Rain, maybe even snow. Throw in a traffic jam or two. Bingo! What would a bank holiday be without them? But don’t let that stop you from getting out and about, and having some fun. Make use of the eight glorious bank holiday days we have in England and Wales.
Scotland and Northern Ireland generally have the same public holidays as England and Wales but some are different and have grown – as with most public holidays – out of local traditions and customs. Scotland has nine days, and Northern Ireland ten.
A date marked with an asterisk (or a *) is in lieu of, or a substitute for, the actual bank holiday should it fall on a weekend.
Bank Holidays in England & Wales 2020
|1 Jan||Wed||New Year’s Day|
|10 Apr||Fri||Good Friday|
|13 Apr||Mon||Easter Monday|
|4 May||Mon||Early May Bank Holiday|
|25 May||Mon||Spring Bank Holiday|
|31 Aug||Mon||Late Summer Bank Holiday|
|25 Dec||Fri||Christmas Day|
|28 Dec||Mon||Boxing Day|
Bank Holidays in England & Wales 2021
|1 Jan||Fri||New Year’s Day|
|2 Apr||Fri||Good Friday|
|5 Apr||Mon||Easter Monday|
|3 May||Mon||Early May Bank Holiday, May Day|
|31 May||Mon||Spring Bank Holiday|
|30 Aug||Mon||Late Summer August Bank Holiday|
|27 Dec*||Mon||Christmas Day|
|28 Dec*||Tue||Boxing Day|
Bank Holidays in England & Wales 2022
|3 Jan*||Mon||New Year’s Day|
|15 Apr||Fri||Good Friday|
|18 Apr||Mon||Easter Monday|
|2 May||Mon||Early May Bank Holiday|
|30 May||Mon||Spring Bank Holiday|
|29 Aug||Mon||Late Summer August Bank Holiday|
|26 Dec*||Mon||Christmas Day|
|27 Dec*||Tue||Boxing Day|
Bank Holidays in England & Wales 2023
|2 Jan*||Mon||New Year’s Day||All UK|
|7 Apr||Fri||Good Friday||All UK|
|10 Apr||Mon||Easter Monday||All UK (ex. Scotland)|
|1 May||Mon||Early May Bank Holiday||All UK|
|29 May||Mon||Spring Bank Holiday||All UK|
|28 Aug||Mon||Late Summer August Bank Holiday||All UK (ex. Scotland)|
|25 Dec||Mon||Christmas Day||All UK|
|26 Dec||Tues||Boxing Day||All UK|
A Brief History of Bank Holidays in England and Wales
Official bank holidays in England and Wales stem from the marvelous work done by Sir John Lubbock MP with the Bank Holidays Act 1871. Four days were granted: Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August, and Boxing Day or St. Stephen’s Day.
Christmas Day and Good Friday were already public holidays under common law so, although being days off, were not included here.
Prior to 1871 however while people observed Christmas Day and Good Friday holidays were more regional and varied according to custom and tradition. Bank holidays per se only came into existence in 1871.
One hundred years later the Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971 moved the August Bank Holiday from the first Monday to the last Monday, and the Whitsun holiday to the last Monday in May. Further revisions included New Year’s Day being proclaimed a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 1974, the first Monday in May in 1978.
Today bank holidays are generally the same as those in Scotland and Northern Ireland but with some important differences: while England and Wales have eight days, Scotland has nine and Northern Ireland ten.