Summer Bank Holiday: Date, History, Traditions, Facts, Activities

July 18, 2022 5 min read

In the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the Crown dependencies, a summer bank holiday is a national public holiday. The phrase encompasses all public holidays in the United Kingdom, whether they are established by statute, declared by royal proclamation, or observed by convention under common law.

The phrase "bank holiday" relates to the fact that banks normally close for business on such holidays, just as they used to do on certain Saint's days.

1. What is the Date of Summer Bank Holiday? 

The last Monday of August is Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales), which this year falls on August 29. It allows everyone to enjoy the rest of the summer vacation before the grind begins till Christmas. The Summer Bank Holiday, which began as a method for bank employees to watch a crucial cricket match, is now a public holiday in England and Wales. What's more, any public holiday is now referred to as a bank holiday. Most businesses and bank branches are closed on the scheduled day, with a few exceptions. Many people find enjoyment in attending festivals and carnivals. The Notting Hill Carnival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival are only two of the most anticipated Summer Bank Holiday festivities.

2. Summer Bank Holiday History 

The Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales) dates back to the nineteenth century. Sir John Lubbock, a Liberal politician, scientist, and banker, sponsored the Bank Holidays Act in 1871. Previously, bank employees received holidays in accordance with the country's traditional religious festivals. Easter and Christmas were examples of such festivities. 

However, Lubbock, who worked as a banker in his family's business, believed that more holidays should be granted to bank employees for other important occasions, which in this case included a cricket match. After the Act was enacted and implemented, no bank employees were required to report to their offices in order to provide assistance to incoming customers. Some individuals were so ecstatic about this new breakthrough that they dubbed the first few years' bank holidays Sir John Lubbock's Days.

The last Monday in August is the Summer Bank Holiday in England and Wales. However, this was not always the case. England and Wales, along with Scotland and Northern Ireland, observed the Summer Bank Holiday on August 1st. Some politicians challenged this in court, and a trial began in 1965. 

After more than a decade, the Summer Bank Holiday for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland was shifted to the last Monday of August rather than the first. Scotland still observes the Summer Bank Holiday on the first Monday of each month. People spend the three-day weekend getting out and about to enjoy the final of the summer festivities. Notting Hill is home to a well-known festival. 

It was founded in 1965 by Caribbean immigrants who were fighting against racism. The festival is well-known for its spectacular costumes, music, and dances. Every year, at least two million people attend one of the most popular festivals of all time. Manchester Pride and the Creamfields Dance Music Festival in Cheshire are two such festivities.

3. Summer Bank Holiday Traditions

Many UK citizens will use this holiday to visit areas they don't get to see very often, and this will differ from person to person. Some people may take advantage of the three-day holiday to visit Ireland or the English mainland. 

Others may visit their neighborhood park or attend a festival or concert. Others may still choose to sunbathe on the beach or take a long drive. Speaking of long travels, because many British individuals travel by automobile during this three-day weekend, traffic is typically high.

4. Summer Bank Holiday Activities

Have a lie-in 

Holidays exist to provide us with a break from the monotony of everyday life. Use this opportunity to sleep in and lie in your bed for as long as you wish. It will provide you with a breath of fresh air by providing you with a vacation from waking up early for the rest of the year.

Get out there and about.

Enjoy the last few days of summer before the arrival of fall and winter. Get some much-needed sunshine and natural time. Instead of eating indoors, go for a walk or a picnic in the park, or try dining outside. Most crucial, remember to take deep breaths.

Attend neighborhood fairs and carnivals.

This is the time of year when some of the best shows take place. Make sure you don't miss them by organizing ahead of time. Find out about local festivals in your region. Bring your friends and family along for a fun day out.

Take the family on a vacation.

Make the most of the August bank holiday by planning a last-minute family vacation. The British weather has been nice to us recently, so a cottage break in our gorgeous countryside is a tempting notion. Our dedicated cottages area allows you to search for a wide range of cottages throughout the UK. 

Consider a vacation park if you're searching for family fun with lots to keep the youngsters occupied. Kids' clubs, swimming pools, activities, nightly entertainment, and even spa treatments for parents will guarantee that everyone in the family has a good time.

Locate enjoyable free local events.

Over the bank holiday weekend, Britain is brimming with fun local events, many of which are free. Camden Beach returns to London's Roundhouse for a second year, complete with deckchairs, ice cream, and, of course, sand to lie on. This city center "coastal resort" also has a family area. 

You might also go to Chelsea for the Chelsea in Bloom floral art show, which decorates stores, restaurants, and businesses with the theme "Creation in Color - a Journey through Fashion, Food, and Lifestyle." The floral action is concentrated at Duke of York Square.

We definitely don't spend as much time as we could appreciating Britain's lovely countryside - it's wonderful woods, mountains, and beaches - with some of us tethered to our desks all day and kids hooked on computer games and all the trappings of technology. 

Consider packing a picnic and heading out for a hike or lengthy bike ride amid nature and fresh air this August bank holiday. Nature Detectives, a children's website run by the Woodland Trust, provides games and downloads that make tree spotting, bug hunting, and boat-building entertaining.

Discover a new city

Weekend off? That's plenty of time for a city break in Europe. If you're flying to Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, or Rome, you may be sightseeing within hours of landing. 

When we looked, there was still plenty of availability to these destinations - for example, a three-night, four-star Dublin stay departing from Heathrow on August 22 was £259 per person. A three-night, four-star Amsterdam trip from Manchester on the same date cost just £282 per person.

Leave a comment