Lawyer explains about legality of topless sunbathe in the UK during the heatwave

legality of topless sunbathe in the UK
legality of topless sunbathe in the UK
Khushbu Kumari

Barrister Lynette Calder explained that it's legal to whip off your bikini top in your garden and in public, but has a warning for those who are planning to go topless

The weather in the UK is set to be scorching this week with temperatures soaring into 30 degrees or more.

But, most of us aren’t used to being able to sunbathe in our own gardens.

The miserable British weather means plenty of us choose to fly aboard to soak up the sun’s rays.

This means people might not be clued up about the legalities of sunbathing – and when you’re allowed to take your bikini top off.

Topless sunbathing is common in mainland Europe with nobody batting an eye on the beaches of Spain or by the pool in France.

But, what about in the UK where we have laws about indecent exposure?

Well, barrister Lynette Calder told the Sun that you’re fine to strip off in your own garden so long as you don’t intend to distress or harass your neighbours.

She said: “Unless you are in contravention of section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 – ie 'intentionally exposing your genitals with the intention that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress - then there is no specific rule against nudity in the UK.”

As boobs aren’t considered genitals it’s fine to get them out if you’re innocently going about your day in the garden and simply want to tan.

But, if you choose to do so at a time or frequency that your neighbours may find distressing then it might be frowned upon.

Lynette added: “If you are deliberately trying to upset your ultra-conservative neighbour by stripping off every time they come out to water their dahlias then possibly.”

If you want to go topless in public then you might get in more trouble.

There’s no specific law against topless sunbathing at the park or pool, but it might be classed as outraging public decency if it’s seen by two members of the public and deemed “lewd, obscene or disgusting”.

So, make sure you’re careful when trying to eliminate your tan lines!

Earlier this week, the laws around nudity were tested when the World Naked Bike Ride occurred in London and several other locations.

The streets of London were awash with willy today (June 11) as thousands of men and women took part.

The bold event's aims are threefold - protesting the global dependency on oil to “curb car culture”, celebrating body positivity and freedom and protecting “real rights for cyclists”.

Looking for tips for your next getaway? Check out our travel advice guide - covering both the UK and abroad.

Always wear sun protection to prevent sun damage while in the sunshine. The NHS advises that there is “no safe or healthy way to get a tan”.

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