strange laws london

11 Weird And Strange London Laws

Between London’s charm and unprecedented heritage, there are a few laws that border the strange and weird.

We’ve also taken a look at the city’s legislative history to what these strange and weird laws are. Some are very bizarre while others very unique.

And that’s why we give you the 11 weird and strange London laws.

No Touching the Pelicans

You wouldn’t really expect such a law to exist, seeing as the pelican isn’t necessary a special bird. But the reason why this law exists is simply because pelicans carry a disease that can be potentially dangerous to humans.

The act came into law in 1997. While it is illegal to touch pelicans, you will need to obtain special written permission to do so.

You Can’t Die in the House of Parliament

Definitely one of the weirder London laws has to do with the House of Parliament. Namely, for hundreds of years, Londoners have been going back and forth regarding this “myth” of a law.

And while many more believe this law isn’t true, it would be quite funny to assume that one could die during political debates.

No Planks Or Poles On the Streets

In 1989, the Metropolitan Police Act came into law. The act proposed that a number of activities be abolished to prevent public nuisance. One of the proposed activities was carrying planks or poles on the busy streets of London.

We cannot imagine how such an activity would create a nuisance worthy of a fine, but it is the law nonetheless. Londoners that need transport of planks or poles from one place to another better find a vehicle to do so.

No Kite Flying and No Ice Sliding

While the winter months make London a beautiful place, there is a law that prohibits sliding anywhere on the busy London streets. This law is in place because sliding creates danger for yourself and others; especially on the streets.

The law is also part of the 1989 Metropolitan Police Act. One additional part of the law prohibits the flying of kites. While no one would fly a kite in the winter months, that does make it quite boring in the spring. Kite flying is prohibited because the law states it annoys Londoners. Who would have thought?

No Singing, Gambling, or Queue-Jumping

London is a huge city. The reason why it is so huge is not only the vast area, but the London Underground. This is the famous “tube” section of the city.

Transport For London has its own laws. This is one of the strangest facts about London that not many people know. The laws are in place to govern the behavior of passengers and means of transport. And since the London Underground makes up a large part of London’s transport, it means it has its own laws.

Some of the laws prohibit singing because it disturbs others. Other laws prohibit illegal gambling unless given permission from the operator. And another law prohibits queue-jumping. Queue-jumping is seen by many Londoners as dishonest. Since millions of people ride the tube every single day, seeing someone skip in line can make them pretty angry.

No Rug Shaking Before 8 AM

By far one of the weirdest London laws has to do with shaking rugs. Yet again this law comes from the Metropolitan Police Act of 1989. And this law clearly says that you cannot shake rugs, carpets, or mats out of your window before 8 AM.

More so, the law also states that you cannot throw out trash, dirt, litter or ashes through your window at any time. The law also prohibits throwing out dangerous items such as furniture or items that could fall into the sewer system, but this is common sense.

No Suspicious Salmon-Handling

The Salmon Act of 1986 was voted in to protect salmon from being poached. While this rule also applies to other species such as freshwater trout, eels, smelt, and others, the name was given after the delicious fish.

The law states that you will be subjected to offences if there have been any offences committed against it. The strangest part of this law is that you will still pay some sort of fine even if you have no idea that the salmon or any other species has been poached.

No Feeding the Pigeons

Laws that prohibit the feeding of pigeons don’t only exist in London. Rome is yet another city that has a similar pigeon problem that such measures had to be taken to prevent further damages.

It sounds quite strange but the pigeon situation in Central London square went so far out of hand that in 2007 the then London mayor, Ken Livingstone, forbid feeding them.

In 2007, there were more than 4,000 pigeons in the Central London square and surrounding areas. Since this law, the number has dropped to only 100. If you get caught feeding the pigeons in Central London square, do expect a £500 fine.

No Catching the Bus With a Plague

It seems that this law was actually a good thing. While no one would expect a pandemic to happen, that doesn’t make this law any less relevant. Namely, in London, you are forbidden from catching the bus or any other public transportation if you have the plague.

The Great Plague of London took the lives of 75,000 inhabitants between 1665 and 1666. So you can imagine why Londoners are afraid of riding the bus with someone else infected.

No Putting Stamps Upside Down

While this law doesn’t necessarily apply only to London it was passed in 1848 under the Treason Felony Act. The law states that if you put a stamp upside down in “absolute defiance”, then you will be persecuted criminally.

No Profane Songs on the Streets

It is illegal to sing profane songs on the streets of London. This law might be somewhat outdated as English fans have been singing such songs for decades when facing the many football teams from London.

And the fans of these clubs will have a thing or two to say about the rule. But if you do get caught singing profane songs on the streets, you might get fined.

Finishing Thoughts

For all the history and heritage London has, the city also has quite a few strange and weird laws. We hope that these were entertaining enough for you as London truly can be a weird place sometimes.

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