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Summer Bank Holiday in United Kingdom

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the summer bank holiday is on the last Monday of August. In Scotland it is on the first Monday of August. This day marks the end of the summer holidays for many people who return to work or school in the autumn.

Summer Bank Holiday
The Notting Hill Carnival is a multicultural celebration in London.
The Notting Hill Carnival is a multicultural celebration in London.
©iStockphoto.com/ Bikeworldtravel

What Do People Do?

For many people, the summer bank holiday marks the end of the summer. Some people take trips or short vacations during the three day weekend. For others, it is another opportunity to work in their gardens or carry out home improvements.

In London the Notting Hill Carnival is held. This street festival is best known for its exuberant costumes, dancing and music played by steel drum bands. The festival has been held every year since 1965 and was originally organized by immigrants from the Caribbean, particularly Trinidad, to the United Kingdom. It started as a protest against the racism, poor working and housing conditions that they suffered.

Today, the Notting Hill Carnival is a multicultural celebration, attracting over two million people. It is thought to be the second largest street carnival in the world. In the past, a considerable amount of public disorder occurred round the event, but it has been calmer in recent years.

Public Life

On the summer bank holiday, many organizations, businesses and schools are closed. Stores may be open or closed, according to local custom. There is more local variation in Scotland, where local conditions, rather than national laws, dictate whether organizations and businesses close for the day. Public transport systems often run to a holiday timetable. As this three-day weekend marks the end of the summer holiday period, there can be a lot of congestion on roads and public transport systems.

Background

The summer bank holiday was introduced in the Bank Holidays Act 1871 and first observed in that year. It was originally intended to give bank employees the opportunity to participate and attend cricket matches. Exactly one hundred years later, the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 moved this bank holiday to the last Monday in August for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This followed a trial period from 1965 to 1970 of the new date. In Scotland, it remained on the first Monday in August.

Summer Bank Holiday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
MonAug 22010Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysScotland
MonAug 302010Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysENG, Guernsey, Jersey, NIR, WAL
MonAug 12011Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysScotland
MonAug 292011Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysENG, Guernsey, Jersey, NIR, WAL
MonAug 62012Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysScotland
MonAug 272012Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysENG, Guernsey, Jersey, NIR, WAL
MonAug 52013Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysScotland
MonAug 262013Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysENG, Guernsey, Jersey, NIR, WAL
MonAug 42014Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysScotland
MonAug 252014Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysENG, Guernsey, Jersey, NIR, WAL
MonAug 32015Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysScotland
MonAug 312015Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysENG, Guernsey, Jersey, NIR, WAL
MonAug 12016Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysScotland
MonAug 292016Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysENG, Guernsey, Jersey, NIR, WAL
MonAug 72017Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysScotland
MonAug 282017Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysENG, Guernsey, Jersey, NIR, WAL
MonAug 62018Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysScotland
MonAug 272018Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysENG, Guernsey, Jersey, NIR, WAL
MonAug 52019Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysScotland
MonAug 262019Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysENG, Guernsey, Jersey, NIR, WAL
MonAug 32020Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysScotland
MonAug 312020Summer Bank HolidayCommon Local holidaysENG, Guernsey, Jersey, NIR, WAL

Quick Facts

The summer bank holiday is on the first Monday of August in Scotland and the last Monday of August in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Summer Bank Holiday 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016 (Scotland)
Monday, August 29, 2016 (England, Guernsey, Jersey, Northern Ireland, Wales)

Summer Bank Holiday 2017

Monday, August 7, 2017 (Scotland)
Monday, August 28, 2017 (England, Guernsey, Jersey, Northern Ireland, Wales)

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Summer Bank HolidayEnglish
Offentlig sommer-fridagNorwegian

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in August 2016 in United Kingdom

United Nation Holiday on August 29, 2016

Fun Holiday on August 29, 2016

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