A Guide to Bank Holidays in 2024 in the UK and Ireland

Ed Maughan
Ed Maughan

As we head into the new year, it’s always a good idea to plan your time off wisely. Bank holidays provide the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy some well-deserved downtime — and often a chance to maximise your annual leave allowance too. If you’re planning a group holiday they offer a great chance for everyone to have a longer break at the same time.

In the UK and Ireland, bank holidays are scattered throughout the year, offering ample chances for you to take a break. Let’s take a look at the bank holidays for 2024 in Wales, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Ireland, and explore how you can maximize your annual leave to make the most of these holidays.

How Many Bank Holidays Are There In 2024? 

The number of bank holidays depends on where you’re located in the UK or Ireland. Wales, England and Northern Ireland have the same number of bank holidays, whilst Scotland and Ireland have some of their own.  

  • England: 8 bank holidays in 2024 
  • Wales: 8 bank holidays in 2024
  • Scotland: 9 bank holidays in 2024 
  • Northern Ireland: 8 bank holidays in 2024 

Bank Holidays in 2024 by Country

2024 Bank Holidays in England

England enjoys a total of 8 bank holidays in 2024, including the traditional New Year’s Day and Christmas Day. Here’s a list of bank holidays in England:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st (Monday)
  • Good Friday – March 29th (Friday)
  • Easter Monday – April 1st (Monday)
  • Early May Bank Holiday – May 6th (Monday)
  • Spring Bank Holiday – May 27th (Monday)
  • Summer Bank Holiday – August 26th (Monday)
  • Christmas Day – December 25th (Wednesday)
  • Boxing Day – December 26th (Thursday)

2024 Bank Holidays in Scotland

Scotland observes some bank holidays that differ from the rest of the UK. In 2024, Scotland has 9 bank holidays, including New Year’s Day and Christmas Day. Here’s the list:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st (Monday)
  • New Year’s Holiday – January 2nd (Tuesday)
  • Good Friday – March 29th (Friday)
  • Easter Monday – April 1st (Monday)
  • Early May Bank Holiday – May 6th (Monday)
  • Spring Bank Holiday – May 27th (Monday)
  • Summer Bank Holiday – August 5th (Monday)
  • St. Andrew’s Day – December 2nd (Monday – substitute day)
  • Christmas Day – December 25th (Wednesday)
  • Boxing Day – December 26th (Thursday)

Bank Holidays in Wales In 2024

Wales shares the same bank holidays as England, with a total of 8 in 2024. The bank holidays in Wales:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st (Monday)
  • Good Friday – March 29th (Friday)
  • Easter Monday – April 1st (Monday)
  • Early May Bank Holiday – May 6th (Monday)
  • Spring Bank Holiday – May 27th (Monday)
  • Summer Bank Holiday – August 26th (Monday)
  • Christmas Day – December 25th (Wednesday)
  • Boxing Day – December 26th (Thursday)

Bank Holidays In Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland also observes 9 bank holidays, including the traditional New Year’s Day and Christmas Day.

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st (Monday)
  • St. Patrick’s Day – March 18th (Monday – substitute day)
  • Good Friday – March 29th (Friday)
  • Easter Monday – April 1st (Monday)
  • Early May Bank Holiday – May 6th (Monday)
  • Spring Bank Holiday – May 27th (Monday)
  • Battle of the Boyne (Orangemen’s Day) – July 12th (Friday)
  • Late Summer Bank Holiday – August 26th (Monday)
  • Christmas Day – December 25th (Wednesday)
  • Boxing Day – December 26th (Thursday)

2024 Bank Holidays in Ireland

Across the Irish Sea, Ireland has 9 bank holidays in 2024. Here’s the list:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st (Monday)
  • St. Brigid’s Day – February 5th (Sunday)
  • St. Patrick’s Day – March 17th (Sunday)
  • Easter Monday – April 1st (Monday)
  • May Day – May 6th (Monday)
  • June Bank Holiday – June 3rd (Monday)
  • August Bank Holiday – August 5th (Monday)
  • October Bank Holiday – October 28th (Monday)
  • Christmas Day – December 25th (Wednesday)
  • St. Stephen’s Day – December 26th (Thursday)

Maximizing Your Annual Leave with Bank Holidays

Now that we’ve covered the bank holidays in the UK and Ireland for 2024 let’s talk about how you can make the most of them to maximise your annual leave. By strategically planning your time off around these holidays, you can enjoy extended breaks without using up too much of your annual leave allowance.

  1. Plan Around Weekends: Look for bank holidays that fall close to the weekend. For example, if a bank holiday falls on a Monday or a Friday, consider taking the adjacent day off to create an even longer weekend.
  2. Combine with Annual Leave: By taking a day or two of annual leave before or after a bank holiday, you can enjoy an even longer break. For instance, if a bank holiday falls on a Tuesday or Wednesday, take the days off either side to create a five-day weekend.
  3. Book Early: Bank holidays are popular times for travel and leisure activities, so it’s advisable to book your accommodation and transportation well in advance to secure the best deals. If you’re going away as a group, GroupAccommodation.com has some fantastic properties available across the UK and Ireland.
  4. Prioritise Your Holidays: Identify the bank holidays that are most important to you and plan your annual leave accordingly. Whether it’s spending quality time with family, going on a holiday, or pursuing a hobby, make sure to make the most of your time off.
  5. Use a Leave Calendar: Create a leave calendar for the year to visualise your time off and ensure that you’re making the most of your bank holidays and annual leave days.

By strategically using bank holidays in 2024, you can achieve a better work-life balance and make the most of your time throughout the year. So, start planning now and get ready to enjoy some fantastic breaks in the coming year!

Do Bank Holidays Count As Annual Leave?

This depends on your employer and the specific rules set out in your employment contract. If you’re unsure, take a look at your contract and read up on this guidance from the Citizens Advice website.  

When is Easter in 2024?

Easter falls on a different date every year, and in 2024 it is earlier in the year than normal. In 2024, Easter Sunday falls on the 31st March.

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