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The Naked Rambler - The most notorious nudist in Britain

On June 16 2003 Mr Steve Gough set off from Land's End in England with the intention of walking the entire length of Britain while completely naked. His final destination was to be John O'Groats at the very tip of Scotland, and his only clothing was a bush hat, a ruck sack and hiking boots. Unfortunately at the time of writing Steve has not been able to complete his walk as he is currently detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure.

Steve's odyssey was first reported as vague sightings of a naked man by locals in the south of England. North Yorkshire police reported five separate spottings of an "athletic man with an all-over tan," but remained baffled as to what was going on. Before long the newspapers had dubbed him the "Naked Rambler", and interest grew.

Finally the Channel 4 news crew unveiled his identity, with the help of Steve's website. Suddenly the entire nation knew that the Naked Rambler was a 44 year old father of three who had previously been a lorry driver before he became unemployed.

Steve announced he wanted to do the walk "as a celebration of myself as a human being, and my body as part of that." He told the Guardian newspaper that he had been keeping mainly to rarely-used hiking tracks, but he had walked through populated areas at times.

At the time of writing Steve had been arrested at least 16 times. Most of those arrests have been for breach of the peace, as nudity is not illegal in Britain. He has encountered his most trouble with the police in Scotland. On the 28th November 2003 he was officially given a three month jail sentence after being arrested in early October in Ross-shire. As he had spent most of that time in custody, he then walked free and proceeded to re-start his naked hike. Police then re-arrested him and he was again remanded in custody, awaiting trial in the new year.

During the first hearing, his solicitor said: "He has engaged in this type of behaviour in order to raise public awareness of the human state and celebrate himself as a human being. He has no perception of any wrongdoing."

After his release, Mr Gough said "This is how they treat a human being. Shame, shame."

Steve Gough is expected to appear in court again shortly.

- This article written 8th December 2003

Update March 2006 - He made it again... and is still in trouble

Naked Rambler jailed for contempt - BBC

Naked Rambler completes his trek - BBC

Naked Rambler finally gets dressed - Independent Online

Update June 2005 - Second Attempt

Steve Gough has made his second attempt to walk the length of Britain naked. This time he has been accompanied by his girlfriend and numerous nude supporters. Once again he has encountered difficulty with local authorities, particularly in Edinburgh.

Naked Rambler angers sheriff - Jailed for contempt of court for refusing to wear clothes in court.

Naked Rambler sets off again with girlfriend - Scotsman

Naked rambler takes girlfriend on nude walk - Reuters

Update 8th January 2004 - Steve Gough has been found guilty of breaching the peace and his bail conditions, and faces another stint in jail. Gough had unsuccessfully argued that his walk should be allowed as a right of freedom of expression.  Naked rambler sent back to jail (Ananova)

Update 23 January 2004 - He made it!!
Steve Gough has finally made it to John O'Groat's, buck naked in freezing weather. He was greeted by a crowd of wellwishers and frenzied media. Gough sipped champagne and said he was looking forward to a good meal and a soft bed. 

"I think tonight I'll have a really big meal because I haven't really eaten in the last few days. I ran out of food and ended up having to drink out of streams. I'll have to have a think about what I'm going to do next. "This is just one step in the whole process of making people aware about our bodies because we are so paranoid about them."

Naked rambler completes his trek - BBC

End of road for naked rambler - Guardian

Brit in the buff does his stuff - SMH

Update 18 May 2006 - Nude on a plane
Steve Gough was arrested after stripping naked in the toilet of a plane. He was flying back to Edinburgh to face contempt of court charges and figured he'd nude up in-flight. The attendants requested he put his clothes back on and he refused. Police charged him at the airport.

Naked rambler arrested for mid-air strip - The Scotsman

Naked Rambler lands jail term for in-flight strip - The Scotsman, 24 Jun 2006

Court ban for Naked Rambler - The Scotsman, 18 Aug 2006

Naked Rambler won't dress despite latest prison term - The Scotsman, 26 Aug 2006

Original News Items about the Naked Rambler

Naked Rambler Arrested Again - BBC

All is revealed: Nude hiker named - The Guardian

Court dresses down naked rambler - CNN

Case against naked rambler is dropped - Guardian

Website

Steve Gough's website - features photos and diary entries from both walks.

Related Article

Naked campaigner upsets BBC

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