Millions of people across the globe celebrate Irish history and culture on St Patrick’s Day. March 17th is a national holiday in Ireland, and London’s huge Irish population brings celebrations to the capital. Shops, bars, cafes and restaurants all get into the Irish spirit, too.
If you’re in London for St Patrick’s Day, expect to see the odd reveller in a leprechaun costume and a few shamrocks. And there’s plenty of Guinness to go around. There’s also a huge annual weekend parade and festival in the city centre, and organised events taking place on and around March 17th to mark St Patrick’s Day in London.
What is the history of St Patrick’s Day?
St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and said to have lived during the Roman period. He’s celebrated for bringing Christianity to Ireland after being kidnapped from Britain, then, once freed, training as a priest. Named the first bishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland, Patrick, legend has it, drove the snakes out of the Emerald Isle. The origin of St Patrick’s Day goes back to 1631 when the church created a feast day honouring the Irish saint.
With so many Irish people living away from Ireland, St Patrick’s Day has become a global celebration, passing Irish culture and tradition down through generations. St Patrick’s Day is an enormous party among the big Irish populations in the USA in cities like Boston, and over the last couple of decades that tradition has arrived in London too. Thanks to the capital’s large Irish population, St Patrick’s Day in London is a joyous occasion that welcomes everyone.
Is there a St. Patrick’s parade in London?
London hosts a weekend festival and parade on the weekend closest to St Patrick’s Day. Tens of thousands of people turn out, with dancers, choirs, floats and plenty of revellers in costumes parading through the city centre and gathering in Trafalgar Square where festivities continue. This is where the London Irish Centre hosts live music, film screenings and Irish dancing, accompanied by street food and pop-up bars. It’s a huge family-friendly celebration – and just steps from The Clermont, Charing Cross.
Where to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in London?
London Irish pubs galore, each one steeped in that famously warm Irish welcome. Venture into Waxy O’Connors, a maze-like party pub in Soho with four distinct bars across six floors and Waxy’s tree in the centre. Or head to Kilburn for a pint at the Sir Colin Campbell on a weekend evening for live Irish music. The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith hosts regular community events – concerts, poetry nights and creative writing clinics – as well as special St Patrick’s Day events, so check out its packed What’s On calendar.
St Patrick’s Day Run, Hyde Park
Get into the Irish spirit in Hyde Park at the annual London St Patrick’s Day 5k run. This popular circular race starts at Hyde Park Corner and follows the park’s perimeter. Family and friends can sit at the Lodge cafe while the runners hit the tarmac, and afterwards there’s usually a post-run St Patrick’s Day celebration in a local pub. It’s the perfect way to kick-start St Paddy’s Day in London.
So discover the capital’s Irish charm and spend St Patrick’s Day in London. For a weekend or midweek trip, let us host you in our elegant rooms at The Clermont, Victoria or The Clermont, Charing Cross, which offer a perfect balance of modern comfort and heritage charm in the heart of London.