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Business Days & Hours in the UK

Shops

Most stores in the UK open from Monday to Sunday but the opening hours may differ. Shopping hours from Monday to Saturday is usually from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00-10:00 p.m. Stores generally open for shorter hours on Sundays and most public holidays but some may close.

Laws in England and Wales allow large stores (more than 280 sq metres or 3,014 sq feet) to open on Sundays for a maximum of six consecutive hours between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The law in Northern Ireland allows large stores to open for a maximum of five hours and only between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. There’s no Sunday trading restriction for such stores in Scotland and can open any hour of the day. The law requires large stores to close on Easter Sunday (except Scotland) and Christmas Day.

Harrods Department Store in London by Another Believer

There’s no Sunday opening hour restriction for small stores (less than 280 sq metres or 3,014 sq ft) including convenience stores in the UK. Therefore, small stores can open any hour of the day. Convenience store chains (e.g. Premier Stores and Best-One) usually open for long hours and late into the evening. However, many independently owned stores open for short hours and usually between 10:00 a.m. and 6 p.m. The law does not require small stores to close on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.

Small shop in England by FinlayCox143

Offices

Government and business offices in the UK generally practice a Monday to Friday workweek. The office working hours usually start at 9:00 a.m. and finishes by 5:00 p.m.

Banks

Most banks open from Monday to Friday and usually from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, some banks in the larger cities such as London and Manchester may close later and even open in the mornings on Saturdays.

Public Holidays

Christmas is a major holiday in the UK and a period when nearly everything stops to a grind including offices and most stores, restaurants, pubs, entertainment spots, museums and public transport. Beyond Christmas, the UK has a number of public holidays (also referred as bank holidays) and most government and business offices close. Some attractions may close or operate on shorter hours and public transport reduced. However, you can expect most stores, pubs and restaurants to remain open.

The following are public holidays throughout the UK:

  • New Year's Day (1 Jan)
  • Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)
  • Early May Bank Holiday (first Monday in May)
  • Spring Bank Holiday (last Monday in May)
  • Christmas Day (25 Dec)
  • Boxing Day (26 Dec)

The following are additional public holidays in England and Wales:

  • Easter Monday (Monday after Easter Sunday)
  • Summer Bank Holiday (last Monday in August)

The following are additional public holidays in Scotland:

  • Day after New Year's Day (2 Jan)
  • Summer Bank Holiday (first Monday in August)
  • St Andrew's Day (30 Nov)

The following are additional public holidays in Northern Ireland:

  • St Patrick's Day (17 Mar)
  • Easter Monday (Monday after Easter Sunday)
  • Orangemen's Day (12 Jul)
  • Summer Bank Holiday (last Monday in August)

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