St Patrick’s day in London: a day of dancing and drinking?
Old Pat must have been a student! Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated on the 17th of March by the Irish all over the world. All stereotypes aside, everyone’s knows their reputation for celebrating – which is probably why this green day is so popular in cities all over the world. Especially with international students, on Erasmus or other exchange programs. Without counting Dublin and Belfast, London is probably the European capital with the best and biggest parties.
St Patrick’s Parade
Even though the saint’s day is only on Monday, St Patrick’s Parade will be held Sunday, the 16th. The parade starts at midday and goes on for 1.5 miles (almost 2.5kms) through central London, walking down Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and ends at Whitehall. This fun-driven celebration of Irish roots and culture with floats and marching bands is going to attract more than 100,000 people!
St Patrick’s Festival
Also on the 16th, large festival celebrates the best Irish music, culture, arts and dances will take place on n Trafalgar Square. You have to go check it out – it’s free. A lot of people are saying the best things to look out for this year are the dance groups and the comedy tent. The festival ends by 6 o’clock (1800), so make sure you get there early.
St Patrick’s day in London? Hit the pubs!
Saint Pat’s used to be known as a day of feasting, but today it seems to be much more associated with the art of drinking. On Monday, Guinness, whisky and the alcoholic mega-monster known as the Irish Car Bomb are what you should be asking for. Most pubs and bars will be doing something, but you’ll want to find out a real Irish pub to take it seriously. There are dozens of these in London and even a few good ones. Waxy o’Connors throws the best Paddy’s parties that we’ve been to!
(this is TimeOut‘s Best Pubs of London list. You’ll have one of ours soon, we just need to try all of them first!)
Alternative ways to spend St Patrick’s day in London:
If you want to do something a little different, we have two suggestions.
#1 – If you’re into sports, the London Irish rugby team, known as the Exiles, will be throwing their own Saint Patrick’s party. Entertainment starts at 1 o’clock, and then at 17h30 the Exiles play against Bath. There are concerts after the match and the party runs on until late.
#2 – If you want something a little bit quieter, Prince Charles Cinema, in Leicester square, has an Irish Film Festival going on.
So, our friend, student living in London, make sure you find some green clothes and get ready to hit the streets – on Sunday during the afternoon, and Monday evening to join in on the celebrations.
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