Home About the United Kingdom Culture & History 2020 public holidays and important dates in the UK
Last update on February 13, 2020

Living in the UK? Here’s a list of all the UK public holidays you need to know in 2020, as well as other important dates to make a note of on your calendar.

Whether you’re living in the UK or just visiting, it’s important to note the dates of the UK’s holidays. This is because many businesses and public institutions typically close or have reduced services on these days.

To ensure you don’t miss out on anything important, our guide puts together a list of the UK’s public holidays and important dates for your calendar.

Introduction to UK public holidays

Public holidays in the UK are usually called bank holidays. Some bank holidays in the UK coincide with colorful UK festivals, which is a great way to sample the top local British foods. Many businesses typically close, however, for UK national holidays and some UK transport may run on reduced schedules.

UK bank holidays: UK holidays
Guy Fawkes Night is a widely celebrated UK holiday, although not an official UK bank holiday.

It’s important to note that UK bank holidays are slightly different across the four countries of the UK. For example, Northern Ireland has two more holidays than England. These are St Patrick’s Day and the Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Scotland also has several holidays that only apply to certain regions.

When UK holidays fall on a weekend, the next weekday (often a Monday) usually becomes a substitute day UK national holiday.

UK public holidays 2020

Below is a list of UK bank holidays that are observed across the entire country in 2020, unless otherwise indicated. Further holidays may be announced by the government at a later date.

  • Wednesday, 1 January: New Year’s Day
  • Thursday, 2 January: New Year’s holiday (Scotland only)
  • Tuesday, 17 March: St Patrick’s Day (Northern Ireland only)
  • Friday, 10 April: Good Friday
  • Monday, 12 April: Easter Monday
  • Friday, 8 May: Victory in Europe Day – replaces May Day bank holiday for 2020.
  • Monday, 27 May: Spring Bank Holiday
  • Sunday, 12 July: Battle of the Boyne (Northern Ireland only)
  • Monday, 13 July: Battle of the Boyne holiday (Northern Ireland only)
  • Monday, 3 August: Summer Bank Holiday (Scotland only)
  • Monday, 31 August: Summer Bank Holiday (not Scotland)
  • Monday, 30 November: St Andrew’s Day (Scotland only)
  • Friday, 25 December: Christmas Day
  • Saturday, 26 December: Boxing Day
  • Monday, 28 December: Boxing Day holiday

Regional holidays in 2020

In addition to the national public holidays, there are a number of regional holidays across Scotland. Check with your local council to see when these holidays are taking place in 2020.

Important dates in the UK 2020

  • Saturday, 25 January: Burns Night – Scotland
  • Wednesday, 5 February: Chinese New Year
  • Tuesday, 25 February: Shrove Tuesday
  • Sunday, 22 March: Mother’s Day
  • Sunday, 29 March: Clocks go forward one hour as British Summer Time (BST) starts
  • Thursday, 23 April: Ramadan begins
  • Saturday, 23 May: Eid al-Fitr
  • Sunday, 21 June: Father’s Day
  • Sunday, 27 September: Yom Kippur
  • Sunday, 25 October: Clocks go back one hour as British Summer Time (BST) ends
  • Thursday, 5 November: Guy Fawkes Night – sometimes referred to as Bonfire Night
  • Saturday, 14 November: Diwali

UK school holidays

See our guide to school holidays in the UK.

For important festivals in the UK, read our guide to the top UK festivals.

Photo credit (CC-Licence): Andrew Dunn via Wikimedia Commons (Guy Fawkes Night).