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St Patrick’s Day is almost upon us, so it’s time to plan where you’ll be celebrating this Irish national holiday. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do on St Patrick’s Day, featuring festivals, pubs and much more.
What is St Patrick’s Day?
St Patrick’s Day started as a religious holiday, but over time it’s become a celebration of Irish culture held annually on March 17 as a tribute to the death of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. ‘Eat, drink and be merry’ has never applied more to this holiday, when celebrators fill up on Irish stew and Guinness and dance to live music.
Where to celebrate St Patrick's Day in London
Rich in culture, London is the place to be on St Patrick’s Day. You won’t have to go far to find a range of St Patrick’s Day activities, whether you fancy a 5k run or a pub crawl.
Wondering where to celebrate St Patrick’s day in London? Here are some of the best things to do this year:
St Patrick’s Day Festival
If you’re looking for a day of entertainment, London’s St Patrick’s Day Festival won’t disappoint. Featuring the best of Irish arts and culture, plus delicious food and drink, it’ll be a day to remember.
The parade is not to be missed, with over 50,000 talented performers, including marching bands, pageantry and dance troupes. Once the parade is over, head to one of the stages at Trafalgar Square to enjoy music from talented live acts.
Date: Sunday 12 March 2023
How to get there: It’s an 18-minute walk from London Waterloo to Trafalgar Square, or you can hop on the northbound Northern tube to Charing Cross.
St Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl
St Patrick’s day is synonymous with drinking, making it the perfect occasion for a pub crawl. Attend a planned crawl or host your own – the choice is yours!
If you’re not familiar with the city’s pubs or don’t want the hassle of navigating yourselves, join the St Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl hosted by London Pub Crawl. Throughout the night, your expert guide will take you to some of the liveliest venues in London, whether you choose the West End, Camden or Shoreditch route.
Date: Friday 17 March 2023
Cost: Pub crawl tickets are from £10. Free entry to five bars plus shots at each location.
How to get there: The crawl starts at Bar Soho, a quick tube journey from London Waterloo. Take the northbound Northern tube to Leicester Square, then walk for five minutes to reach your first bar.
The best Irish pubs in Central London
Hosting your own bar crawl? Here are some of the top Irish pubs in central London:
The Toucan, Soho
This aptly named Irish pub is inspired by the vintage advertising campaigns, which featured a toucan balancing a pint of Guinness on its beak. Once the playground of the legendary Jimi Hendrix, The Toucan comes with bags of history. Head down to the basement for an oasis in busy central London.
MC & Sons, Southwark
Thai cuisine meets the traditional Irish pub in this Southwark boozer. If you’re looking for something different this St Patrick’s Day, Mc & Sons is the perfect place. Enjoy live music, an Irish Fayre and an eclectic mix of Thai Street food to tantalise the taste buds.
The Porterhouse, Covent Garden
The Covent Garden branch of this iconic brewery is one of the largest bars in London, split over three main levels.. Visit this St Patrick’s Day for live music, entertainment, and a vast choice of food and drinks.
The Sheephaven Bay, Camden
Located just off Camden Town High Street, The Sheephaven Bay is a charming and traditional Irish pub. Boasting two bars, three seating areas and plenty of TV screens showing live sports, it’s a great spot to visit on St Paddy’s Day.
For more pub and bar recommendations, check out the best sports bars in London and the UK’s top independent breweries.
St Patrick’s Day 5k Run
Challenge yourself this St Patrick’s Day with a 5k run around Hyde Park. Gather your friends, dress up in your best St Paddy’s Day costume, and see how quickly you can finish. Runners are rewarded with a social at a local Irish bar, the ideal place to refuel.
Date: Saturday 18 March 2023, 11:00 – 12:30
How to get there: The run begins at Hyde Park Corner, just a 9-minute tube journey from Vauxhall station. Catch the northbound Victoria line to Green Park, then switch to the eastbound Piccadilly line to Hyde Park Corner.
St Patrick’s Church
21A Soho Square, London W1D 4NR
Located in Soho, this beautiful church is a great place to celebrate the life and legacy of St Patrick. The church runs a dedicated St Patrick’s Day service, with a St Patrick’s Day Mass taking place throughout the day on Friday 17 March.
Date: Friday 17 March 2023, 8:00 – 18:00
How to get there: From London Waterloo, ride the northbound Northern service to Tottenham Court Road.
London Irish Game – St Patrick’s Day Party
Watch the London Irish take on Northampton Saints in a thrilling live game at Gtech Community Stadium. It promises to be a day to remember, with plenty of entertainment before and after the game, plus a selection of bars and food stalls to keep you fueled up for the game.
Date: Saturday 25 March, 2023
Cost: Earlybird price £15.00. Enjoy 10% off your tickets with SWR Rewards!
How to get there: Kew Bridge Station is just a few steps away from Gtech Community Stadium
The best Irish pubs in the South West
Celebrating St Patrick’s Day elsewhere? Here are some of the top Irish pubs in the South West to get your fill of Guinness.
57 Osborne Rd, Southsea, Portsmouth, Southsea PO5 3LS
Claiming to serve the best pint of Guinness on the South Coast, and with the awards to prove it, Shenanigans guarantees a warm welcome and a friendly atmosphere. Head down this St Patrick’s Day for a delicious breakfast followed by live music and an appearance by their resident band.
How to get there: This Irish pub is a 20-minute walk from Portsmouth and Southsea station,
450 Chiswick High Rd., Chiswick, London W4 5TT
Owners Brendan and Lynda have served fresh, homemade Irish food in this cosy pub for nearly a decade. Connolly’s typically embraced tradition when it comes to St Patrick's Day, with Irish dancers and live bands.
How to get there: Catch the train to Chiswick, then walk 20 minutes to reach this atmospheric Irish bar.
Tir Na Nog, Wandsworth
107 Garratt Lane, London SW18 4DW
There’s plenty of craic to be had in this small family-run pub. With walls adorned with Irish memorabilia, Tir Na Nog transports you to the Emerald Isle. Live music is the order of the day here, plus lots of drinks promotions and traditional Irish dishes.
How to get there: Tir Na Nog is just a stone’s throw from Wandsworth Town station.
Whelan’s, Kingston Upon Thames
20 Richmond Rd, Kingston upon Thames KT2 5EB
It may be the new kid on the block, but this Irish pub has been an instant hit with the Kingston locals. The interior resembles a traditional Irish street with shop fronts as a backdrop. With live bands, dancers and hearty helpings of bacon and cabbage, you’ll feel like you’re in the Irish capital.
How to get there: Located just outside Kingston station, Whelan’s is hard to miss.
The Stand Off, Exeter
Portland House, Longbrook St, Exeter EX4 6AB
Also new on the scene is Exeter’s The Stand Off. This Irish pub was recently re-opened after a major refurbishment by Exeter Chiefs player Gareth Steenson. Enjoy delicious homecooked Irish stew and dance to live music in a fantastic party atmosphere.
How to get there: The Stand Off is less than a 20-minute walk from Exeter St David’s station.
The Steamer Inn
Esplanade, Shanklin PO37 6BS
The Steamer Inn at Shanklin celebrates St Patrick’s with raucous Irish live music and delicious food. Each year, the pub serves a delicious Irish-themed menu and pints of the black stuff, which can be enjoyed as you listen to top-class Irish bands.
How to get there: Hop on a ferry to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight to get merry.
Ready to celebrate? Let us do the driving and book your tickets in advance to get the best price. You can save with a Railcard or GroupSave too!