Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in London
In London on the 17th of March? Yes, that is the day that people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in London.
Depending on where you are from, St. Patrick’s Day might be a day for drinking beer and wearing green.
You’re in London this year for St. Patrick’s Day. Here are some tips on how to celebrate the holiday in the city.
St. Patrick’s Day: What It Is and When It Occurs
St. Patrick’s Day is Observed on March 17th in Honor of Ireland’s Patron Saint.
Each Year, People Worldwide Don Green, Create Four-Leaf Clovers and Consume Large Amounts of Guinness Beer.
What are some legendary tales?
The well-known ones are:
Through his sermon, he banished the snakes from the Emerald Isle (Ireland), causing them to flee into the sea.
To this day, the island remains free of snakes.
Although green is widely linked to this holiday, the Order of Saint Patrick wore blue.
It was in the 18th century that the colour of celebration shifted to green, believed to be due to supporters of Irish independence adopting the colour to symbolize their movement.
The story of the walking stick that transformed into a tree.
It tells of St. Patrick’s journey back from England, carrying a walking stick.
He would halt during the trip to deliver sermons to nearby communities.
Legend has it that he preached for so long during one of these stops that his walking stick took root and turned into a tree.
Where is St. Patrick’s Day celebrated?
St. Patrick’s Day began to be celebrated globally in the 1700s.
Irish immigrants had settled throughout the world, primarily in North America, and elaborate celebrations started to take place in cities such as Boston (1737) and New York (1762).
New York is considered to host the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade, attracting over two million spectators and featuring 150,000 marchers.
In addition, Chicago has been dyeing its river green annually since 1962 (it’s environmentally safe).
London also holds numerous events and a yearly parade with more than 50,000 spectators.
Join the London St. Patrick’s Day Parade
As noted above, London holds a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, although it takes place on the nearest Sunday rather than on an actual day.
Expect pageantry, marching bands, Irish dance schools, concerts, choirs, live music, and more.
The parade begins at Hyde Park Corner and follows a 2 km route through Piccadilly, St James’s Street, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, and Whitehall.
St Patrick’s Day Parade | 12th of March 2023
Join the St. Patrick’s Day Festival
The St. Patrick’s Day Festival is another component of the Mayor of London’s celebrations and takes place on the same day as the parade.
Visit Trafalgar Square to witness Irish acts, concerts, dances, and more.
In addition, take advantage of the opportunity to sample some delicious Irish dishes at the food market.
St Patrick’s Day Festival | 12th of March 2023
Reserve a St. Patrick’s Day Walking Tour
Celebrate Ireland’s most significant impact on the city this St. Patrick’s Day with a Rebel guide!
Discover London’s rich Irish history and heritage through its rebel leaders, radical figures, writers, and doctors.
Led by Rebel, the tour begins near the British Parliament, where you will learn about political leaders and figures of the Easter Rising and Ireland’s War of Independence.
Then, I journey towards the theatre district to appreciate Ireland’s contributions to literature and culture.
Finally, the tour concludes in Soho, where many Irish families settled after the Great Hunger of the 1840s.
After this tribute to London’s Irish heritage and its key players, join your guide for a pint at a Soho pub to continue the fun.
Attend a Shamrock Session at BoxPark
BoxPark is a gathering place for small, independent street food vendors offering global cuisines.
On St. Patrick’s Day, they will host Shamrock Sessions at their Wembley location.
Enjoy live music with artists like Shakeout, Blag, and Barn Storm performing traditional Irish songs.
The event will also feature free face painting and a variety of food and drink options.
BoxPark Wembley: Shamrock Sessions | 17th of March 2023
Participate in a St. Patrick’s Day 5k Run in Hyde Park
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day fun and active by joining the 5k run in Hyde Park.
This event, now in its second year after starting in 2020, is an excellent opportunity to get active.
Ticket prices are just £11, and the race begins around 11 am.
St Patrick’s Day Run | 18th of March 2023
Indulge in an Irish Poetry Session
Attend the Tea House Theatre to witness For The Love of the Irish hosted by Alain English, their literary resident artist.
Experience a journey through some of the greatest works of Irish poetry led by Alain.
For the Love of the Irish: Poetry Session | (2023 date not yet announced)
Visit St. Patrick’s Church
Take a trip to St Patrick’s Church in Soho Square, recognized as the first Irish Roman Catholic church in Britain.
Upon entering the church, gaze upward to find an inscription reading “VT CHRISTIANI ITA ET ROMANI SITIS”, taken from the teachings of St Patrick, which translates to “Be ye Christians as those of the Roman Church”.
You may also attend the St Patrick’s Day Vigil Mass on March 6th or the Feast Day Mass on the 17th.
St. Patrick’s Church | Visit all year
Visit one of London’s Irish pubs/bars
Consider visiting one of London’s Irish bars and treat yourself to a pint of Guinness to complete the festivities.
Some top options for you to choose from include:
- The Toucan in Soho
- The Porterhouse in Covent Garden
- The Sheephaven Bay in Camden
- Howl at the Moon in Hoxton
Whatever your celebration style, there are many ways to have a thrilling St. Patrick’s Day in London on March 17th.