Beach Barbecues: A Summer Etiquette Guide

Written by Edward Parsons |

Ah, yes. It’s that time of year again when the fair students of Falmouth and Exeter Universities descend upon the beaches of Cornwall for some BBQ fun in the sun.  Read these top 5 tips to avoid ruining your beach barbecue, or someone else’s.


Illustration by Jack Holland


1) If you have dietary requirements, bring your own BBQ!


I’m looking at you, veggies and vegans. You don’t get to eat first just because you can grill your vegetables on our disposables and then “we can put meat on after so everyone’s happy”, nice try.

What’s that? You don’t want to contaminate your peppers and halloumi with all my sticky beef juices? Tough luck.

Don’t fancy chowing down on contaminated courgette? Bring your own BBQ!



2) Don’t turn up empty-handed


No BBQ? No beers? Cider? Nope. No grub? Buns? Not even buns? You’re just here for our free food, aren’t you! D***head.



3) Don’t feed seagulls and don’t attack them either 


If you’re dumb enough to feed a seagull, enjoy the pandemonium that ensues when your dining party is subjected to an assault by a squadron of gulls who will waddle, probe and dive-bomb their way through you, your food and your belongings for anything they can get their grubby little beaks on.

Also, in spite of its efficacy in dispersing a gull onslaught, it’s actually illegal to throw rocks at seagulls and if convicted you could face a £5000 fine and a jail sentence of up to six months (R.I.P student loan).

Another warning- the last thing you need is to be fending off gulls one minute, only to find you engaged local old timer, Kiernan Pen-Trevethlawney, when you hurled a huge sandy rock at his bald patch. Don’t do anything stupid- respect the locals!



4) Put your BBQ, and other rubbish in the bins provided on the beach


If the fact that UK ranked second from last in terms of EU beach bathing water quality in May 2017 (admittedly less of a Cornish problem), or the fact that an expedition which undertook more than 40 scientific trawls found plastic in remote and biodiverse areas home to wildlife such as seals, puffins and whales isn’t enough to persuade you to clean up your mess, I don’t know what is.

Don’t bury your scorching hot BBQ under the sand either, and wait for someone or their child to step on it.





You’re on a beach for goodness sake. There is sand everywhere.  Use it!  Or use a bucket and spade and douse it in seawater. Are you out of your mind? How is everyone supposed to safely dispose of their barbecues when you’ve just re-ignited a whole stack of them in the only bin provided?


Follow these tips and  your fellow students and residents will tolerate you, just a little bit more!