crowd friendly and there are many regulars..the parking has been removed by the farmer who claims its his land but the council say otherwise and I’m still looking into this . The nature reserve car park does NOT belong to the farmer or the hamlet residents and recently earth has been dug up around the entrance area illegally I expect by the farmer and or residents..I have news for them that in due course a group of us beach users will be putting the earth back where it came will take no longer than 5 minutes to achieve this . There are to many illegal things along the road like the logs which will also be going down the nearest ditch in the very near future to enable more passing places .

    I understand the parking was dug up around 15 years ago and had to be reinstated so watch this space nudist

    Disgraceful behaviour

    Apr 12th 2023

    I have enjoyed this beach at shellness many times but have found it impossible to visit due to the selfish actions of those living in the hamlet , it’s a shame they are allowed to spoilt everybody’s fun because they live there , move if you don’t like it

    Sep 17th 2022

    Fabulous and unspoiled plenty of parking and neptunes cafe. The walk from leysdown along the beach is lovely. Fantastic views of Whitstable. Lovely nature reserve and walk to Harty. Ignore the moans

    Lovely beach, bit chilly

    Jun 13th 2022

    Visited 2 weeks ago, was a bit breezy but when the sun came out it was warm enough. Was only 1 other person there who was popping up like a meerkat but didn’t bother me!

    chris taylor
    Jun 09th 2022

    there werent any nudists when we went there - it was March and still quite cold! I live quite near Seasalter so I’m used to looking at Sheppey the other way and it was very interesting to get a different perspective on Whitstable Herne Bay , Thanet etc.

    Naturist beach access WARNING

    Local resident
    Nov 11th 2020

    Please be advised that the legal right of access to the naturist beach at Leysdown is on foot only. The adjacent unmade road is not and never has been a public road, Right of access to the beach is along the footpath on top of the sea wall.
    Parking that used to be close by, was on private land. This has been removed by the land owner, due to the disgusting behaviour of beach users.
    Appropriate action will be taken against any unauthorised vehicle parked on the unmade road and causing any sort of obstruction to rightful users.