10 weird and wonderful UK laws that might surprise you

UK laws are constantly changing and modernising, however some have remained in place despite society changing around them

Friday, 19th February 2021, 2:33 pm
UK laws are constantly changing and modernising, however some have remained in place despite society changing around them (Photo: Shutterstock)

From handling fish suspiciously, to drinking too much in your local pub, here are 10 surprising laws that still exist across the UK today.

According to the ‘Seamen’s and Soldiers’ False Characters Act 1906’, no one in the UK is allowed to dress up as a member of the naval military and marine forces.
All whales found on the coast are property of the Crown. This was apparently written to ensure the Queen had enough whalebone from her corsets. However, the Royal House is at liberty to turn down the offer of the animal remains.

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If you are found to be drunk and in charge of a cow in Scotland, then you could be jailed for up to 51 weeks or fined £200. It is illegal under the Licensing Act 1872 to be in charge of a carriage, horse, cow or steam engine.
Under section 54 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839, it is illegal to carry a plank along a pavement.
Under section 60 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839, it is illegal to shake any carpet or rug in any street. However, you are allowed to beat or shake a doormat on the street before 8am.
The 1313 Statute Forbidding Bearing of Armour forbids members of parliament from wearing a suit of armour in the House of Commons.
According to the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, it is illegal to handle fish in suspicious circumstances. The law used to only apply with salmon, but was amended to include all fish in 2009.
Section 12 of the Licensing Act 1872, states: “Every person found drunk…on any licensed premises, shall be liable to a penalty.” According to the Metropolitan Police Act 1839, it is also an offence for a landlord to permit drunkenness or disorderly conduct on the premises.
TFL ByeLaws brought into force under s.26 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 state: "Any person directed by a notice to queue or asked to queue by an authorised person shall join the rear of the queue and obey the reasonable instructions of any authorised person regulating the queue."
Unless your engine is off and your handbrake is on, you could be facing a £200 fine and three points on your driving licence. If you passed your test in the last two years, you could even lose your licence.