Bank Holidays in England


Extra Holidays

More pay if you have to work



Roads, museums, shops and resorts are too busy

The weather is always bad

Many places close

Limited public transport

Full Review

Monday 30th August 2010 is a Bank Holiday in England. This official holiday always falls on the last Monday of August. As it is still late summer, it is always hard to think that this is the last bank holiday of the year before Christmas. To my mind, it almost signals the end of summer and the start of autumn.

Sure, the weather in early September can be quite lovely. Often September sees an Indian summer and the days become warm again. However, with dark nights approaching the evenings are cool. So much so, that barbecues and the like become scarce. The earth has started to move into its English Autumn period and the Sun does not always hit people's gardens. However bright the sun may be it is low in the sky and its daily appearance ever more brief. This means that, however bright a September day may be, there is a constant reminder of winter approaching.


In simple terms Bank Holidays are additional holiday days either when people are on paid leave from work or, if they have to work, are paid additional rates of pay. Unfortunately, with changes in people's lifestyles these days our sacred Bank Holidays are very much under threat.

Bank Holiday dates tend to vary in Scotland. The lucky Scottish folk often have additional days to those in England. Years ago, Bank Holidays were sacristan and everywhere closed. Unless you were visiting somewhere such as a seaside resort, all the shops would be closed. These days many shops remain open for business as usual and the poor shop workers have to work. The extra rates of pay that working a Bank Holiday used to warrant are a bit hit and miss nowadays. Of course, all of this is good for those of us on a day's leave from work. If you are visiting the UK, though remember that travel services will be limited on a bank Holiday. Buses, for example, often only operate a limited Sunday service.

At one time, there were many saints and festival days in the UK. These were reduced in 1834 and then standardised in 1871. The name Bank Holiday came from the fact that these holiday days were specifically created with bank employees in mind. They were to enable Bank staff to participate in village cricket competitions. Over the years, these holiday days were amended, from time to time, and then in 1972 the August Bank Holiday was moved to the last Monday of August, instead of the first Monday.

These days England and Wales have less Bank Holidays than Ireland and Scotland. Even so there are eight official Bank Holidays, in England each year, which include Good Friday, Easter Monday and Christmas.


You will find that Bank Holidays will see many events up and down the country. Spring and summer fairs, concerts, local sporting derbies and fetes. The official English website holds a wealth of information about what is on offer. Remember to check out the opening and closing times of Museums, Galleries, shops, cinemas and the like for any Bank Holiday. Often, although such places are open, the service may be limited. This is also true of public transport, which may only operate a limited Sunday timetable.

In Closing

Usually bank holidays end up being termed, Bank Holiday weekends. This is because most people are on leave from work, from the Friday until the Tuesday. Some local council staff are also on leave from work on the Tuesday following a Bank Holiday.

If you are in England when it will be a Bank Holiday weekend remember that it is an official holiday and as such people will be out more. The roads may be congested if you head for the coast and usually the weather is dismal. It is a sad fact that no matter how glorious the weather is before the bank holiday it will turn wet and miserable come the holiday.