How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy Alcohol in the United Kingdom?

Only persons 18 years or older can legally buy alcohol in the United Kingdom, reports Gov.UK. One also must be 18 to drink alcohol at a licensed establishment, such as a pub. However, 16- and 17-year-olds accompanied by an adult may drink beer, wine or cider with a meal.

If accompanied by an adult, youths under 16 years of age might be permitted on premises such as a pub that primarily sells alcohol, depending on that place's specific conditions, according to Gov.UK.

In all circumstances, it is illegal in the United Kingdom to give a child younger than 5 years any alcohol, notes Gov.UK.