Why does Great Britain have public holidays?

UK Holiday Dates - 2017 to 2021 - Use these UK bank holidays calendars when planning your visits and short visits until 2021.

In the UK, public holidays are known as bank holidays because banks are closed and mail is not delivered on those days. Holidays should be taken into account when making travel plans.

While there are many common holidays in the four nations that make up the United Kingdom - England, Wales and Scotland - there are slight variations to reflect different national customs and priorities.

You may notice that some holidays in these calendars are on different days than the actual holiday day. For example, Christmas Day in 2021 is December 27th. This is because this year Christmas falls on a Saturday, so that a weekday is added to the holiday weekend.

Find more on UK public or bank holidays


Holidays in England and Wales


public holidays20182019202020212022 
New Years Day January 1st January 1st January 1stJanuary 1stJanuary 3rd 
Good FridayMarch 30 April 19th 10th of April2nd of April April 15th 
Easter Monday2nd of AprilApril 22 April 13th April 5th April 18 
May Day May 7th May 6th 8th of May May 3 2.May 
Fr.spring holiday28th of May May 27th 25. May 31. May 30th May 
Summer holiday August 27th 26th of August August 31 August 30th29th August 
Christmas Day 25 December25 December 25 December 25 December December 26th 
Christmas Day December 26th December 26th December 26th December 26thDecember 27th 



Holidays in Scotland


The Scots celebrate New Year or Hogmanay over 2 or 3 days - so the official New Year holiday includes an extra day, which is simply called the 2nd January holiday or 2nd New Years day.

The summer holiday is celebrated in Scotland at the beginning of August, but elsewhere in the UK at the end of August. However, please take into account that most Scottish banks closed at the end of the month, to mimic banks in England.

St. Andrews Day, Scotland's National Day, is a voluntary public holiday. There are a number of traditional holidays in Scotland based on local tradition and determined by the local authorities. St Andrews Day can be an alternative to replacing one of these local holidays. Banks and schools are not necessarily closed on Scottish public holidays as they imitate England and Wales for business reasons. Similarly, the banks remain closed on Easter Monday, which is not a public holiday in Scotland.

public holidays20172018201920202021
New Years DayJanuary 2nd January 1stJanuary 1st January 1stJanuary 1st
2nd New Years Day January 3rd January 2nd January 2ndJanuary 2nd January 4th
Good FridayApril 14th March 30 April 19th10th of April 2nd of April
May Day 1st of May May 7th May 6th May 4th May 3
Fr.spring holiday May 29th 28th of MayMay 27th 25. May 31. May
Summer holiday August 7th 6th of August5th of August 3rd August August 2nd
St Andrews day 30th of November30th of November30th of November30th of November30th of November
Christmas25 December25 December25 December25 DecemberDecember 27th
Christmas DayDecember 26thDecember 28December 26th December 28 December 28