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Holidays in London, England

At one time, most ordinary Londoners took their annual holidays on the eastern or southern English coasts. All that has changed and now the vast majority use their main annual holiday to travel to southern Europe for the sun and warmer weather. People in and around London love their individual public holidays (called “Bank Holidays” for historic reasons) and will use them to try and get a day trip into the countryside or to the coast. Failing that, if it’s a nice day, people will often head for one of the many great London parks to spend time sunbathing or picnicking. There are often bands playing in the parks and other bank holiday special entertainment treats that your Withlocals tour specialist will know all about. Another very popular holiday pastime is to visit one of the big museums or art galleries. Note that road traffic around London the night before a bank holiday or full holiday weekend, such as Easter, can be VERY busy, as everyone heads home early. Traditionally, virtually all tourist attractions were closed on bank holidays but this situation has changed a lot over recent years and today many will be open. It’s worth checking before you set off somewhere. Most Londoners with school-age children will typically take their main annual holiday in July or August. Those without younger children may select June or September when prices are a little lower. Remember that public transport in London will operate on a reduced basis on bank holidays and if you’re planning to travel a little further afield during a holiday, it’s advisable to book your seat in advance, where possible, on trains etc.

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The Typical Holidays by Month for 2016 London, England

  • January. New Year’s Day. Relatively few Londoners go skiing so comparatively few take winter holiday breaks at this time of year.
  • February. No public holidays. Some might take a week of their annual holiday entitlement to fly to the sun for what’s called “‘battery recharging”).
  • March. Good Friday 25th and Easter Monday 28th. This is the long Easter Weekend. Quite a few Londoners will go away for a week or long weekend here, either in the UK or continental Europe.
  • April. No holidays. This is a fairly popular time also for a short holiday either in the UK or increasingly abroad.
  • May. 2nd is the Early May Bank Holiday. Not called ‘Labor Day’ in the UK as that’s seen as a political term. Don’t confuse this with the informal, non-holiday and ancient ‘May Day’ which is always on the 1st. May 30th is the ‘Spring Bank Holiday’.
  • June. No public holidays.
  • July. No public holidays but the schools close down for usually around 8 weeks and the incredibly large-scale mass summer exodus of Londoners to overseas holiday destinations will start.
  • August. Annual holidays abroad continue. The 29th is a public holiday known as the ‘Summer Bank Holiday’.
  • September. No public holidays.
  • October. No public holidays.
  • November. No public holidays.
  • December. 25th Christmas Day, 26th Boxing Day with 27th as an additional day as Christmas falls over the weekend. Increasingly large numbers of English people now take the week from 26th December to 2nd January as part of their annual holiday entitlement. That can sometimes slow down business dealings over the period though tourism isn’t usually affected.

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