6 things you may not realise are illegal to do at the beach

Taking a trip to the beach on a sunny day is one of life’s great pleasures.

Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 5:08 pm

But you wouldn’t want to ruin a day out by falling on the wrong side of the law.

As yet another Bank Holiday weekend approaches, we’ve pulled together a list of rules you need to know about before your next trip to the seaside.

Here are 6 you might not realise is illegal or against the rules to do at the beach in England.

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Swimmers make their way into the sea off of Southsea beach. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Camping on the beach

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is illegal to camp without the landowner’s permission – TimeOut reports.

So in order to camp on the beach outside of an approved campsite, you would need to first get permission to do so.

If you do get permission, make sure to take everything with you after you are done.

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Similar to the above, if it is not a public beach and is a private one, you will need permission to enter.

If you were to go on a private beach without permission you could be trespassing and run the risk getting into trouble.

Removing pebbles and shells

Our sister title Yorkshire Evening Post reports that under the Coastal Protection Act 1949, the removal of any natural material such as sand and pebbles from public beaches in the UK is illegal.

It could land you with a fine of up to £1,000.

It might seem harsh but removing pebbles and other natural matter from the coast is in fact damaging to the environment.

Have a BBQ

Depending which beach you go to, it might be against the rules to have a BBQ on it.

The organisation responsible for managing the beach, for example the local council, are likely to have rules around designated areas where barbecues are allowed and where they are not.

For example there are a number of no BBQ zones across the seafront in Southsea.

Drinking underage at the beach

According to Drinkaware, only people over 18 can drink in public, except in areas of towns where Public Space Protection Orders are in place.

It is worth checking for any orders in place for the beach you are heading to.

But if you are under the age of 18 it is illegal to drink in public, including at the beach.

Leaving litter behind when you leave

It is is illegal to litter in the UK.

If you do litter, you could face a fine or prosecution in court.

A fixed penalty notice for littering can be up to £80.

If you are prosecuted in court for littering the fine could reach up to £2,500.

So if you do go to the beach, make sure to take all your rubbish with you and properly dispose of it.