The United Kingdom has eight public holidays a year, known as Bank Holidays, which celebrate historical, religious or special events. These are days when banks are closed, most Londoners get the day off and schools are closed. Luckily for visitors, the majority of London attractions remain open on bank holidays with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
It is essential to take bank holidays into account if you are going to visit London, as transport frequency and attraction opening hours may be affected.
Bank Holidays in London 2023 and 2024: Calendar
This 2023 we have one more bank holiday than normal as the United Kingdom will celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III in May. Public holidays in London (and the United Kingdom) for the years 2022 and 2023 are as follows:
|New Year’s Day||Monday 2 January||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|
|Spring Bank Holiday||Monday 29 May||Monday 27 May|
|Coronation of King Charles III||Monday 8 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|
Bank Holidays in London: What’s Open and What to Do
If you visit London, you won’t notice it’s a Bank Holiday, except for Christmas Day. Christmas Day is the only day of the year that London is quiet, and when practically everything is closed. There is also no public transport in London on Christmas Day, so this is something to consider if you’re visiting London during Christmas because it may affect your travel itinerary.
During the bank holidays of the rest of the year, however, attractions, shops and restaurants will be open in Central London, and public transport runs quite frequently. Shopping and Tourist areas such as Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Soho, Chinatown, Covent Garden… all will open as usual, and it won’t seem like a bank holiday at all.
The only exception is probably the area of the City of London. This area is mainly occupied by offices, and as offices will be closed, almost all shops and cafes will be closed on bank holidays too. But luckily for tourists, this is not an area of London that is essential for tourism.
2nd of January 2023 in London
New Year’s Day, the 1st of January, is celebrated in London with a fabulous New Year’s Parade that runs through central London. It is undoubtedly the perfect plan for the first day of the year if you are planning on spending New Year’s Eve in London, and you can buy tickets for London New Year´s Day Parade if you want to make sure you have the perfect view.
Most of the shops in central London will open on New Year’s Day, as will many restaurants and cafes. Find out what’s open in London on New Year’s Day here: What to do on New Year’s Day in London.
As January 1st falls on a Sunday in 2023, although the celebrations still occur on the 1st, the public holiday is moved to Monday, January 2nd. On January 2nd, shops and businesses outside London will close, but in central London, almost everything will be open.
7th and 10th of April 2023 in London
Good Friday is celebrated in the UK this year on Friday, April 7th 2023, and Easter Monday this year falls on Monday, 10th of April. In London, shops, attractions, museums and restaurants will be open throughout the weekend, including Good Friday and Easter Monday. The only exception is that big shops will be closed on Easter Sunday, but small shops and small convenience shops will be open.
The only thing to have in mind is that the British Museum, which is usually open until 8:30 pm on Fridays will close at 6 pm on Good Friday.
Find out more: Easter in London.
1st of May 2023 in London
Early May Bank Holiday falls on Monday 1st of May this year. In central London all shops, attractions, museums and restaurants will open as normal.
The Little Venice Festival takes place during this bank holiday weekend. This is a fantastic event that takes place in the area of Little Venice in London, and it involves three whole days of music, food stalls and numerous events. Highly recommended if you happen to be in London during these days.
8th May 2023 in London
King Charle’s III Coronation will take place on Saturday 6th of May, and Brits have been awarded an extra bank holiday this year to celebrate it. This bank holiday falls on Monday the 8th of May, with a weekend full of events all around the UK to celebrate the occasion.
August 28th 2023 in London
Summer Bank Holiday falls this year on Monday the 28th of August. This bank holiday weekend marks the end of the summer, and although some Londoners will plan a trip to one of the UK’s beaches, the famous Carnival of Notting Hill takes place this weekend.
December 25th 2023 in London
December 25th is Christmas Day, and it’s the only bank holiday of the year that London comes to a standstill. Shops will remain closed and public transport comes to a halt. December 25th falls on a Monday this 2023, so everything will be closed.
Find out more: Christmas Day in London.
December 26th 2023 in London
December 26th is Boxing Day in the UK, and it falls on a Tuesday this year. This is an exciting day, as the big Christmas Sales usually begin on Boxing Day, so in central London most famous stores and attractions will be open.
Check attraction opening hours in our article: 24th, 25th and 26th of December in London, since some tourist attractions and some museums may be closed on Boxing Day in London.
Transport in London on public holidays
During public holidays there is usually a reduced public transport service, but even if the service is reduced, it is quite frequent, and unless you are in a rush to get somewhere, you hardly notice the difference. Christmas Day is the only day of the year when public transport in London stops. To get detailed information about any planned works, closures and up-to-date schedules, visit Transport for London’s official website: www.tfl.gov.uk