Moving to the UK from another country can be daunting. As well as the physical distance and being away from family and friends, adjusting to new cultures and routines can be tough. In the UK, there are also many odd rules and laws that simply don’t make sense.
To help you adjust, here are 6 of the strangest UK laws you weren’t aware of (until now).
You can’t fly a kite in public
According to the Metropolitan Police Act 1839, it is illegal to fly a kite on public thoroughfares. But don’t worry if you’ve already broken this one—many children are still doing so today. There’s also a law banning sledging. Now that’s just unnecessary.
You can’t be drunk in a pub
Now, this is a rule that many pubgoers have broken. Many times. According to Section 12 of the 1872 Licensing Act, it is actually illegal to be found drunk in a pub. If you’re found drunk in any public place, including inside a pub, you could be fined £200. Time to think twice about ordering ‘one for the road’!
You can’t plague and ride
This is a law that draws many parallels to the Covid-19 restrictions. But while Covid laws have loosened, there are still regulations in place for other diseases. If you knowingly have the plague or a notifiable disease, it is illegal to flag down a taxi or ride the bus without first informing the driver.
You can’t beat your rug in public
Bad news for Londoners that need to beat their carpet or rug… it’s actually illegal. As of 1839, beating or shaking any carpet or rug in the street in London is against the law. Doormats, however, are a different question. You’re welcome to shake your doormat. But only if it’s before 8 am in the morning.
You can’t knock and run
Knocking on a stranger’s door and running away isn’t just an annoying prank played by kids. It is an illegal act according to UK law. Fun fact: this childhood game goes by many names including Ding Dong Ditch, Knock Knock Ginger and Nicky Nicky Nine Doors. All are apparently illegal.
You can’t walk down the street with a plank of wood
Yes, you read correctly. If you have plans to take a walk with a plank of wood sometime soon, forget about it. According to Section 54 of the Metropolitan Police District Act 1839, it’s illegal in the UK. However, there is a loophole. If you’re loading or unloading a plank of wood to or from a vehicle, it’s totally fine. Phew!