As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, many people in Britain or travellers worldwide are about to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. While the holiday is now celebrated around the world, it has particular significance in Britain, which shares a long and complex history with its neighbour across the Irish Sea.
For those looking to get in on the festivities, there are plenty of places to celebrate throughout the country – and incredible parades! If you plan to visit Britain this week, here are a few suggestions for where to spend St. Patrick’s Day – and a Spotify playlist to feel the Irish vibes already!
With a large and vibrant Irish community in London, plenty of St. Patrick’s Day events are taking place throughout the city. The biggest celebration is the annual parade, which winds its way through central London and draws thousands of spectators yearly.
On Friday, the parade and the festival will occur mostly in and around Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Covent Garden. This a unique opportunity to experience Irish culture with delicious food, artsy crafts, and thrilling dance and music.
After the parade, head to one of the many Irish pubs in the city – such as the famous Waxy O’Connor’s – for some traditional music and a pint of Guinness, or enjoy a fun night out!
The second-largest city in Britain also has a strong Irish community, and its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are not to be missed. The parade here is one of the biggest outside of Ireland, and features float, marching bands, and more.
After the parade, head to the city’s historic Irish quarter for live music and dancing. One of the many places to try is The Old Crown which offers a programme of activities lasting until this Saturday – live comedy and quiz included.
Manchester may not have the same size of Irish population as London or Birmingham, but it still knows how to throw a party on St. Patrick’s Day. The parade here is smaller but no less lively, and there are plenty of Irish pubs in the city centre where you can enjoy traditional music and a Guinness.
For instance, The Lawn Club in Spinningfields is having a two-day Guinness party, with Guinness cocktails, Guinness-themed giveaways, live Irish music and a parade. You get the spirit! It’s free, but advance booking is recommended.
While not traditionally associated with St. Patrick’s Day, Liverpool has a thriving Irish community and plenty of events taking place throughout the holiday. Head to the famous Cavern Club for live music and entertainment, or check out the city’s many Irish pubs for a more traditional atmosphere.
And if you have more time to spend in Liverpool, why not try one of our rail tours from London, to find out where The Beatles all originated.
Yes, Scotland does have its own patron saint – St. Andrew -, yet the Scottish capital knows how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!
The annual parade here features colourful costumes, music, and dance, while the city’s Irish pubs, such as Malones, serve up pints of Guinness and other Irish drinks. Extend your city experience with one of our Edinburgh rail tours.
No matter where you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in London or Britain, you will surely have a good time. So put on your green and get ready to raise a glass to the Emerald Isle – sláinte!