Public holidays, or "bank holidays" as they are known, are spread throughout the year and mark religious, historical and special events.
Many of London's shops, attractions and businesses stay open throughout the public holidays. But be sure to check opening times before visiting on these days as some will open for reduced hours and others might not open at all.
Public transport may also be affected, with reduced services. Always plan your journey in advance on the Transport for London website.
Public holiday dates
|New Year's Day||Monday 2 January*||Monday 1 January|
|Good Friday||Friday 14 April||Friday 30 March|
|Easter Monday||Monday 17 April||Monday 2 April|
|Early May Bank Holiday||Monday 1 May||Monday 7 May|
|Spring Bank Holiday||Monday 29 May||Monday 28 May|
|Summer Bank Holiday||Monday 28 August||Monday 27 August|
|Christmas Day||Monday 25 December||Tuesday 25 December|
|Boxing Day||Tuesday 26 December||Wednesday 26 December|
*substitute day as bank holiday falls on a weekend
Christmas holidays and closures
The one time of year when London feels quiet is on Christmas Day (25 December) and Boxing Day (26 December).
There is no public transport on Christmas Day, and a reduced service on Boxing Day and the Christmas bank holidays.
On Easter Sunday, large shops have to close by law. Small shops, pharmacies, airport and train station shops are allowed to open.
There may be reduced public transport over the Easter bank holidays. Most attractions will be open over Easter.
School term dates change from year to year and differ from school to school. There are sometimes differences between term dates for local authority-run schools and independent schools.
Traditionally, there are three school terms, with short mid-term (half term) breaks and a longer break over the summer:
Summer holiday: late July to early September
Autumn half term: final week of October
Christmas holidays: late December to early January
Spring half term: one week in mid-February
Easter holidays: two weeks either side of Easter Sunday
Summer half term: one week end of May/early June
There are further differences with many local authorities now adopting a standard school year. This is made up of six terms, each of a similar length.