8 weird laws in Britain today

Everyone knows the British have their quirks.  And being British, these aren’t just casual whims, British quirks are written into law.

  1. It is illegal to handle a salmon under suspicious circumstances.

The law was passed just 31 years ago.  Unfortunately, no-one is quite sure what counts as ‘suspicious circumstances’ so it’s best to avoid anything fishy when it comes to salmon.

2 Plank

  1. It is illegal to carry a plank along the pavement.

Planks, ladders, wheels, placards … the list goes on.  How builders are meant to get their ladders from their vans to building sites remains a mystery.


  1. It is illegal to have fun in the street.

Since 1839, it has been illegal to fly kites or slide in the snow in the street.  It’s also illegal to knock on a neighbour’s door and run away.

4 Hamster

  1. It is illegal to let your pet mate with the royal hamster.

In fact, you mustn’t let your pet mate with any royal pets.


  1. It is illegal to be drunk in a pub.

Bizarrely, this has been true since 1872 and policemen still use this law at times today.

6 Cow

  1. It is illegal to operate on a cow whilst drunk.

This seems fairly sensible – hopefully, it is illegal to operate on any patient – be it a cow, a cat or a human – whilst intoxicated.

7 Whale

  1. It is illegal to hide a beached whale from the Queen.

Instead, you must offer any beached whale or sturgeon to the monarch.  The law came into force in 1322 and was obeyed as recently as 2004, by Mr. Davies who caught a sturgeon in Wales.

8 Tube

  1. It is illegal to jump the queue for the Underground.

If there is a sign or a person telling you to queue, you must queue.  Could any law be more British?

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