What time can you buy alcohol in England and Scotland and are Sundays different?

THE rules for buying alcohol differs across the UK, depending on opening times and licensing laws for individual stores in England and Scotland.

Sundays also operate on different hours. We've got all the information that you need across your bevvy loving country.

What time can you buy alcohol in Scotland and England?

In Scotland alcohol can be sold between the hours of 10am and 10pm.

Pubs and clubs are different and can stay open until the wee hours if they are granted a licence.

There are no 24 hour alcohol sellers in Scotland, unlike England and Wales.

In those two nations the pubs generally open 11am and close at 11pm, with some staying open later.

Most supermarkets in England and Wales are able to sell alcohol for the duration of the time they are open to the public.

Are the times you can buy alcohol different on Sunday?

In Scotland you used to have to wait until 12.30pm before buying alcohol, rather than 10am for the rest of the week.

Now it's in line with England and Wales which is 10am.

Trading laws in England and Wales restrict supermarket opening for 24 hours, meaning most stores over 3000 square feet can only open for a maximum of six continuous hours.

This means the vast majority of stores opening hours on Sunday in England and Wales will be between 10am-6pm.

What is the law about drinking alcohol in public?

According to drinkaware.co.uk, over 18s are OK to drink in public except in areas where Public Space Protection Orders are in place.

"A Public Space Protection Order, or PSPO, is a special decree that allows police to stop people from drinking in a certain area," states their website.

"PSPOs give police officers special powers to order a person to stop drinking alcohol in public and confiscate it from them."

"Even outside of these areas, the police can take away alcohol or move on under 18s if they have been drinking," they add.

"The police can also fine or arrest under 18s drinking in public places."


What are the licensing laws at Tesco, Aldi and others?

In England you can usually buy alcohol as long as these supermarkets are open – so if they open 24 hours, then you could buy a bottle.

But in Scotland, there are no round-the-clock licenses.

So even if your supermarket is open all hours, the 10am to 10pm rule applies.  

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