Rowan's World, et Cetera

iCalendar for English Bank Holidays

by Rowan on 10 August, 2009

I’ve been making increasing use of Lightning (backed onto Google Calendar) recently, for both work and personal use, and being able to see bank holidays in my calendar would be very handy. But for some reason, all I can ever find is calendars for “UK Holidays”, which are pretty useless – for one thing, not all parts of the UK have the same bank holidays, and for another, they tend to include random events like Saints’ Days which aren’t “holidays” in the sense of a day off work!

So I decided to make my own calendar, showing bank holidays, in England, and nothing else. And, just for the sake of it (and because there was a very nice-looking library available), I wrote my first ever Ruby script to generate the iCal file for it! A seasoned Ruby coder will probably look at it and laugh, but hey, it works!

The dates are based on this government website, which currently has data up to 2011. The resulting files should work fine in Lightning, and as imports to Google Calendar, so feel free to “subscribe”.

Update: For those still finding this after the end of 2011, I should point out that I have been regularly updating this calendar as new dates are added to the government website, and will continue to do so whenever I think to check.

Additional Note: The best way to use these links is not to download the files themselves, but to right-click and copy the URL. Then in Lightning, or Google Calendar, or whatever other calendar you use, find the option to set up a new calendar and paste in the URL (calendar type is “iCal” if it can’t guess). That way, when I update the files (generally once a year to add the next year’s dates, but occasionally to fix a typo), it will update like any other shared calendar.

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