Can I ride on UK beaches?


I'm thinking of buying a motocross or trail bike to take on holiday with me to and ride on the beach. Are you allowed to just ride on any beaches or are there certain beaches that it's allowed on, if so, how do I find out if and where I can ride on the sand?

N Morris, by email


The law on where you can and cannot drive comes down to a few basic principles. You can drive on public roads, but all the rules of the road will apply, such as road tax, insurance, helmets etc. Bear in mind that byways and unclassified country roads are public highways even though they may not be tarmacked.

You cannot drive on a public footpath, bridleway, cycle track or restricted byway.

You are also restricted from riding on any land, moorland, forest, commons, country parks, waste ground, derelict railways etc., unless you have the express permission of the landowner.

If you don’t own your own land, you could look at a commercial motor sports site, an off-road ‘pay and play’ centre, or join a reputable club specialising in off-road activities. Ordinance survey maps are useful guides but are not definitive sources of legal public rights of way and other routes when it comes to where you are able to ride/drive.

The rules regarding riding your dirt bike on any particular beach will vary from place to place, so it is difficult to provide you with a definitive answer to your question. If you are permitted to drive on a certain beach, this could be restricted to certain months of the year (excluding the holiday months), and may have speed restrictions in place.

It would be best to speak with the local council of the beaches you are thinking of riding on, and checking what the rules are regarding you riding your bike on there.


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