Tourist Information UK

Public Holidays

Bank holidays are a public holiday in the UK when most people have the day off work. There are currently eight permanent bank holidays in England and Wales and 10 in Northern Ireland. Public holidays tend to result in increased holiday activity, with many people going on a long weekend break.

In Scotland some dates differ. There are statutory bank holidays across the whole of Scotland, but other public or local holidays are determined by local authorities, based on local tradition. Since 2007, St Andrew's Day has been an alternative, voluntary public holiday, which can replace an existing local holiday. Not all businesses and schools are closed during Scottish bank holidays.

Most high street shops and supermarkets remain open on bank holidays as do tourist businesses although their opening hours may be reduced.

Public holidays are on Christmas day, Boxing day and New years day. There is a spring and summer bank holiday plus several over the Easter period. As the Easter dates change each year, so do the public holidays. Visit the UK government website for an up to date list of public holidays.

If a public holiday date falls on a Saturday or Sunday then a 'substitute' day will be given because most people do not work on Saturdays or Sundays anyway.