4 Love It
Save it

St Patrick's Day in London

You don’t have to go to Ireland to enjoy the party atmosphere of St Patrick’s Day, as there’s plenty going on right here in London

Photo: Ben/Flickr

Singing, dancing, a parade and a pint or two - the Irish have always known how to party and celebrating St Patrick's Day in London is no exception. St Patrick’s Day in London is a chance for Irish London (and, of course, anyone and everyone who's Irish-at-heart) to hit the streets and show the city the true meaning of the word ‘craic’.

The official holiday lands annually on March 17 (a Friday in 2017), but the main London celebrations take place in Trafalgar Square on March 19.

There’ll be a lively parade of music, food and ceilidh dancing, plus plenty of things to do with the kids. If you can’t face the crowds, we've rounded up the best St Patrick’s Day happenings below. Or if you want more cultural inspiration, check our pick of the best London events in March. Get ready for a very green weekend.

When is St Patrick’s Day?

It’s always March 17, but in true Irish fashion, St Patrick’s Day sessions usually run throughout Paddy’s weekend.  

What is St. Patrick's Day?

The date supposedly marks the death of this guy called (yep, you guessed it!) St Patrick, who travelled to Ireland in the fifth century to convince Irish pagans that Christianity is where it’s at. Do you associate Ireland with shamrocks? That’s down to him too: the story goes that St Patrick used the three-leaved clover to describe the Holy Trinity to non-believers. Oh, and legend says he banished snakes from the country by chasing them into the sea. Best mull that last part over with a Guinness.

Where is the London St. Patrick's Day Parade?

London’s St Patrick’s Day parade kicks off on March 19, when crowds line the streets from Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square and cheer on a stream of leprechaun floats, traditional musicians and squads of Irish dancers. The main stage at Trafalgar Square will be surrounded by a street food market and a ‘tea tent’, with a line-up of Irish bands. Basically it’s a big, rip-roaring one-day festival, only the pints are a shade of Gaelic green.

Join in the St Patrick's Day London fun

St Patrick's Day Irish Walking Tours

Taking its name from a line in the WB Yeats poem Easter 1916, the 'Terrible Beauty' walking tour will take you from Trafalgar Square to Whitehall, exploring the impact of the Irish rebellion of 1916 from the London perspective. Meet at the South Side of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square at 2pm March 17 to take part. 

Read more
Nelson's Column , Trafalgar Square Friday March 17 2017 - Sunday March 19 2017

Whisky and Jar: An Irish Craft Booze Tasting

Yes, on the whole, Irish people are known to be fond of the sauce, but they’re equally selective about what goes in their glasses. Learn to pair Irish craft beers and whiskey (without getting a seriously dodgy stomach) and take part in the Great Irish Stout Off.

Read more
Crown & Shuttle , Shoreditch Tuesday March 14 2017

St Patrick's Film Festival London

With the 2016 Oscar nominations for 'Brooklyn' and Lenny Abrahamson's 'Room', Irish filmmaking is finally getting a look-in on a global scale. Running from March 17-19, The St Patrick's Film Festival has a programme of Irish-made features and animation, held in association with the Mayor of London. Two highlights are a screening of award-winning Irish short films and the Song of the Sea and Shadow Animation Workshop at Regent Street Cinema.

Read more
Various , London Friday March 17 2017 - Sunday March 19 2017

Father Ted-A-Thon St Patrick’s Day Special at The Grand

Craggy Island is on its way to Clapham for the Father Ted-A-Thon St Patrick’s Day Special at The Grand. There will be screening of three select episodes (voted for by the public), a lovely girls competition and prizes for the best nun/priest costume. Can you booze dressed as a man of the cloth? That would be an ecumenical matter.

Read more
The Grand , Clapham Junction Friday March 17 2017

St Patrick or the Pagans?

Explore a darker side to Irish history at 'St Patrick or the Pagans?' where you'll sing songs of cannibalism, infidelity and grave dancing while tucking into a three-course Irish banquet in the impressive surroundings of Hackney Round Chapel.

Read more
Round Chapel , Lea Bridge Friday March 17 2017

Nightcap with Teeling St Patrick's Day Special

Get into the spirit of things at The London Cocktail Club’s ‘Nightcap with Teeling’ evening. There will be a sample tasting, plenty of expert whisky chat and a chance to make your own drinks. The masterclass finishes at 8.30pm, leaving plenty of time to pick up where you left off.

Read more
London Cocktail Club , Fitzrovia Friday March 17 2017

Kila: St Patrick's Day at the LIC

Things are going to get reel for Kila’s St Patrick’s Day gig at the London Irish Centre in Camden. The modern folk group play electric trad music filled with the thundering sound of bodhráns and tin whistles. The lyrics are all in Irish, so you might learn some Gaeilge beyond ‘póg mo thóin’.

Read more
London Irish Centre , Camden Town Friday March 17 2017

Condé Nast Traveller Presents: Chef World Series

Belfast’s OX restaurant is so popular it can takes months to secure a booking, so it’s pretty much a no-go on last minute weekend breaks. But you can try the food of its Head Chef Stephen Toman at the Ox St Patrick’s Day pop-up at Carousel in Mayfair. Forget bland boiled potatoes, Toman is more about the Chateaubriand followed by a dessert of Bushmills jelly.

Read more
Carousel , Marylebone Friday March 17 2017

St Patrick's Day at Camden Market

With its collection of Union Jack souvenirs, this Camden Market isn't normally a bastion of Irishness, but on Saturday March 18, it will be overrun with shamrock hats for the Paddy's weekend celebrations. There's the 'Camden Culture Trail' from 12pm-6pm, with pop-up bands in Voodoo Ray's and the Ampitheatre, plus an augmentated reality showcase from Firstage, where you can enjoy VR performances from all over Ireland. 

Read more
Camden Market , Camden Town Saturday March 18 2017

An Evening of Irish Food, Beer and Whiskey at The Water Poet

Line your stomach with something more than ‘soakage’ at The Water Poet, where they’ll be serving an all-Irish menu for a 5-day hooley in honour of St Patrick. Meet Irish craft beer brewers Bru in the garden barn on Wednesday March 15. And on Thursday March 16, join for an evening of whiskey and beer matched with Irish dishes for £25, starting with a welcome cocktail of a Poitin Sour. If you still have room by the March 17, there will be lines of Guinness on the bar, ready for supping.

Read more
Water Poet , Spitalfields Thursday March 16 2017

Sink a Guinness at an Irish pub

London's best Irish bars and pubs

If you're looking for a pub that's Irish-owned, stocks Irish ales and whiskeys, or often hosts traditional music, food and even dancing, then look no further.

Read more
By: Time Out London Food & Drink

Comments

8 comments
Clair S
Clair S

The Church promises a day of booze swilling, naughtiness, fun and singing your heart out...in other words, all round Irish awesomeness!


Whether Irish by blood or by heart, come along and find yourself three sheets to the wind amongst a sea of green and orange as we celebrate the land of shamrocks and magic. Tickets at http://bit.ly/2lCzKuG

Heather  J
Heather J

Top Dog Diner on Frith Street in Soho is serving a "Patty McGuinness" for St. Patrick’s Day (and through Saturday) - two patties, smashed onto the grill with a flat iron, Guinness-braised onions, Jameson BBQ sauce, lettuce, Irish cheddar on a brioche bun.  You can get it with a side of Colcannon fries - skin-on crunchy fries with crispy kale, bacon dust and spring onions.  Add a shot of Jameson to finish it off! 

Allan C
Allan C

St Patrick's Day 2016 Pub Crawls in Central London, Camden & Shoreditch! 

www.1bignightout.com 

Come and check it out!

Denise W
Denise W

There is Father Ted Bingo going on at a place called the Six Yard Box in Elephant and Castle which sounds pretty Epic

Sean G
Sean G

You stated above "Follow the St Paddy's Day Parade floats and marching band, which begins in Piccadilly at 2pm". The parade started at 12pm, so I and many others missed it because you got it wrong. Thanks!