Traditional bank holidays on which high street bookmakers are open include New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, August Bank Holiday, and Boxing Day.
A day in the bookies can be a fun way to spend a bank holiday on your own or with friends. Greyhound racing often takes place in the morning and afternoons on bank holidays, while there’s plenty of horse racing action. Top football matches are also reserved for some bank holidays. You can also bet on a variety of other sports, so check the fixture lists of your favourite sports.
Betting On New Year’s Day
A stroll to the local bookies on New Year’s Day can be a great way to get rid of your hangover, and the prospect of betting on some excellent football and horse racing action can be a big motivation. One or two of the top Premier League sides normally play on New Year’s Day, so you can stick a bet on and watch them at home or head back to the pub for a hair of the dog.
Lots of punters also like to bet on the horse racing, with Cheltenham hosting its traditional New Year’s Day fixture. Supporting meetings are staged at racecourses such as Exeter, Southwell, and Musselburgh.
Betting On Good Friday
Good Friday is traditionally one of the quieter betting bank holidays in the United Kingdom. Bookies had to close on Good Friday until 2004 but can now open. But there isn’t much in the way of sporting action, with no Premier League football taking place.
But all-weather horse racing fans can enjoy a punt on the All-Weather Championship Finals Day at Lingfield Park. This is a relatively new initiative, but one that is well-supported both on and off course.
Betting On Easter Monday
There is usually no Premier League football on Easter Monday, but there are normally half a dozen horse racing meetings in the UK. None of these are particularly high-profile, with racetracks such as Chepstow, Fakenham, Huntingdon, Plumpton, Redcar, and Wolverhampton staging the action.
But many punters tend to frequent the bookies on an Easter Monday to watch the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. This top-class spectacle has been won by some horse racing greats, such as Arkle, Flying Bolt, Tied Cottage, Rhyme ‘n’ Reason, Desert Orchid, Bobbyjo, and Numbersixvalverde. The meeting also traditionally has a strong supporting card.
Betting On May Day Bank Holiday
The May Day Bank Holiday takes place on the first Monday of May and, while you can pop down to your local bookies, it’s not generally a great day for betting. There’s little or no football action and the horse racing action tends to come from mid-grade tracks such as Windsor, Warwick, Kempton, and Bath. If you ask us, this is probably a good day to spend with the family and get some brownie points.
Betting On Spring Bank Holiday
The Spring Bank Holiday is traditionally a popular holiday time in the United Kingdom, and it falls on the last Monday in May, which is deemed to be the last long weekend before summer. Top-class football action has finished by now and any big summer tournaments don’t tend to start until June.
There are normally around four to five horse racing meetings on Spring Bank Holiday, but none are top-class. The popular holiday destination of Cartmel in the Lake District attracts many racegoers on this day, but it’s not the kind of racing that will appeal to many punters in betting shops.
Betting On August Bank Holiday
August Bank Holiday is the last Monday in August and, with many families choosing to go on holiday at this time of year, most of the horse racing action takes place at racetracks that can be accessed from a variety of surrounding popular holiday destinations. Ripon stages a popular meeting on August Bank Holiday, which often has a strong and competitive card.
Betting On Boxing Day
Boxing Day may fall on different days each year, but it remains one of the biggest betting days in the UK outside of the Grand National and Derby. Lots of punters take a trip to the bookies to bet on the King George Chase at Kempton Park, which is just one of eight gorse racing meetings that normally take part on Boxing Day.
Many of the top Premier League teams also tend to be in action on Boxing Day, with six matches kicking off at different times.
You’ll also be able to bet on a variety of other sports in high street bookmakers on bank holidays, so check the fixture lists or follow the advice of your tipsters on the day.
We hope that’s answered your question are bookies open on bank holidays and given you a guide to what you can expect to bet on. Happy punting!