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  • Writer's pictureMartha Edwards

The Ultimate Guide to Beach Etiquette

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Beaches are a popular destination for people of all ages. They offer a place to relax, swim, sunbathe, and enjoy the outdoors. However, it is important to remember that beaches are also shared spaces. There are certain rules of etiquette that should be followed in order to ensure that everyone has a enjoyable experience.

What is Beach Etiquette?

Beach etiquette is simply the rules that govern how people behave at the beach. These rules can vary depending on the specific beach, but there are some general guidelines that should be followed.

The Rules of Beach Etiquette

Here are some of the most important rules of beach etiquette:

  • Pick up your rubbish. It is important to pick up any rubbish that you generate while you are at the beach. This includes things like food wrappers, sunscreen bottles, and cigarette butts.

  • Be respectful of others. Beaches are often crowded places. It is important to be respectful of other people by

not playing loud music, not littering, and not swimming in areas where there are signs that say "no swimming."

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Beaches can be dangerous places. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and to take precautions

to avoid accidents. This includes things like watching out for rip currents, swimming with a buddy, and not swimming after drinking alcohol.

  • Try not to set up directly in front of someone else, you will spoil their view and possibly stop them from

being able to see their kids paddling.

  • Respect the environment. Beaches are part of the natural world. It is important to respect the environment by not damaging the sand dunes, not littering, and not feeding the wildlife.

  • Whilst it's fine to build a large sandcastle or wall to stave off the incoming tide, don't reserve a large section of the beach for yourself by building a sand wall or putting up many wind breaks! It is inevitable that the tide will come in and as the beach gets smaller people move into spaces further up and closer to others. The beach is for everybody to enjoy not just you and your


  • On the same theme, some people like to dig very deep holes in the sand for their kids; this is a really bad idea, as the sand can collapse crushing or trapping them. This is especially dangerous on unstable sand dunes and as the tide is coming in.

  • Smoking; it's best not to smoke at all on a crowded beach, but if you have to, then take a walk away from other people, especially children.

  • Make sure you check your local beach rules before bringing a dog. Even though your furry friend would probably love the beach, dogs are not allowed on many beaches in the Summer although there are sometimes exceptions at some times of day. Here's a handy guide to dog friendly beaches in Cornwall, UK: Cornwall Dog Friendly Beaches (

Tips for Following Beach Etiquette

Here are a few tips for following beach etiquette:

  • Bring your own rubbish bags. This will make it easy to pick up any rubbish that you generate.

  • Be aware of the signs. Beaches often have signs that indicate where it is safe to swim, where it is okay to sunbathe, and where you can bring a dog.

  • Be prepared for the unexpected. Beaches can be windy and sandy places. It is important to be prepared for the unexpected by wearing sunscreen, bringing a hat and sunglasses, and wearing shoes that you don't mind getting wet.

  • Enjoy yourself! Beaches are a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Be sure to enjoy yourself while you are at the beach.


Beaches are a popular destination for people of all ages. By following the rules of beach etiquette, you can help to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.

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