Can You Fly A drone at the beach

Can I Fly My Drone At The Beach UK? [2024 Update]

Drones are becoming popular, and more people are wondering if they can fly them at the beach in 2024.

In this definitive guide, we will explore the laws surrounding drone flying at the beach.

Provide a list of dos and don’ts for those looking to take their drone out for a spin on the sand. As well as the best beaches in the UK for drone photography.

There are 779 beaches around the UK. Making them the most popular and open places to practice flying drones.

As long as you follow the guidelines in this guide, you can enjoy flying your drone at the beach without any worry or hassle.

Jamies’ Quick Answer

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Crown Estates Rules For Drones On UK Beaches

As a drone pilot, you have the ‘vital right‘ from The Crown Estate to fly your drone on the UK beaches between the high and low tide lines, as long as it’s within the areas they own.

This privilege opens up a world of scenic flying opportunities, but it’s important to navigate this freedom responsibly.

To confirm you’re flying in the right areas, The Crown Estate offers an interactive map, marked in purple, to guide you.

It’s your go-to resource for identifying where you’re allowed to launch and land your drone along the coastline.

However, it’s important to note that not all purple-marked areas on the map are always under The Crown Estate’s jurisdiction.

Some sections might belong to other entities like English Heritage, the National Trust, or private landowners.

This means that while the map is a valuable tool, it’s not infallible. You should always double-check the ownership of the area you plan to fly in to avoid inadvertently trespassing.

drone taking off in gusts of wind

Can Someone Tell You Not To Fly From A Crown Estate Beach

Understanding your rights is key when someone challenges your use of a drone on Crown Estate beaches. If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone’s telling you that you can’t fly your drone on Crown Estate foreshore land, you’ve got a strong defense in your corner.

The Crown Estate has a clear policy that allows drone flying on their land, which covers a vast majority of the UK’s coastline.

If the situation escalates and you’re facing unwarranted pressure to stop flying your drone, you don’t have to just pack up and go.

Politely inform the person that The Crown Estate officially permits the activity.

It’s worth noting that having a copy of The Crown Estate’s drone policy on hand, or being able to quickly access it on your phone, could save you a lot of hassle.

Benefits Of Flying At The Beach

When you fly your drone at the beach, you’ll find the open space and fewer obstacles make it an ideal setting for honing your piloting skills.

The unique perspectives you can capture with drone photography are unparalleled, offering views that are simply not possible from ground level.

Plus, the beach provides a soft landing surface and the opportunity to practice in varying conditions, reducing the risk of damage to your drone and enhancing your flying experience.

Open space with fewer obstacles

One major advantage of flying your drone at the beach is the ample open space, which greatly reduces the risk of colliding with obstacles. Beaches typically have far fewer trees, buildings, or other structures that could interfere with your flight path.

This open environment is especially beneficial if you’re just starting to learn how to pilot a drone. You won’t have to constantly worry about maneuvering around or over potential hazards.

Instead, you can focus on mastering the controls and understanding how your drone responds to your commands.

This freedom not only makes the learning process smoother but also markedly lowers the chance of accidents, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable flying experience.

Unique perspectives for drone photography

Drones offer unparalleled opportunities to capture breathtaking aerial views of the coastline, ocean, and marine life, presenting innovative angles that simply aren’t possible from the ground.

Flying at the beach, you can seize the vast expanse of the sea, the dynamic interface between land and water, and the diverse behaviors of marine creatures from a bird’s eye view.

This unique perspective enriches your portfolio with mesmerizing images that stand out.

It’s not just about the broad vistas; drones enable you to explore intricate patterns in the sand, waves breaking against the shore, and secluded spots that are otherwise inaccessible.

Reduced interference with people

Beyond capturing unique perspectives, flying your drone at the beach also means less interference with people, especially in less crowded areas. Beaches offer vast open spaces where you can fly your drone without the worry of disturbing or endangering those around you.

However, it’s important to adhere to regulations that prohibit flying over crowds. This guarantees everyone’s safety and allows you to enjoy flying your drone responsibly.

By choosing less populated areas of the beach for your flight, you not only respect the privacy and peace of others but also mitigate the risk of accidents.

Always keep in mind the significance of flying your drone in a manner that’s considerate to all beachgoers.

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Soft landing surface

Why not consider the beach’s soft sand as an ideal landing pad for your drone, potentially sparing it from damage during mishaps? Unlike hard surfaces like pavement or rocks, the beach offers a forgiving landing zone.

If you’re practicing your flying skills, a misjudged landing or an unexpected gust of wind won’t necessarily mean a catastrophe. The soft sand can absorb some of the impact, reducing the risk of damaging your drone.

This benefit is especially valuable for beginners who are still getting the hang of piloting their drones.

So, next time you head out, remember that the beach isn’t just for sunbathing and swimming—it’s also an excellent place to safely practice and improve your drone flying skills without the added worry of harsh landings.

Practice in varying conditions

After mastering the art of soft landings on the beach’s forgiving sand, you’ll find that the varying wind and weather conditions present a new set of challenges to enhance your drone flying skills.

Flying at the beach exposes you to higher winds coming off the ocean, which is invaluable for honing your piloting abilities.

These conditions force you to adjust and react quickly, improving your control and responsiveness.

Handling your drone in more challenging environments builds confidence and expertise, making you a more skilled pilot. The beach offers a unique training ground, pushing you to master your drone’s capabilities and understand how different weather conditions affect its performance.

Embrace these opportunities to expand your skills and enjoy the added benefits of stunning coastal views.

Laws and Best Practices When Flying Drone At The Beach

Flying a drone at the beach can be a lot of fun. However, it’s important to know the laws and best practices surrounding drone flying.

  • If you fly or own a drone with a camera. You must register its use with the CAA before you fly
  • The use of drones for commercial purposes need to be licensed for drone use by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
  • Always keep your drone or model aircraft in direct sight
  • Never fly more than 400ft (120m) above the surface. 400ft Never fly more than 400ft (120m) above the surface and stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields
  • Never fly closer than 50m to people. Even when your drone is more than 50m away from people it is safer to avoid directly overflying them
  • Never fly closer than 50m to buildings, cars, trains or boats
  • Never fly closer than 150m to a crowd of 1,000 people or more. Never fly directly over a crowd
  • Never fly closer than 150m to built-up areas. Never fly directly over a built-up area
  • Never fly in an airport’s flight restriction zone
  • It is illegal to fly a drone or model aircraft between 250g-20kg that does not show a valid operator ID
Me checking out my yuneec dji alternative drone 1

Best UK Beaches For Flying Drones

Where you’re doing a coastal survey or just want some drone photography. Drones can be used for all types of intresting photography. However, there is something about drone photography at the beach that can’t be duplicated by other means. The sand, the ocean and the sky make your pictures look amazing. Here are some of the best beaches in the United Kingdom for taking stunning drone shots

1. Fistral Beach, Newquay

Fistral Beach drone

Fistral Beach located in the town of Newquay in Cornwall. It’s a short walk from the town centre, and it’s easy to find thanks to its iconic pier.

Fistral Beach is one of the best beaches in the UK for drone photography. The wide-open space and stunning coastal views make it perfect for aerial footage. There are also plenty of places to explore.

So you can take your drone out for a spin and capture some amazing footage.

2. Woolacombe Bay, Devon

Woolacombe Bay

Woolacombe Bay is a great place for photography, it offers stunning views of the coast. The bay is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, which can make for some interesting shots. There are plenty of interesting places to explore in the area. The locals are always happy to help out with directions.

3. Lyme Regis, Dorset

Lyme Regis

There are plenty of beautiful beaches in the UK, but none can quite compare to Lyme Regis in Dorset. This stunning spot is perfect for drone photography. The dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters make for a breathtaking backdrop.

4. Camber Sands, East Sussex

Camber Sands

Camber Sands is a stunning beach known for its wide expanse of sand and perfect waves. Perfect spot for a drone photographers looking to capture some beautiful aerial shots.

5. Porthcurno, Cornwall


Porthcurno beach, located in Cornwall. A county in the southwest of England. Porthcurno beach is a popular spot for photography enthusiasts. Its dramatic cliffs and turquoise waters.

Porthcurno makes for a perfect backdrop for drone photography.

6. Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Watergate Bay

Watergate Bay is a beach located in Cornwall, England. The beach is known for its excellent surfing conditions.

We recommend flying your drone during low tide. This will give you plenty of room to explore. Capturing some stunning shots of the waves crashing against the shore.

Be sure to keep an eye on the tide, and make sure your drone is clear of any rising water levels.

7. Saunton Sands, Devon

Saunton Sands

Saunton Sands is a beach in Devon, England. It is one of the most popular beaches in the area. Known for its wide range of activities, including surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.

It is also a great place to fly a drone. The beach is located in Saunton parish and can be accessed from the A361.

Drones can be flown at Saunton Sands. The beach can get crowded, so make sure you fly your drone safely and keep it out of the way of other beachgoers.

8. Studland Bay, Dorset

Studland Bay beach

Studland Bay is a bay located in the county of Dorset, England. Studland Bay is the perfect place to test out your skills.

9. Lunan Bay, Angus

Lunun bay beach drone

Lunan Bay is located in Angus, a county in the East of Scotland. Lunan Bay is a great place to fly a drone. It offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. There are plenty of great places to do photography in Angus, but Lunan Bay is one of the best. With its picturesque coastline and a ruined castle.

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Beaches With Drone Flight Restrictions

In the UK, there are a few beaches where drone flying is restricted. This is due to safety concerns, as drones can pose a risk to people and property if not flown correctly.

Examples can be found in the list below.

1. Blackpool

Black Pool Beach

Yes, there are restrictions on flying your drone at Blackpool beach. The beach is a popular spot for tourists, and as such, the airspace is often crowded. For safety reasons, it is important to follow any restrictions that may be in place.

2. West Sands Beach, St Andrews

St Andrews Beach

West Sands Beach in St Andrews is a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming. It is also one of the few beaches in the UK where drone flying is restricted. This is due to the proximity of Leuchars airbase. This creates a flight restriction zone around West Sands Beach.

3. Lancing Beach, Worthing

Lancing Beach Worthing

As mentioned earlier, there are a few beaches in the UK where drone flying is restricted. Lancing Beach in Worthing is one of these beaches. This is because the beach is located within an airport’s flight restriction zone.

For safety reasons, it is important to follow any restrictions that may be in place.

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Checking Flight Restrictions

Drones can be great fun to fly, but it is important to always follow the law. In the UK, there are a few beaches where drone flying is restricted. This is due to safety concerns, as drones can pose a risk to people and property if not flown correctly.

If you’re unsure about the laws surrounding drone flying. We always recommend following all drones laws. For more information, visit the Civil Aviation Authority website.

Great resource for checking the restrictions is the No Fly Drones website. This website provides an up-to-date list of all the beaches in the UK where drone flying is restricted.

And that’s our definitive guide on flying drones at the beach!

Drones can provide a whole new perspective on your favourite beach, and they can be a lot of fun to fly too! Be sure to follow the laws and guidelines outlined in this guide. As always check for restrictions beforehand and follow all drone laws. 

Have a great time flying your drone at the beach!

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start flying!

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