St. Patrick’s Day is the day to go Irish mad. But that doesn’t mean you have to go all the way to Ireland. In fact, there are places all over Great Britain that turn green and go crazy for the weekend. It’s not only those living in Ireland who have some Irish heritage, and it’s not only those who have Irish heritage who love all things Ireland.
The practice of dressing up like a leprechaun and covering yourself in shamrocks is an American invention, but fear not, many British inhabitants know how to celebrate their Irish roots in style. Think Gaelic dancing, Irish folk music, stand-up comedy and plenty of Guinness drinking. Here are some of the best places on this island to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day:
With London being such a multicultural city, it’s hardly surprising that it does St. Patrick’s Day in a big way. On Sunday 17th March, Trafalgar Square will be transformed into a hub of Irish partying, with a festival or market stalls, children’s activities, and an afternoon of Irish comedy. But the big celebration is the parade, which starts from Piccadilly at noon, and follows Regent Street and Pall Mall, finishing back at Trafalgar Square. Families are invited to show up in the morning and join the family section of the parade, so it’s a great chance to get everyone involved. So why not book one of our London hotels and make a weekend of it?
The celebrations in Birmingham aren’t just for one day – they last a whole week. So book one of our Birmingham hotels early to guarantee you’ll get the chance to participate in one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations outside of Ireland. The celebrations include lots of free traditional concerts and dance performances, all sorts of family friendly activities and a variety of cultural and festive events. But again, everything culminates on Sunday 17th March with a big parade and festival. It all begins with the traditional balloon release, and then gets going with a parade of Pipe and Drum bands, vintage motorbikes, classic cars, and Willie “Fergus” Finnegan’s massed tractors as well as many decorated floats.
Another one of the northern cities with a big Irish population is Manchester, and their lively St. Patrick’s Day celebrations demonstrate that. The Manchester Irish festival also lasts nearly 10 days, so reserve your room at one of our Manchester hotels if you want to be a part of it. The city really gets into the Irish spirit, with dance demonstrations, art shows, plenty of live music, rugby games and lots of that classic Irish stand-up comedy. Most of the action including the Festival Market will be taking place in Albert’s Square, where the renowned parade, one of the biggest in Europe, will take off on Sunday. But Manchester’s Irish community really comes alive after dark, so if you’re looking for that big Irish welcome and a hell of a party with a bunch of your friends, this is the place to do it.