Everyone loves a bank holiday. These glorious free days off should be firm fixtures in everyone’s calendar. They can make a city break last a little longer or mean a two week holiday only requires eight days off rather than ten. So knowing when bank holidays are coming up, and planning your time off accordingly, are great ways of maximising your holiday allowances every year.
These are the bank holiday dates for 2021 and 2022 to get in your diary now:
Tuesday 30th November 2021: St Andrew’s Day (Scotland only)
Monday 27th December 2021: Christmas Day (substitute)
Tuesday 28th December 2021: Boxing Day (substitute)
Monday 3rd January 2022: New Year’s Day (substitute)
Tuesday 4th January 2022: 2nd January (substitute - Scotland only)
Thursday 17th March 2022: St Patrick’s Day (Northern Ireland only)
Friday 15th April 2022: Good Friday
Monday 18th April 2022: Easter Monday
Monday 2nd May 2022: Early May Bank Holiday
Thursday 2nd June 2022: Spring Bank Holiday
Friday 3rd June 2022: Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday
Tuesday 12th July 2022: Battle of the Boyne (Northern Ireland only)
Monday 29th August 2022: Summer Bank Holiday
Monday 26th December 2022: Boxing Day
Tuesday 27th December 2022: Christmas Day (substitute).
In 2022, the UK gets to enjoy an extra day off, thanks to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on June 3rd. And it’ll be an extra long weekend, with the Spring Bank Holiday moving from its usual spot on the last Monday in May, to Thursday, 2nd June.
However, you can make your time off go even further next year with some handy holiday hacks. By planning your annual leave around the bank holidays, you can turn 26 days of annual leave into 62 days holiday, meaning you’ll have plenty of time for all those trips you want to take, whether they’re long weekends away, or exciting long haul adventures.
Book off Tuesday 4th January - Friday 7th January, turning four days of annual leave into nine days off.
Around Easter, book off Monday 11th April to Wednesday 14th April, and Tuesday 19th April to Friday 22nd April, making 8 days off into 16.
For the May bank holiday, take off Tuesday 3rd to Friday 6th May, making four days into nine.
For the Spring bank holiday and Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (2nd & 3rd June), take off Monday 30th May to Wednesday 1st June, making just three days of annual leave into nine days off.
For the August Bank Holiday, book off Tuesday 20th August to Friday 2nd September, and get nine days off for just four days of annual leave.
And for Christmas and New Year, take off Wednesday 28th December to Friday 30th December, making 3 days of annual leave into 10 days off.
We’ve been enjoying UK bank holidays for nearly 150 years now. They were introduced by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 - but at that time there was only four days - as Good Friday (Easter) and Christmas had always been considered as days when the country took time out.
Due to cultural differences Scotland and Northern Ireland have slightly different days off. As Hogmanay (New Years) was traditionally a bigger deal than Christmas in Scotland, they get a New Year’s Holiday day off on the 2nd of January. They also have an early August Bank Holiday (first Monday in August) but don’t get the late August Bank Holiday off. If you’re booking your trip from Scotland, don’t forget St Andrew’s Day - which is the 30th of November but usually taken as the nearest Monday to that.
In Northern Ireland you also get St Patrick’s Day off in March, the closest Monday to March 17. As well as the Battle of the Boyne Day on July 12.
Now you have all the dates, the next question surely must be where’s the best places to go? We’ve pulled together our favourite Easter Bank Holiday destinations for you to consider. Looking for somewhere to visit over the May Bank Holiday? - these deals should give you something to think about for when the weather is warmer. The August Bank Holiday is a great way to finish off the summer.