British citizens should be aware of the many rules that regulate their daily life, but did you know there are actually quite a few that they never knew even existed?

From making it unlawful to dress as a police officer or a member of the armed forces to prohibiting a pet from mating with another from the royal household, those are just some examples of the most unusual laws to exist as presented by EM Law.

Let’s have a look at what some of the most bizarre UK laws that UK citizens might not know still exist.


1. Dressing Up as a Police Officer or a Member of the Armed Forces Is Illegal

Section 90 of the Police Act 1966 makes impersonating a police officer a crime in England.

The law states that “Any person who, unless a constable, wears any article of police uniform in circumstances where it gives him an appearance so nearly resembling that of a member of a police force as to be calculated to deceive is guilty of an offense and subject to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale on summary conviction.”

2. It Is Illegal to Gamble in a Library

The Libraries Offences Act 1898 (61 & 62 Vict c 52) was an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament that was applied in England and Wales.

The law made it unlawful to bet and gamble in a library, become disorderly, and use aggressive or abusive words.

 If the offender has been adequately warned, it also generates the offence of refusing to leave the library beyond the established closing hours.

3. It Is Illegal to Be Drunk in a Pub

Another unique law in the books involves being drunk in a pub. The Licensing Act 1872 outlines the laws and regulations governing alcohol use in the United Kingdom, and it states that anybody discovered intoxicated in a public place, including licensed premises, can receive a £200 fine.

Section 12 of the Act states, “anyone caught drunk…on any licensed premises will be subjected to a penalty.”

4. Walking cows down the streets in daylight is forbidden

Section 7 of the Metropolitan Streets Act states, “Cattle are not to be moved across streets at specific hours.”.

It further states that if you were discovered marching your darling bovines along the street between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., you would have been committing a felony unless you had personal permission from the Commissioner of Police.

5. It Is Prohibited to Enter the House of Parliaments Wearing Armour

During the reign of Edward II of England, the Statute prohibiting Bearing of Armour or Coming Armed to Parliament Act 1313 was passed.

It was Edward II’s attempt to discourage nobles from threatening to use force when parliament was summoned.

6. It Is Illegal for a Pet to Mate With Another From the Royal Household

It is illegal in the United Kingdom to let a common pet mate with a royal household pet. This law was an executable offence. Although the death sentence was abolished in 1965, the act is still punishable.

7. You Are Not Allowed to Carry a Plank of Wood Along a Pavement

Carrying a plank across the pavement in London is a felony under Section 54 of the Metropolitan Police Act of 1839. The maximum fine is £500.

The only exception where you may do so is if you are loading the plank of wood onto a vehicle or unloading it from one.

8. Flying a Kite in Public  

The act of flying a kite in a certain manner is technically illegal under UK law. Flying a kite in public places, including parks, is prohibited by the Metropolitan Police Act of 1839.

According to the Act, anybody “who shall fly any kite or play any game to the displeasure of the occupants or passengers” might face a £500 fine.

9. It Is Illegal to Shake Your Rug on the Street

This unique law prohibits shaking any carpet or rug in any street under Section 60 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839. Before 8 a.m however, you may beat or shake a doormat on the roadway.

10. Knocking on a Doorbell and Then Running Away

Knock Knock ginger is a prank where kids knock on someone’s front door and flee before it can be answered.

It is a crime under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 to “willfully and wantonly disturb any inhabitant, by pulling or ringing any doorbell, or rapping at any door.”


Some of the United Kingdom’s laws may seem a bit odd to outsiders, but they’re all part of what makes the UK so unique.

These laws help keep society running smoothly. So next time you’re tempted to break one of these laws, think twice – you might end up with a fine, or worse!

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