Five-Year UK Public Holiday Dates - 2017 through 2021

Bank Holidays in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Oxford Street in London
••• Gonzalo Azumendi / Getty Images

Use these calendars of UK public holidays when planning your visits and getaways through 2021.

In the UK, legal holidays are known as Bank Holidays because (with a few exceptions) the banks are closed and mail is not delivered on those days. You need to take bank holidays into account if you are making arrangements that rely on the passing of a fixed number of normal working days (delivery of tickets, money clearing a bank account, refunds, for example).

Bank holidays do not count as normal working days even though, nowadays, the shops are open and some people work on them.

Though many of the same holidays are observed in the four nations that make up the United Kingdom - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - there are slight variations, reflecting different national customs and priorities. England and Wales have the fewest bank holidays, with only 8, and Northern Ireland has the most generous allocation of holidays, with ten.

You may notice that some bank holidays in these calendars are on different days then the holiday actually occurs. For example, in 2021 the Christmas Bank Holiday is observed on December 27. That's because, that year Christmas falls on a Saturday so a weekday is added to the holiday weekend.

Find Out More About UK Public or Bank Holidays

Public Holidays in England and Wales

Holidays20172018201920202021 
New Year's Day January 2 January 1 January 1January 2January 1 
Good Friday April 14 March 30 April 19 April 10 April 2 
Easter MondayApril 17April 2 April 22 April 13 April 5 
Early May Holiday May 1 May 7 May 6 May 4 May 3 
Spring Bank Holiday May 29 May 28 May 27 May 25 May 31 
Summer Bank Holiday August 28 August 27 August 26 August 31 August 30 
Christmas December 25December 25 December 26 December 25 December 27 
Boxing Day December 26 December 28 December 27 December 28December 28 

 

Public Holidays in Scotland

The Scots celebrate Hogmanay, a three or four-day New Year's blowout - so the official New Year's holiday includes an extra day, simply called 2nd January Holiday or 2nd New Year's Day.

The Summer Bank Holiday is celebrated at the beginning of August in Scotland but the end of August elsewhere in the UK.

 But a word of warning if you are planning on visiting a bank. Most Scottish banks close at the end of the month as well, to correspond with the rest of the UK.

St. Andrews Day, the national day in Scotland, has, since 2007, been an optional or voluntary public holiday. Around Scotland, there are a number of traditional holidays, based on local tradition and determined by local authorities. St Andrew's Day can be an alternative, to replace one of these local days. Banks and schools may not necessarily be closed on Scottish public holidays since, for business reasons, they mirror England and Wales. Similarly, while Easter Monday is not observed as a public holiday in Scotland, the banks - to harmonize with the rest of the UK - are closed.

Holidays20172018201920202021
New Year's DayJanuary 2 January 1 January 1 January 1 January 1
2nd New Year's Day January 3 January 2 January 2 January 2 January 4
Good Friday April 14 March 30 April 19 April 10 April 2
Early May Holiday May 1 May 7 May 6 May 4 May 3
Spring Bank Holiday May 29 May 28 May 27 May 25 May 31
Summer Bank Holiday August 7 August 6 August 5 August 3 August 2
St Andrew's Day November 30November 30November 30November 30November 30
ChristmasDecember 25December 25December 25December 25December 27
Boxing DayDecember 26December 28December 26 December 28 December 28

 

Public Holidays in Northern Ireland

Mutual respect for the culture and traditions of the different communities that make up Northern Ireland is hardwired into the Good Friday Agreement that has brought peace to the region. For that reason, St Patrick's Day and Orangemen's Day (the commemoration of the Battle of the Boyne) are both bank holidays there. Nevertheless, there is still occasional friction in parts of Northern Ireland on Orangemen's Day, when Protestant fraternal organizations traditionally march. You may want to factor that into your travel plans.

Holidays20172018201920202021
New Year's Day January 2 January 1 January 1 January 2 January 1
St Patrick's Day March 17 March 19 March 18 March 17 March 17
Good Friday April 14 March 30 April 19 April 10 April 2
Easter Monday April 17 April 2 April 22 April 13 April 5
Early May Holiday May 1 May 7 May 6 May 4 May 3
Spring Bank Holiday May 29 May 28 May 27 May 25 May 31
Orangemen's Day July 12 July 12 July 12 July 13 July 12
Summer Bank Holiday August 28 August 27 August 26 August 3` August 30
Christmas December 25 December 25 December 25 December 25December 27
Boxing Day December 26 December 28 December 26 December 28 December 28