THE naked rambler is back in England for the first time in six years, as he makes his way back home to Hampshire.

Stephen Gough is walking the 430 miles south to Eastleigh, where he hopes to be re-united with his children.

The 53-year-old reportedly made it across the border from Scotland on remote moorland in the Cheviot hills last night, having been released early from Saughton prison in Edinburgh on Friday.

It is the first time the nudity campaigner has made it out of the country since 2006, when he was first jailed for refusing to put clothes on.

Mr Gough has been convicted 18 times in total for various breach of the peace charges over his public nakedness.

The last of those came in September, when he was locked up for five months after telling a court he would not co-operate with social workers tasked with assessing his mental health, having been arrested as he walked near a children's play park in Dunfermline on July 20.

That came three days after he had been released from prison in Perth.

But it appears Scottish police have turned a blind eye to his public nudity as he again attempts the long walk back to Eastleigh to see his family, including his elderly mother.

After his release last week Lothian and Borders Police said they were willing to exercise discretion in his case “if circumstances permit”.

Mr Gough has said he is hopeful of being reunited with his children - Yarin, 14, and 16-year-old Kiana.

He has spoken to the teenagers on the phone since his release, although their mum Alison Ward has said a meeting in person will only happen if he is willing to put clothes on.

The former Marine is also expecting to be joined for part of the walk by ex-girlfriend Melanie Roberts, who trekked naked with him from Land's End to John O'Groats in 2005.

The 41-year-old hairdresser, who now lives in Birmingham, split with Mr Gough in 2006 but has been writing to him in prison.

And she has been in training to join him for at least part of his long walk south, although it is not clear if she plans to do so naked.