20 things you can - and can't - do in Britain

Fireworks in the sky

10 things that are legal

  • Walk across a road on a red light
  • Set off fireworks at any time of year (though not late at night)
  • Marry at age 16 (in England & Wales you’ll need your parents’ consent)
  • Marry your cousin
  • Marry a same-sex partner
  • Drive in bare feet
  • Educate your child at home
  • Get buried in your garden
  • Have an exotic pet
  • Drink alcohol in public (as long as you’re over 18 and there is not a Public Space Protection Order)


10 things that are not legal

  • Smoke in a car with children aged under 18
  • Use a mobile phone while driving a car
  • Take pebbles from a beach
  • Watch live television without a TV licence
  • Spit in the street
  • Have a fire or BBQ in most public spaces or countryside without permission from the landowner
  • Chop branches off a tree in a Conservation Area without permission from the local council
  • Change the colour of your front door without permission from the council (this applies to listed houses)
  • Fly a drone within the restricted zone of an airport, which could be several km away
  • Be drunk in public – though if you’ve ever been in a city centre on a Saturday night, you’ll know this law is often ignored!

Image: Ninotti/Dreamstime

Was this useful?