St Patrick's Day in London
Singing, dancing, a parade and a pint or two: the Irish have always known how to party so join them on Sunday Mar 17
© James O.Jenkins
Find your Irish roots for just the weekend and join the paddy parade on Sunday Mar 17. If anyone knows how to party, it's the Irish, and on St Patrick's Day they do it bigger and better than ever. Follow the St Paddy's Day Parade floats and marching band, which starts in Piccadilly at 2pm, then head to Trafalgar Square for a whole load o' craic at the annual festival. There'll be dancing, singing, Irish food, comedy and Gaelic-themed entertainment for the kids. Be sure to go green this Sunday.
St Patrick's Day: what's the craic?
St Patrick's Day (March 17) is a day dedicated to the Patron Saint of Ireland. Along with the religious aspects of the Saint's day, the festival is traditionally celebrated with 'wearing of the green' and shamrocks. The biggest of the festivities take place in Ireland but St Patrick's Day is widely celebrated by Irish ex-pats around the world. London has marked the day with public celebrations since 2002 and these celebrations attract huge crowds of revellers.
Known for its exceptional Guinness, always poured with care, and occasional raucous entertainment. It's the kind of pub where the wine list runs to 'red or white', and where the staff are so matey and hospitable that they'll offer to bring your Guinness over to your table rather than have you hang around at the bar and wait for it to reach perfection.
- 105 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UD
A cosy slice of (faux-)Irish pubbery in hip Notting Hill known for its good oysters and Guinness. The Cow is a rural Irish pub as imagined by Disney – all cutesy cottage-style net curtains, Guinness advertising and glossy 1950s Technicolor paintwork.
- 89 Westbourne Park Road, W2 5QH
As the first London venue to win the Camra National Pub of the Year accolade, this diminutive Covent Garden pub pumps eight real ales and has casks of scrumpy behind the bar. Irish landlady too.
- 47 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HS
With Miles Davis on the stereo and a stream of banter from two generations of Quinns behind the bar, this Irish boozer manages to feel like a real sanctuary from the outside world. There’s a rotating selection of guest ales, and one of the longest lists of Belgian and German bottled beers you'll find in the capital (stored in a padlocked fridge beside the bar).
- 65 Kentish Town Road, NW1 8NY