This is the full list of bank holidays in England and Wales 2021 - including May bank holiday dates

What’s not to love about a bank holiday?

It’s a much-needed day off work which can be filled with countless possibilities and activities, not to mention the rare chance for a lie-in.

Now, Britain will get an extra bank holiday in 2022 to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced.

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A four-day weekend has been created in June 2022 to mark the Queen reigning for 70 years, which is the first time a British monarch will have been on the throne for seven decades.

The late May Spring Bank Holiday will be moved to Thursday 2 June, and the public will be given Friday 3 June off as an additional bank holiday.

There will be a series of events staged across the four days, from 2 June to 5 June 2022, to reflect on the Queen's reign since her accession to the throne in 1952.

Unfortunately, there have been no “special” bank holidays created for 2021 - but we’ve put together the full list of dates for England and Wales so you can be prepared.

How many bank holidays are left this year?

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This year has absolutely flown by, and with many events cancelled due to coronavirus and restrictions on socialising in place, 2020’s bank holidays have been and gone almost unnoticed.

There are still two bank holidays left to enjoy this year, though.

Of course, the next one is Christmas Day on Friday 25 December, swiftly followed by Boxing Day.

Instead of bank holiday Boxing Day falling the day after Christmas, this year it will be on Monday 28 December.

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That’s because if a bank holiday falls on a weekend, a “substitute” weekday, usually the following Monday, becomes the bank holiday instead so people are still able to have the day off.

When are the bank holidays in 2021?

Most bank holidays fall on a Monday in 2021, with a couple of exceptions. There will be two substitute days next year for the Christmas and Boxing Day holidays.

The dates for the bank holidays in England and Wales for 2021 are:

1 January, Friday - New Year’s Day2 April, Friday - Good Friday5 April, Monday - Easter Monday3 May, Monday - Early May bank holiday31 May, Monday - Spring bank holiday30 August, Monday - Summer bank holiday27 December, Monday - Christmas Day (substitute day)28 December, Tuesday - Boxing Day (substitute day)

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The government warns that your employer isn’t entitled to give you paid leave on bank or public holidays, and it also notes that bank holidays might affect how and when any benefits are paid.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own bank holidays on several dates throughout the year.

When else has there been special bank holidays?

Another special bank holiday, similar to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, was created throughout the UK to honour the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

The day, Friday 29 April, was celebrated across the country with people hosting street parties and gatherings in public parks to watch the occasion.

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Prince Charles’ wedding to Princess Diana was also famously marked with a national holiday in 1981.

There wasn’t a bank holiday to mark Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding as it was held on a Saturday, on 19 May 2018.

Why do we have bank holidays?

Bank holidays were first introduced by banker and politician Sir John Lubbock, who drafted the Bank Holiday Bill in 1871.

Initially, it was just banks and financial buildings that closed, which is where the name comes from, but gradually businesses, shops, schools and the government joined in the holidays.

You don’t actually have to take a bank holiday off - it’s all dependent on your job contract.