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 Holiday20142015
New Year's DayWednesday 1 JanuaryThursday 1 January
Good FridayFriday 18 AprilFriday 3 April
Easter MondayMonday 21 AprilMonday 6 April
Early May Bank HolidayMonday 5 MayMonday 4 May
Spring Bank HolidayMonday 26 MayMonday 25 May
Summer Bank HolidayMonday 25 AugustMonday 31 August
Christmas DayThursday 25 DecemberFriday 25 December
Boxing DayFriday 26 DecemberMonday 28 December*

*substitute day as Boxing Day falls on a Saturday

Christmas Holidays and Closures

The one time of year when London feels quiet is over 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 26 December in 2014.

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

School Holidays

School term dates change from year to year and differ from school to school. In particular there are differences between 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.

Holiday Fun in London

Not sure how to keep the kids occupied during the school holidays? Browse our Family, What's On and School Holiday sections for some inspirational ideas.