Public Holidays in London

London has around eight public holidays every year, when banks and many businesses are closed. Plan your trip with these and school holidays in mind.

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 2015

 

Public Holiday 2015 2016
New Year's Day Thursday 1 January Friday 1 January
Good Friday Friday 3 April Friday 25 March
Easter Monday Monday 6 April Monday 28 March
Early May Bank Holiday Monday 4 May Monday 2 May
Spring Bank Holiday Monday 25 May Monday 30 May
Summer Bank Holiday Monday 31 August Monday 29 August
Christmas Day Friday 25 December Tuesday 27 December*
Boxing Day Monday 28 December* Monday 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. There's a reduced service on Boxing Day and Christmas bank holidays, which fall on 25 and 28 December in 2015.

Most London attractions and shops and many restaurants are closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Easter 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 Holidays

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.