Plan your upcoming visit by checking the bank holiday schedules in London for 2023 and 2024, along with information about Christmas closures and the dates for school half-terms.
Learn about the 2023 UK bank holidays, including important dates like Easter and Christmas, and find out what’s open and when.
The UK observes approximately eight public holidays each year. On these days, some businesses and attractions in London may either be closed or have limited operating hours. It’s worth noting that public transport services in London are reduced on certain bank holidays.
On Christmas Day, public transport in London doesn’t run, and most attractions, shops, and restaurants remain closed. A similar limited service is in place on Boxing Day.
During Easter Sunday, larger shops in London are legally required to stay closed, but smaller shops may open. Keep in mind that public transport services may also have reduced schedules over the extended Easter weekend.
On Easter Sunday, it’s a legal requirement for larger shops to close their doors. However, small shops, pharmacies, and those in airports and train stations are permitted to remain open.
During the Easter bank holidays, you may find that public transport services are operating on a reduced schedule. Thankfully, most attractions are open for your enjoyment during this time.
School term dates tend to vary from year to year and can differ between different schools. Local authority-run schools and independent schools may have separate term calendars.
Traditionally, the school year is divided into three terms, with shorter mid-term breaks and a more extended summer break:
- Summer holiday: Late July to early September
- Autumn half-term: Last week of October
- Christmas holidays: Late December to early January
- Spring half-term: One week in mid-February
- Easter holidays: Two weeks spanning either side of Easter Sunday
- Summer half-term: One week at the end of May or early June
However, many local authorities have adopted a standard school year consisting of six terms, each of roughly equal length.
Christmas Holidays and Closures
The only time London takes a quiet pause is during Christmas Day (December 25th) and Boxing Day (December 26th).
On Christmas Day, public transport doesn’t run at all, and there’s a reduced service on Boxing Day and during the Christmas bank holidays.
Most of London’s attractions, shops, and many restaurants are closed on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Things to Enjoy on a Bank Holiday Weekend in London
A bank holiday in London is a great opportunity to explore more of the city, whether it’s visiting top attractions, enjoying family activities, or discovering new neighborhoods. Consider getting a sightseeing pass to see many of London’s highlights in a single weekend, and keep an eye out for special events.
Kickstart the year with exciting activities on New Year’s Day in London, relish an action-packed Easter weekend, celebrate the arrival of spring during the early May bank holiday, or enjoy the spring bank holiday later in the month. And when summer rolls around, bask in the sun and soak up the carnival atmosphere during the summer bank holiday weekend in London.
Towards the end of the year, get into the festive spirit with enjoyable Christmas activities, including unique experiences for Christmas Day.
Public holiday dates
|New Year’s Day
|Monday 2 January (substitute day)
|Monday 1 January
|Friday 7 April
|Friday 29 March
|Monday 10 April
|Monday 1 April
|Early May bank holiday
|Monday 1 May
|Monday 6 May
|Coronation of King Charles III
|Monday 8 May
|Spring bank holiday
|Monday 29 May
|Monday 27 May
|Summer bank holiday
|Monday 28 August
|Monday 26 August
|Monday 25 December
|Wednesday 25 December
|Tuesday 26 December
|Thursday 26 December