I'm interested in taking up archery. Attending the closest club would require that I take the train there as I cannot drive.

Would I be able to take a bow and arrows, secured in a case, on the train?

The train operator is Northern Rail in the UK.

  • 7
    It might rise some eyebrows at Nottingham station. Wearing tights and trying to dodge the fare is not recommended. Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 17:02

3 Answers 3


If the train operator allows it, yes, you would be permitted to do so.

There are no laws specifically against the carrying of bows and/or arrows, nor is a licence required for their purchase.

Bows can be carried openly with less issue, but arrows (because of their ease of use as a weapon) should be stored securely and safely, because

  • this protects you and others from accidental injury;

  • it prevents others using the arrow as a weapon;

  • it is affirmative evidence for a defence of lawful purpose, if you are accused of carrying an offensive weapon.

The latter is the greatest risk you may face from a legal perspective, so you should follow best practise similarly to firearms and ammunition: store and transport the bow and arrows safely, securely, separately.

  • Can you cite any sources for this? I would be quite surprised if there are no laws pertaining to bringing dangerous objects or general weaponry on trains. Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 17:53
  • They're covered by general laws about weapons, where "lawful purpose", which for example transporting them from home to club and back for a legitimate use is, is an exception.
    – user4657
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 20:54

In addition to the answer by @Nij, this would be like people taking potentially offensive weapons to and from martial arts events. I was taught that any offensive weapons should be carried in a bag, at the bottom of a separate bag. This was to make it hard (and shown to be hard) to access. I would do a similar thing with your arrows.

From my limited understanding, an offensive weapon is only such when it can be used, or looks like it can be used (e.g., replica weapons).

  • 1
    Anecdotal, so not worth a full answer: I'm part of a martial arts group and routinely carry a large sword-shaped implement. The police have asked me about it before, but after a brief explanation that I was en route to a class they waved me by.
    – ymbirtt
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 16:35

I decided to contact the train operator, Northern, by email with this question. This is their response:

You can take your secured bow and arrows on the train. The limitations are not what you are carrying but the bulk of the items.


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