St Patrick was a pretty cool guy. Though British-born, he was apparently captured by pirates when he was just 16 years old. Irish pirates. They took him, understandably, to Ireland, where he was their slave for a few years. He eventually escaped, and returned to his family. At which point he thought ‘you know what, I need to go and teach those pirates a thing or two about Christianity’. So he went back as to Ireland as a Christian Missionary, and eventually become an Irish Bishop. After this, he was considered worldwide as the ‘Enlightener of Ireland’, and the founder of Irish Christianity. Puts your life in perspective, doesn’t it? But, sadly, as happens with most humans, he died. Supposedly on the 17th of March. So obviously, now people celebrate by wearing green, drinking lots, and doing vaguely Irish things. Welcome to St Patrick’s Day! You’re probably wondering what to do on that merry night. Well, we’ve navigated the waters of fun, avoided capture by pirates, and found all the good stuff going on in London. Just for you. Here’s what’s on in London for St Patrick’s Day 2020.
- Trafalgar Square’s St Patrick’s Day Festival
- The Big Guinness Weekender
- Shoreditch St Patrick’s Day pub crawls
- and more!
London St Patrick’s Day Festival 2020
Sunday 15th March at Trafalgar Square
Who doesn’t love a little government-ordained fun? For nearly 20 years, the Mayor of London has personally organised a St Patrick’s Day festival right in the heart of Central. OK, maybe not personally, but it’s got his name all over it. Well, their names. From midday, you can experience the best of Irish music, culture, food, and other artistic delights. And then, there’s the parade. Picture it now, if you can. 75,000 people marching to the beat of one drum. The St Patrick’s drum. Sadly, applications to take part in the parade are no longer being accepted. However, you’re still free to go and get in the spirit of it all from the sidelines. The atmosphere is likely to be amazing, so if you want to celebrate the day with plenty of others, head down to Trafalgar Square come 15th March.
Festivities run from 12 pm to 6 pm
Entry is free
Sunday 15th March at Cahoots, Soho
If you’ve never been to Cahoots, here’s a little refresher. Imagine walking into a bar and being whisked away to the 1940s. Except this bar is in an abandoned train station. Yes, Cahoots is quite the hoot
Open all day, music from 9 pm – 11 pm
Entry is free
The Big Guinness Weekender
Do you like throwing an egg-shaped ball around the place, or like watching others throw around said ball? Well, if you answered yes to either, you’re likely a fan of rugby. Well, it’s the finals of the famous Six Nations the day before St. Patrick’s Day, so Brigadiers has put together a weekend of fun and fancy. Partnering with Guinness, this Bloomsberg Arcade hotspot is throwing a mish-mash bash of rugby and Irish goodness. On Saturday, see the last few games in the Six Nations, along with as much Guinness as you can imbibe and a three-course match day meal to boot. Then on Sunday, head down for a special St Paddy’s Sunday Roast, yet more Guinness, unsurprisingly, Live Irish folk music and the best Premier League football matches on the big screens. If you want to celebrate St Patrick’s Day but can’t quite take your eyes off the TV during a fantastic weekend of sport, then Brigadiers should be your destination.
Open 11.30 am – 11.30 pm Saturday 14th, and 12 pm – 7 pm Sunday 15th March
Entry is free. Set meals are £30 per person.
Wembley Park has truly knocked it out of the…park…for St Patrick’s Day 2020. They saw these other St Paddy’s celebrations and thought ‘that’s cool, but how about we put on an entire festival for all you green, good-time seekers’. Shamrock Sessions marks Wembley Park’s first-ever Ceilidh, and expect them to make a big entrance. Alongside the epic Celtic dance session, you can expect music from folk-heroes The Shipsters, a host of Irish comics that are sure to leave your belly aching, an Irish dancing troupe that’ll show you how a jig is really done, and arts and crafts that a certain to entertain kids big and small. Then, refuel with food from over 20 restaurants, some serving authentic Irish cuisine, and others offering burgers, pizzas and the like. Then, top the whole shebang off with refreshments from a number of bars. Yes, that’ll include Guinness, Irish whiskey and everything else you could want. And best of all? Getting in the door is absolutely free. You’re going to have to come up with some outlandish excuses to not attend this fantastic St Patrick’s Day festival.
Open 4 pm – 8 pm Sunday 15th March
Entry is free
St Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl 2020
Shoreditch, multiple venues
And finally, if you’re not looking for to spend St Patrick’s Day revelling in authentic Irish culture and simply want to down a jar or two, throw your inhibitions, and maybe your dignity, to the wind on a St Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl. You can do them over the weekend before the big day. Or, if you want to live dangerously, attend the one slap-bang on the Tuesday of St Paddy’s Day. We only hope you’ve booked the Wednesday off work. Festivities kick off at SINK on Paul Street. From there, expect to be taken to some of Shoreditch’s best and brightest watering holes to fulfil all your St Patrick’s Day dreams. Dress to impress in as much green attire as you can muster. And, best of all, you can enjoy free entry and a free shot at every venue, as well as discounted drinks the whole night. They even provide you with a little Irish party flare to make you look the part.
Available on Friday 13th March 8 pm – 1 am, Saturday 14th March 8 pm – 12 am, and Tuesday 17th March 8 pm – 12 am
Tickets from £15
And those are our picks for London’s very best St Patrick’s Day shenanigans in 2020. No matter what you’re looking for or who you’re with, you’re bound to find something to please your Paddy pleasures. If you’re looking forward to celebrating somewhere else, let us know in the comments below. And if you’re looking to pick up a bite to eat before the merriment begins, check out London’s best vegan restaurants. Alternatively, check out the HMS Belfast, a Second World War Navy cruiser that was launched on St Patrick’s Day back in 1938!
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