UK bank holidays 2018: What days off do British people get this year and how many are there?

Jun 28, 2018

Welcome to the great British summer - with weather so patchy and unpredictable that we'll pile into the nearest park at the first hint of sunshine.

And while that's all very fun at the weekend or during annual leave from work, there's something even more satisfying about lapping up some rays on a Bank Holiday.

Bank holidays - so-named because banks, government offices and most business are closed - are different to public holidays.

There are technically four bank holidays in England, Wales and Ireland: Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August Boxing Day in England and Wales and St Stephen's Day in Ireland. In Scotland, however, there are five: New Year's Day, Good Friday, the first Monday in May, the first Monday in August and Christmas Day.

These were the days set out in the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, and as Christmas Day and Good Friday were considered days of rest they weren’t included in the act, so were deemed public holidays rather than bank holidays. 

In 1971 however, the act was replaced by the Banking and Financial Dealings Act, and there are now six permanent bank holidays and two public holidays every year in the UK.

Here’s what you’ve got to look forward to for the year ahead (and one we’ve already had):

2018 Bank and Public Holidays:

  • New Year's Day: Monday 1 January
  • Good Friday: Friday 30 March
  • Easter Monday: Monday 2 April
  • Early May bank holiday: Monday 7 May 
  • Spring bank holiday: Monday 28 May
  • Summer bank holiday: Monday 27 August 
  • Christmas Day: Tuesday 25 December 
  • Boxing Day: Wednesday 26 December

And although not days off, here are the other key observances to remember this year:

  • Valentine's Day: Wednesday 14 February
  • St David's Day: Thursday 1 March
  • St Patrick's Day: Saturday 17 March
  • Mothering Sunday: Sunday 11 March
  • St George's Day: Monday 23 April
  • Father's Day: Sunday 17 June
  • Halloween: Wednesday 31 October 
  • Bonfire Night: Monday 5 November
  • St Andrew's Day: Friday 30 November