St Patrick’s Day is synonymous with celebration, almost anywhere in the world that you may happen to be. While it is an Irish celebration at heart, commemorating the Irish patron saint, if you happen to be in London at the time, then you’ll be able to mark the occasion in spectacular style.
With a strong Irish community in the city going back centuries, as well as plenty of contemporary Irish residents, businesses and visitors across the capital, St Patrick’s Day is felt just as vividly in London as you might experience it in Ireland. This year, St Patrick’s Day will be falling on March 17, and if you’re planning to visit London during that period, then check out some of the great hotels near Paddington Station, and read on to find out more about how you can take part in St Patrick’s Day while you’re here.
Learn more about Irish culture and history
St Patrick’s Day is of course an Irish holiday first and foremost, and while it has become more widely popularised around the world through contemporary culture, media and other ways, it still holds special importance in Ireland. So if you’re staying in hotels near Paddington Station and visiting London during St Patrick’s Day, it’s definitely worth spending a little time learning about Irish culture and history, as well as the background of St Patrick’s Day itself.
Taking place in early Spring, St Patrick’s Day is often associated with feasting, drinking and plenty of joyful revelry. This popular tradition has its roots in the fact that the saint’s day fell during the period of Lent, traditionally a time to abstain from ordinary pleasures. As it was the patron saint’s feast day however, his followers were permitted to enjoy a day to put aside the strict restrictions of Lent, and over time, this made the festival a special day of indulgence.
While you’re in London, look out for great value deals on accommodation Hyde Park London and spend some time exploring a little of the great Irish cultural sights in the city. You can learn more about the history of Ireland through the ages with dedicated exhibits at the British Museum, while the London Irish Centre provides a place for those who are especially curious and interested to discover more about Irish culture, with a variety of activities and workshops on to introduce you to everything from Irish dancing, to traditional Irish music, choral singing and more.
Experience the St Patrick’s Day Celebrations
No St Patrick’s Day is complete with a show-stopping celebration to mark the occasion, and in London, that means the fantastic St Patrick’s Day Parade. Taking place annually on the Sunday closest to St Patrick’s Day itself, the parade weaves through central London, starting from Piccadilly and winding its way towards Trafalgar Square and beyond. With a variety of performers in the parade, including live musicians, marching bands, dancers, sports figures and many more, it’s definitely a sight worth seeing, and attracts quite the crowd. If you want a good spot to watch the parade, it’s worth staying close by the route in accommodation Hyde Park London, so that you can head to the front line of the parade bright and early on the morning of the event.
The spectacular parade is impressive in itself, but that’s not all that London has in store. The capital has much more up its sleeve when it comes to St Patrick’s Day, including the fantastic Festival, taking place at Trafalgar Square.
Taking place in the afternoon after midday, it’s the perfect way to follow up the parade. At Trafalgar Square, you’ll find a great variety of entertainment, celebration and more, bringing the special holiday to life in the city. You’ll find workshops, classes and events where you can learn more about Irish culture and traditions, stall sellers featuring artisanal crafted goods, and plenty of delicious food and drink, made with an Irish inspiration.
The parade and the St Patrick’s Day festival winds to a close early in the evening by around 6pm, but that doesn’t mean that the fun has to be over. If you’re still looking to continue the celebrations, then check out some of the great bars near Hyde Park as well as other top spots.
Head to an Irish Pub
Speaking of great bars, one of the best ways to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, after the parade and festival fun, of course, is to make your way to a proper Irish pub. While many great pubs across London will take part in the St Patrick’s Day festivities, it’s worth looking out for an Irish pub, where you might find yourself surrounded by a huge variety of Irish people, and have the chance to celebrate together.
Many pubs, and their inhabitants, will be decked out in green on the saint’s special day, and this goes back to ancient rumours about leprechauns being unable to pinch anyone who wore green. To ward them off, it soon became traditional to wear green on St Patrick’s Day, and to this day, you’ll find many places, as well as people, dressed up in this colour as part of the celebrations.
Check out some Irish food and drink
It’s not enough just to head out to an Irish pub on St Patrick’s Day – you’ll also want to enjoy plenty of Irish food and drink on this day to celebrate the occasion in real style.
Guinness is certainly one of the most popular drinks that are closely associated with St Patrick’s Day, as well as whiskey. You’ll see it being featured in posters and billboards across the city as well as in plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants, and if you’ve never tried it before, then it’s the perfect time to give it a taste.
As well as plenty of things to drink, St Patrick’s Day is also a perfect time to indulge in some classic Irish cuisine, with some deliciously tempting comfort food to keep you satisfied.