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Bank Holiday Trips: When and Where to Travel Over the Bank Holidays

Everyone loves a bank holiday, as for a lot of us this means a day off work (or a day in lieu or extra pay for working that day). The bank holidays differ depending on where you are in the UK with England and Wales enjoying 8 bank holidays, Scotland has 9 and lucky Northern Ireland has 10 bank holidays each year.

The beauty of bank holidays is not only that you have the day off, but also that you can extend a trip  by "bridging" the gap between a weekend and a bank holiday with annual leave days. Given that bank holidays are a popular time to travel, it's wise to plan your trip in advance to get the best deals. If you're not quite ready to commit to a trip far in advance, you should keep your eyes peeled for last minute bargains

Want to stay in the UK? Here are our latest staycation deals!

When are the bank holidays in the UK 2019?

Bank HolidayDateWeekday
New Year’s DayJanuary 1st, 2019Tuesday
New Year’s HolidayJanuary 2nd, 2019 (Scotland only)


St Patrick’s DayMarch 18th, 2019  (Northern Ireland only)Monday
Good FridayApril 19th, 2019 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland only)Friday
Easter MondayApril 22nd, 2019Monday
Early May bank holidayMay 6th, 2019Monday
Spring bank holidayMay 27th, 2019Monday
Battle of the BoyneJuly 12th (Northern Ireland only)Friday
Summer bank holidayAugust 5th, 2019 (Scotland only)Monday
Summer bank holidayAugust 26th, 2019 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland only)Monday
St Andrew’s DayNovember 30th, 2019  (Scotland only)Monday
Christmas DayDecember 25th, 2019Wednesday
Boxing DayDecember 26th, 2019Thursday

Christmas Holidays

This year Christmas and Boxing Day fall on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, making it easy to book a 5-day trip using just 1 day of annual leave, or a 9-day trip with just 3 days of annual leave. You can even stay longer, making it a New Year's Eve holiday as well. Since many people choose to spend Christmas holidays at home, go against the tide and try somewhere new this year. New York City is ideal for a family vacation—go ice skating at Rockefeller Center under its famous Christmas tree, see The Nutcracker on Broadway, and wander through the holiday markets with hot chocolate in hand. Looking to get away with your sweetie for the holidays? Book a romantic getaway somewhere warm and sunny to escape the winter cold, like the Canary Islands, where you are practically guaranteed clear skies and temperate days. If you’d rather stay in the U.K. while trying something new, try winter glamping. Bundle up for a hike, stop in at country pubs for a pint and a warm pie, and finish your evening cuddled up in your private glamping accommodation. Lastly, for a traditional Christmas getaway, be sure to check out some of Europe’s best Christmas markets—some of our favourites are even right here in the U.K.!

Beach Holidays

What’s summer without a trip to the beach? Use one of the late May or August bank holidays to book a long weekend soaking up the sun and splashing in the waves. A trip to Mallorca is a popular choice, with cheap flights from most major U.K. airports and gorgeous weather all summer long. Perhaps you want to go even further south—the Algarve in Portugal is beautiful any time of the year. Looking to combine a trip to the beach with a city break? Jet over to America for a long weekend in Miami or extend your trip for a week in sunny California, where you can explore Hollywood before living the luxe life in Palm Springs. If you don’t feel like hopping on a plane, the beaches of the U.K. are well worth a visit. Families will enjoy days spent on picturesque Brighton Beach and afternoons exploring the Brighton Palace Pier. Couples can spend a long weekend away in Kent or Cornwall, walking the beaches and enjoying ice cream with gorgeous coastal views. No matter where you plan your beach trip, the summer holidays are an excellent time to make the most of your time in the sun.

Summer passed you by without a beach getaway? Many coastal hotspots are still warm enough for a trip in September or a quick weekend trip October. A fall holiday means less crowds as you enjoy the last of the season's sun.  

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