Find out more about 2023 UK bank holidays, including what's open when and key dates such as Easter and Christmas.
The UK has about eight public holidays a year.
Some businesses and attractions in London may be closed or have limited opening hours on bank holidays. Public transport may also be reduced.
Public transport in London does not operate on Christmas Day and has a limited service on Boxing Day. Most attractions, shops and restaurants are closed.
On Easter Sunday, large shops in London have to be closed by law, but small shops can open. Public transport services may be reduced over the long Easter weekend.
Public holidays, or bank holidays as they are called in the UK, are spread throughout the year and mark religious, historical and special events.
The UK has eight public holidays. Many of London's shops, attractions and businesses stay open throughout the public holidays. Make sure to check opening times before visiting on these days, as some places have reduced hours while others might not open at all.
Services on public transport might also be reduced. Plan your journey in advance on the Transport for London website.
Public holiday dates
|New Year's Day||Monday 2 January (substitute day)||Monday 1 January|
|Good Friday||Friday 7 April||Friday 29 March|
|Easter Monday||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|
|Christmas Day||Monday 25 December||Wednesday 25 December|
|Boxing Day||Tuesday 26 December||Thursday 26 December|
On Easter Sunday, large shops have to close by law. Small shops, pharmacies, and shops in airports and train stations are allowed to open.
Public transport might be reduced over the Easter bank holidays. Most attractions are open over Easter.
School term dates change from year to year and differ from school to school. Local authority-run schools and independent schools sometimes have different term dates.
Traditionally, the school year has three 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: last 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 at end of May or early June
However, many local authorities have adopted a standard school year, which is made up of six terms, each of a similar length. Find out more about school holidays and half term in London.
Christmas holidays and closures
The one time of year when London feels quiet is on Christmas Day (25 December) and Boxing Day (26 December).
Public transport does not operate on Christmas Day and has a reduced service on Boxing Day and the Christmas bank holidays.
Most London attractions and shops, as well as many restaurants, are closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Things to do in London on a bank holiday weekend
A bank holiday in London provides the perfect opportunity to discover more of the city, from its top attractions and family activities to exploring new areas of the city. Pick up a sightseeing pass to see many of London's top sights in one weekend and keep a look out for special events.
Start the year on a high with activities on New Year's Day in London, enjoy an action-packed Easter weekend in the capital, celebrate spring during the early May bank holiday and the spring bank holiday later in the month, or soak up the sun and carnival atmosphere over the summer bank holiday weekend in London.
Towards the end of the year, enjoy fun Christmas activities, including unique things to do on Christmas Day.