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When do 2019’s bank holidays fall - and how can you use them best?

PUBLISHED: 18:00 29 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:54 13 November 2018

The Bolddog Lings FMX Display Team in the Grand Ring at the 2018 Suffolk Show. The Show is a highlight of the late May bank holiday week. 
Picture: NICK BUTCHER

The Bolddog Lings FMX Display Team in the Grand Ring at the 2018 Suffolk Show. The Show is a highlight of the late May bank holiday week. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Archant © 2018

As winter weather hits, it’s time to start planning your holidays for next year. Combine bank holidays with annual leave, and you could enjoy longer breaks from work!

While a long weekend is great in itself, it’s often possible to build it up into a much longer period of leave by adding just a few days from your annual leave allowance.

The full list of bank holidays for next year is January 1, April 19, April 22, May 6, May 27, August 26 and December 25-26 - but those eight days could feel like a lot more if you take full advantage of them.

Have your say in our poll about whether you want more bank holidays - something which has been suggested by some politicians but hasn’t happened yet!

Visitors enjoying Mendlesham Street Fair. Picture: BEN RIMMERVisitors enjoying Mendlesham Street Fair. Picture: BEN RIMMER

Make the most of Easter and early May bank holidays

Spring is a great time to arrange your annual leave around bank holidays, as we get several of them in a short time. In 2019, Easter is fairly late, with Good Friday falling on April 19 and Easter Monday falling on April 22.

The early May bank holiday is on May 6 - so, if you want to take a longer break early in the year, you could book all the nine working days between April 23 and May 3 as leave. That would give you an amazing 18 days away from the office, including a bank holiday at each end!

One major event to enjoy at this time of year is Eastertide at Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, which sees more than 100 costumed Tudors celebrating in traditional style. There are also many spring lamb events and Easter egg events at farm parks and stately homes in the area.

Suffolk Horses at the 2018 Suffolk Show Picture: ANDY ABBOTTSuffolk Horses at the 2018 Suffolk Show Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Mendlesham Street Fayre and the May Day Festival staged at Alexandra Park in Ipswich are among the many popular events held during the early May bank holiday weekend each year.

Late May bank holiday - it’s Showtime

The late May bank holiday, on May 27, falls at the start of the spring half term. Why not add four days of annual leave and turn this into a week off?

Maui Waui Festival is a popular event over the August bank holiday weekend.  Picture: JERRY TYEMaui Waui Festival is a popular event over the August bank holiday weekend. Picture: JERRY TYE

The Suffolk Show, one of the main events of the annual calendar, will be held on May 29 and 30. As always, there will be a huge array of animals, crafts and experiences, all designed to promote food, farming and the countryside. There will also be spectacular events to watch in the Grand Ring and all kinds of activities for children to take part in.

Summer fun over August bank holiday

The last bank holiday in 2019 before winter is on August 26. Taking this week off offers a chance to spend time with children before they have to go back to school at the start of September.

Enjoy the New Wolsey Theatre's rock'n'roll panto during time off over Christmas and New Year. Picture: MIKE KWASNIAKEnjoy the New Wolsey Theatre's rock'n'roll panto during time off over Christmas and New Year. Picture: MIKE KWASNIAK

Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival is one major event regularly held over the holiday weekend, while another is the Maui Waui Festival of International Music at Theberton, near Leiston. This event has grown in popularity, and Earlybird tickets for the 2019 event are now on sale.

Enjoy a longer Christmas break

There are actually only three bank holidays over the Christmas period - Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, But, by combining them with just a few days of annual leave, you could turn it into a leisurely break of more than two weeks.

Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday in 2019, so, if you book December 23 and 24, off work, together with December 27, that will bring you up to a full week off. To make it even better, looking at the following week, you could book December 30 and 31 and January 2 and 3, 2020 - and, including weekends, you will have a 16-day break to enjoy, while using up just seven days of leave.

This could be the perfect opportunity to take a winter holiday and get away from it all. Or, you could extend the Christmas and New Year break with your family and friends and enjoy the celebrations closer to home, including the ever-popular pantomimes at the Regent and New Wolsey Theatres.

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