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Bank holidays in England and Wales

Bank Holidays in England and Wales

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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

DayDateHoliday
1 JanWedNew Year’s Day
10 AprFriGood Friday
13 AprMonEaster Monday
4 MayMonEarly May Bank Holiday
25 MayMonSpring Bank Holiday
31 AugMonLate Summer Bank Holiday
25 DecFriChristmas Day
28 DecMonBoxing Day
Bank holidays in England and Wales 2020

Bank Holidays in England & Wales 2021

DateDayHoliday
1 JanFriNew Year’s Day
2 AprFriGood Friday
5 AprMonEaster Monday
3 MayMonEarly May Bank Holiday, May Day
31 MayMonSpring Bank Holiday
30 AugMonLate Summer August Bank Holiday
27 Dec*MonChristmas Day
28 Dec*TueBoxing Day
Bank holidays in England and Wales 2021

Bank Holidays in England & Wales 2022

DateDayHoliday
3 Jan*MonNew Year’s Day
15 AprFriGood Friday
18 AprMonEaster Monday
2 MayMonEarly May Bank Holiday
30 MayMonSpring Bank Holiday
29 AugMonLate Summer August Bank Holiday
26 Dec*MonChristmas Day
27 Dec*TueBoxing Day
Bank holidays in England and Wales 2022

Bank Holidays in England & Wales 2023

2 Jan*MonNew Year’s DayAll UK
7 AprFriGood FridayAll UK
10 AprMonEaster MondayAll UK (ex. Scotland)
1 MayMonEarly May Bank HolidayAll UK
29 MayMonSpring Bank HolidayAll UK
28 AugMonLate Summer August Bank HolidayAll UK (ex. Scotland)
25 DecMonChristmas DayAll UK
26 DecTuesBoxing DayAll UK
Bank holidays in England and Wales 2023

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.

Check out the rest of the website to learn more. You may be interested in the Definitive Guide to Bank Holidays, or just browse all the articles on bank holidays.

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