Your guide to UK school holiday dates in 2024

Photo of Anna HardyPhoto of Anna Hardy
By Anna Hardy

1 February 20247 min read

Young girl in a yellow swimsuit and yellow heart-shaped glasses with a rainbow pool ring in a swimming pool

There’s no better feeling than jetting off on a fun-filled family adventure when school’s out. And while travelling in the school holidays can be expensive, planning your getaway in advance can net you some serious savings.

Our handy guide rounds up the school holiday dates for nine major cities in the UK so you can start planning now.

We’ve also included some destination inspiration and revealed our top money-saving tips for travelling during the school holidays.

*School holiday dates differ by region and individual schools may have different inset days that affect holiday start and end dates. Always check your school’s term dates before booking a getaway.

What are the school holiday dates in 2024?

February half term

In England, London, Bristol and Birmingham break up for the February half term on Friday 9 February, returning to school on Monday 19 February. Northern regions including Manchester and Newcastle break up slightly later on Friday 16 February and return on Monday 26 February. Schools in Wales also break up for half term on 9 February.

Scotland’s February half term varies in different regions. Edinburgh has a full week off, finishing on 9 February and returning on 19 February, while Glasgow has three days off from 12 to 14 February (Wednesday).

Northern Ireland takes two days off this month – 15 and 16 February.

CityLast day of schoolFirst day back
Belfast14 February19 February
Birmingham9 February19 February
Bristol9 February19 February
Cardiff9 February19 February
Edinburgh9 February19 February
Glasgow9 February15 February
London9 February19 February
Manchester16 February26 February
Newcastle16 February26 February

Where to go during the February half term

Get some winter sun over February half term at Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, toasty Tunisia or the Canary Islands, where active teens will love the activities on offer – think quad biking tours in Tenerife and windsurfing in Fuerteventura.

Hotel San Borondón

  • Puerto De La Cruz, Tenerife, Spain
  • 1 February 2025
  • Self-catering
  • From Leeds/Bradford

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Easter holiday

Many UK cities follow the same two-week pattern for the Easter holidays in 2024. London, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow all break up from school on Thursday 28 March and start term again on Monday 15 April. Birmingham and Cardiff are a week ahead, finishing on 22 March (Friday) and returning 8 April (Monday).

Belfast has a shorter, one-week holiday for Easter, with term ending on 28 March and restarting on 8 April.

CityLast day of schoolFirst day back
Belfast28 March8 April
Birmingham22 March8 April
Bristol28 March15 April
Cardiff22 March8 April
Edinburgh28 March15 April
Glasgow28 March15 April
London28 March15 April
Manchester28 March15 April
Newcastle28 March15 April

Where to go during the Easter school holidays

Make the most of the extended Easter break by hopping across the pond to Florida or Mexico – it's a great time of year to enjoy Orlando’s theme parks and Cancun’s all-inclusive resorts before the summer crowds arrive. Closer to home, Costa del Sol and Malta are already starting to heat up.

Sol Príncipe

  • Torremolinos, Costa Del Sol, Spain
  • 7 April 2025
  • Bed & breakfast
  • From Luton

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May half term

Most schools in the UK take a week’s break for the May half term. The 2024 dates are the same for all the English and Welsh cities, breaking up on Friday 24 May and returning on Monday 3 June.

Some schools in Scotland take select days off in May in addition to the bank holidays. Edinburgh has Tuesday 7 and Monday 20 off, while Glasgow’s schools have days off on Thursday 2 and Friday 24.

Northern Ireland has no half term holiday in May.

CityLast day of schoolFirst day back
Birmingham24 May3 June
Bristol24 May3 June
Cardiff24 May3 June
London24 May3 June
Manchester24 May3 June
Newcastle24 May3 June

Where to go during the May half term

Spend your half term week enjoying early summer sunshine, sandy beaches and pretty coastal towns in family-friendly favourites like Majorca, Crete and Corfu. For a shorter break, enjoy spring flowers and pleasant temperatures in cities such as Amsterdam and Rome.

Globales Nova Apartamentos

  • Palma Nova, Majorca, Spain
  • 2 May 2025
  • Self-catering
  • From Luton

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Summer holiday

The summer holidays mark the end of the school year, giving students six weeks off in England, Wales and Scotland. Students in Northern Ireland get eight weeks off.

In England and Wales, end-of-term dates vary by school. Newcastle finishes first on Friday 19 July; Birmingham and Cardiff break up on Monday 22 July; Bristol on Tuesday 23 July; and London and Manchester break up on Wednesday 24 July. All schools return on Monday 2 September.

Scotland starts their summer holidays a month earlier: Edinburgh breaks up on Friday 28 June and Glasgow on Wednesday 26 June. Both return on Wednesday 14 August.

Belfast's extended summer begins in June too: term finishes on Friday 28 June and students return for the new school year on 2 September.

CityLast day of schoolFirst day back
Belfast28 June2 September
Birmingham22 July2 September
Bristol23 July2 September
Cardiff22 July2 September
Edinburgh28 June14 August
Glasgow26 June14 August
London24 July2 September
Manchester24 July2 September
Newcastle19 July2 September

Where to go during the summer school holidays

You’ll find some of the cheapest all-inclusive deals this summer in Turkey, the Algarve and on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. If peak season prices aren’t an obstacle, go long haul for tropical heat in Bali.

Grand Park Lara

  • Lara Beach, Antalya Area, Turkey
  • 13 July 2024
  • All-inclusive
  • From Birmingham

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October half term

In 2024, the October half term falls on the last week of the month for London, Bristol, Birmingham, Newcastle and Cardiff – ending on Friday 25 October and restarting on Monday 4 November. Half term is a week earlier in Manchester, with schools breaking up on Friday 18 October and returning Monday 28.

Scottish schools also have a week off in October. Glasgow breaks up on Thursday 10 and Edinburgh on Friday 11 October, both beginning term again on Monday 21 October.

Belfast schools only take two days off over Halloween: Thursday 31 October and Friday 1 November.

CityLast day of schoolFirst day back
Belfast30 October4 November
Birmingham25 October4 November
Bristol25 October4 November
Cardiff25 October4 November
Edinburgh11 October21 October
Glasgow10 October21 October
London25 October4 November
Manchester18 October28 October
Newcastle25 October4 November

Where to go during the October half term

While the October half term is closer to winter than summer, there’s still sunshine to chase if you know where to look. Temperatures in Cyprus hover in the mid-20s while Dubai still sizzles in the 30s – more manageable than the 40C heat of summer. Similarly, cooler autumn temperatures in Marrakech make exploring the city’s souks more enjoyable.

Veronica Hotel

  • Paphos, Paphos Area, Cyprus
  • 18 October 2024
  • Bed & breakfast
  • From Stansted

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Christmas holiday

Christmas holiday dates are very similar for all schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland this year, with most off for two weeks over the festive period.

All the cities break up on Friday 20 December in 2024, returning in 2025 on:

  • Friday 3 January in Belfast
  • Monday 6 January in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Cardiff and Glasgow
  • Tuesday 7 January in Edinburgh.
City Last day of school First day back
Belfast20 December3 January
Birmingham20 December 6 January
Bristol20 December 6 January
Cardiff20 December 6 January
Edinburgh20 December7 January
Glasgow20 December 6 January
London20 December 6 January
Manchester20 December 6 January
Newcastle20 December 6 January

Where to go during the Christmas holidays

Fancy spicing things up over the festive period? Swap sprouts and woolly socks for sunnies and sand in Australia or the Caribbean. For a short trip, embrace the festive spirit with a Christmas market break in Prague and Berlin or take off to New York for ice-skating and shopping.

Money-saving tips for travelling in the school holidays

  • Look for midweek departures: Weekday departures tend to be cheaper so always compare a range of dates when searching for your holiday.
  • Consider alternative airports: Compare flight prices from all your closest airports before you book. You could score some significant savings by departing from an airport in a region with different school holiday dates to you.
  • Travel in the last week of summer: Data here at TravelSupermarket HQ reveals that the last week of the school summer holidays is one of the best times to find a cheap deal.
  • Make the most of free child places: Look for free kids’ places to save on your package holiday. Jet2holidays, TUI and easyJet currently have thousands on offer.
  • Take advantage of pay monthly schemes: Spread the cost of your holiday with the monthly payment schemes offered by tour operators. Usually, you can secure your break with just a small upfront deposit.
  • Go all-inclusive: Accommodation, flights and all your meals and drinks are paid for upfront when you go all-inclusive and it’s a great way to stick to your holiday budget.

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