What to do on St Patrick’s Day in London
St Patrick’s Day is one of the most important days for the Irish, and as London has a huge Irish presence, the celebrations can be legendary. However, it’s not all drinking and parades; there are lots of things to see and do in London so you can celebrate in style
St Patrick’s Day is full of parties, the colour green, wearing some really crazy outfits and fancy-dress gear. If you want a more sedate or family-friendly St Patrick’s Day, take a look at what else you can do to have a great time celebrating Ireland’s patron saint during your stay in London.
St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival
Taking place the week before St Patrick’s Day on the 12 March, this is not to be missed. Running through London from Green Park to Trafalgar Square. As well as marching bands, traditional Irish dancers, floats and singers there are workshops, face painting, games and arts and crafts in Trafalgar Square, making it a really fun family event and a great way to start the festivities.
The parade and ‘after-party’ on Trafalgar Square run from 12pm to 6pm giving you plenty of time to see everything you want to and get out for dinner afterwards.
Paddy’s Day Pub Quiz
If you’re in London with some friends or family, and you’re a little bit competitive, then take part in the Paddy’s Day Pub Quiz at Big Penny Social in Walthamstow (directly on the Victoria line). This quiz will be a traditional pub quiz but be prepared for a variety of Irish-related questions thrown in for good measure.
For £2 entry per person, you can have the chance to win £100 and the pride of beating the other teams taking part. It’s a good laugh (or craic as the Irish say) and will be taking place on the 14 March. Get your pens at the ready!
Take in some live comedy and music
The fantastic 2 Johnnies are taking their hilarious podcast on the road and will be in London on the 16 March. Taking place at Hackney Empire, you’ll have time to grab a bite to eat before the show, which starts at 7pm.
If you like or want to learn more about traditional Irish songs (ditties as they are traditionally known) and some great comedy sketches, this is going to be the perfect night out for you and your friends. Even if you go it alone, you will inevitably make friends with everyone in the venue!
Tea Dance – London Irish Centre
The London Irish Centre in Camden is a great place to go for all things to do with the Irish community in London, but around St Patrick’s Day, there’s definitely a certain buzz in the air. Join in the fun and get your dancing shoes on with a lunchtime tea dance followed by a meal of bacon and cabbage. Tickets are £10 per person and the tea dance is from 12pm to 4pm on the 17 March.
St Patrick’s Day Céilí with Alison Spittle
Staying at the London Irish Centre, Alison Spittle is hosting a brilliant night of Céilí dancing and traditional Celtic music to get you in the mood. Starting from 6pm on the 17 March and running until midnight, there will be a dancing teacher to help you get the steps right, but don’t worry if you’re struggling; it’s all part of the fun. A DJ will be on from 10pm until closing time at midnight, so you can show off your new moves and hit the dancefloor in style!
Go for a run!
If you fancy getting up and having a fun-filled 5K run around Hyde Park, then the London St Patrick’s Day run will be for you. Taking place on the 18 March between 3pm and 4pm, be prepared for costumes, a lot of fun and the potential for people looking a little worse for wear after the previous night’s celebrations. This is also a Guinness World Record attempt so grab your running gear and get going! Highly recommend this run, Hyde Park is a lovely area, and you get to go to a bar afterwards to watch Ireland in the Six Nations and have a few drinks.
We’re back at the London Irish Centre for a family Ceili event. Taking place on Saturday afternoon, this dance is open to all ages and is a great time for everyone. The children can dance and take part in a snake-themed treasure hunt all over the building, a nod to St Patrick driving out the ‘snakes’ in Ireland. A lovely way to round off your St Patrick’s Day celebrations, this will keep everyone entertained and laughing as you watch everyone try to get to grips with the steps involved.
No matter what you do, we hope you enjoy St Patrick’s Day and have a great time with friends or family. There’s plenty to do in London starting from around the 12 March until the 19 or 20 March, so keep an eye out and don’t forget to ask us at the desk if there’s anything, in particular, you want to try or find out and we’ll be happy to help direct you.