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In London on the 17th of March? Depending on where you’re originally from, you might be used to donning green and drinking pints of beer on St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re in England’s capital for it this year, here’s how you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in London.

But first…

What and when is St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on the 17th of March in honour of Saint Patrick, the patron of Ireland. Every year people around the world put on our favourite green attire, draw four-leaf clovers and drink tons of Guinness.

But do you know how this all came about?

What’s the origin of St. Patrick’s Day?

The story dates back to the 4th century in Roman Britain where a 16-year-old boy was kidnapped and sent to Ireland as a slave. A few years later, a voice came to him that it was time to leave, so he returned to England where he joined religious studies, and after about fifteen years, he was ordained as a priest. His first mission was to go to Ireland to preach to the local Christians and to convert more of the Irish, which was a success due to his knowledge of the Irish culture. He used their native traditions and incorporated that into Christianity.

By the time of his death on 17th of March 460AD, he had established churches, monasteries and schools, and legends about him started circulating. While known as Saint Patrick he was actually never canonised by the Catholic church.

What were some of the legends?

The ones you’ve probably heard of are:

He drove the snakes out of Emerald Isle (Ireland) by giving a sermon, which drove them into the sea. The island is still snake-free to this day.

While green is hugely associated with this holiday, the Order of Saint Patrick actually wore blue. It wasn’t until the 18th century that the celebration colour turned to green, rumoured to be because supporters of Irish independence used this colour to represent their cause.

The walking stick that turned into a tree. The tale recounts the time when St. Patrick was returning from a visit to England, carrying a walking stick, and he would stop along the way and preach to the local villages, it’s said that in one of his stops he preached for so long that the stick grew roots and turned into a tree.

Where is St. Patrick’s Day celebrated?

It wasn’t until the 1700’s that St. Patrick’s Day started being celebrated across the world. Irish emigrants started settling all over, mostly in North America, and huge elaborate celebrations started happening in places like Boston (1737) and New York (1762).

New York is said to host the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade with over two million attendees and 150,000 people marching. Chicago has dyed their river green for it every year since 1962 (don’t worry, it’s environmentally friendly). London also hosts a ton of events and an annual parade with over 50,000 spectators.

What to do on St. Patrick’s Day in London

This is an image of a man holding a saxophone surrounded by other musicians at a parade in London for St Patrick's day. They are dressed in smart uniforms with hats and polished brass instruments.Image courtesy of Timeout London

Attend the London St Patrick’s Day Parade

As mentioned above, London hosts a St. Patrick’s Day Parade which normally it doesn’t fall on the actual day, but instead it’s on the Sunday closest. This year, the Parade will take place on the same day as the official St Patrick’s Day celebrations, on Sunday March 17th! You can expect pageantry, marching bands, Irish dancing schools, concerts, choirs, live music etc.

The parade starts at Hyde Park Corner and makes a 2km route through Piccadilly, St James’s Street, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street and Whitehall.

St Patrick’s Day Parade | 17th of March 2024


This is an image of the 2023 St Patrick's day festival in London. There are hundreds of people gathered together in celebration in central London. The sky is colourless and the buildings are grey. A bright green stand framed the central stage of the festivities.Image courtesy of

Attend the St Patrick’s Day Festival

Another part of the Mayor of London’s celebrations is the St. Patrick’s Day Festival, which happens on the same day as the parade. Stop by Trafalgar Square to see some of the Irish acts, concerts, dances and much more. Take a moment to swing by the food market to try out some delicious Irish dishes too.

St Patrick’s Day Festival | 17th of March 2024

This is a poster image advertising the St Patrick's Day Walking Tour in London. There is text describing the event in the middle of the poster and images of notable Irish people at the bottom of the poster.Image Courtesy of Rebel Tours

Book a St Patrick’s Day Walking Tour

Join a Rebel guide this St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate Ireland’s greatest contributions to our city! Rebels, radicals, writers, doctors – get to grips with London’s incredible Irish history and heritage!

Run by our partners, Rebel, the tour will start close to the British Parliament, where you’ll hear about political figures and leaders of the Easter Rising and Ireland’s War of Independence. Then you’ll head up towards the theatre district to learn of Ireland’s incredible contributions to literature and culture,  and finish in Soho, a place where many Irish families settled following the Great Hunger of the 1840s. After this celebration of our awesomely Irish London and its protagonists, you can join your guide to carry on the craic at a Soho pub for a pint!

Book a St Patrick’s Day Walking Tour with Rebel | 16th and 17th of March 2024



Image of St Patricks day four leaf clover symbol with the Irish flag layered over it and the text 'St.Patricks' Day Run' displayed on a banner in the centre of the image.Image Courtesy of London Kilt Run

Join a St Patrick’s Day 5k Run at Hyde Park

For a super healthy and active way to celebrate, why not head out for a fun run at Hyde Park? This is the fourth year of this event after it started in 2020. Tickets are £19.34 and the race starts at 3pm due to Six Nations kick off at 5pm.

St Patrick’s Day Run | 16th of March 2024

This is an image of a beautiful and well lit catholic church in London. There are high archways either side of the room and a large group of people is sat in the aisles ready to listen to the service. The altar is toned in rich gold colours that gives the space a regal aesthetic.Image Courtesy of St Patrick’s Church

Visit St Patrick’s Church

Head to Soho Square to visit St Patrick’s Church, which is considered to be the first Irish Roman Catholic church in Britain. As you head inside, look up to find the following inscription: VT CHRISTIANI ITA ET ROMANI SITIS (“Ut Christiani ita et Romani sitis”, i.e. “Be ye Christians as those of the Roman Church”), a quote taken from the writings of St Patrick.

St. Patrick’s Church | Visit all year

This is an image of a trendy pub in London. It is a low square shaped building painting black. Behind the pub is a tall building that looks like apartment blocks. The sky is bright blue and it appears to be nearing to dusk. Image Courtesy of Howl at the Moon

Hit one of London’s Irish pubs/bars

To wrap the celebrations (or start them, we won’t judge) head to an Irish pub or bar and order yourself a Guinness. Here are a few options for you:

No matter how you choose to celebrate, if you want to get involved on the 17th of March, there are plenty of ways to have a super fun St. Patrick’s Day in London.

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This is an image from Pinterest of four images in a grid showing different st patricks day celebrations in London featuring musicians, a church, a green drink in a pint glass and outside festival.

Jessica Dante

Jess is the founder of Love and London, an online travel guide that helps London tourists to visit London like they live there. She's been featured in Refinery29, Forbes, BBC Radio 2, HuffPost, and more. Jess is also a sustainable and ethical travel advocate.