The House has breaks during the year when it doesn’t meet. The precise timings of recesses vary each year and dates are announced by the Leader of the House. The recess calendar lists the published dates.

Even if the dates haven't been announced yet, you can usually work out roughly when they will fall because recesses follow a general pattern (assuming that the State Opening of Parliament is at its normal time in May):

  • Whitsun recess: a week in late May to early June
  • Summer recess: late July to early September
  • Conference recess: Mid-September to early October (accommodating the party conferences)
  • November recess: a long weekend in mid-November
  • Christmas recess: late December to early January
  • February recess: a week in mid-February
  • Easter recess: two weeks dependent on the date of Easter; usually late March or early April to mid-April

This pattern may be disrupted in a year where there is a general election or if the State Opening of Parliament is substantially later than usual.