Opened in 2010, Clover Spa and Hotel is now one of the most respected commercial Naturist establishments in the UK. With an ethos of simple social nudity inspired by the European spa culture, owner Tim Higgs has successfully transformed a simple suburban house into a luxurious environment in which to relax and escape from the stress-filled world around us. Guests are welcome to spend their stay nude using the spa facilities, socialising in the lounge and even enjoying a glass of wine. The wine, although not sold by the hotel currently, can be bought from outside and brought along to enjoy with friends. Tim will even chill the bottle for you!
It came as a surprise to everyone then, that upon an alcohol licence application being sent to the local council, one particular councillor threw their hands up in horror:
At British Naturism, we have come to expect one or two prudish attitudes that fly in the face of common sense, but we thought Councillor Alden’s opinion that the spa be in danger of becoming a ‘strip club’ very amusing. I suddenly had visions of owner Tim doing a pole dance to raucous music under the glow of red lighting! Needless-to-say, Clover Spa is not at all as Councillor Alden imagines it to be. Alcohol and spa facilities do not mix, and the facility to sell alcohol is simply for the hotel to provide a drink over dinner in the evening. Guests to the hotel are sensible and genuine, adding to the venue’s burgeoning reputation as being completely free from any ‘dodgy’ connotations. The most anti-social of behaviour is usually daring the naive to jump into the cold plunge pool after a sauna!
British Naturism is absolutely committed to defend against the unfounded and largely ignorant views of the tiny (but vocal) minority who immediately associate nudity exclusively with sex, and children and nudity with harm. Both of these connections are completely and utterly false. Common sense tells us the simply nudity is as natural as taking a bath, and that children are more likely to be disturbed by the outrageous fashions that parade textile beaches than by nudity. Councillor Alden was invited to tour Clover Spa himself to see the reality of the situation having never even seen the venue. He declined. Maybe nudity is just too much for his ultra conservative values to handle.
Following the original press story and associated comment in the national press, British Naturism media spokesman, Andrew Welch, was invited to respond to the story on BBC Radio West Midlands and on Radio 2 and 4. Links to the broadcasts can be found in the links below:
As you can hear, there are still those who believe nudity should still be hidden away and that Victorian attitudes should be maintained. At British Naturism we have different view: that we should live under a mantle of common sense and respect for one another and change based upon the combined views of the majority. The vast majority of people in the UK have absolutely no problem with naturism as a lifestyle or simply nudity when the occasion provides for it. Over 3 million people see naturism as being part of their lives. We at British Naturism will continue to fight to protect the freedom to choose it.
...and by the way, the alcohol licence was granted...