St. Patrick's Day is a big deal here in London. Did you know that London was once an enormously a popular destination for Irish migrants? Especially from the 19th century onwards. Well, you do now.
It makes sense, as London is England's capital and by far its biggest city. Areas like Camden Town, Shepherds Bush and Kilburn are especially known for their Irish communities (even still, to an extent). So we've established that London has a great deal of Irish heritage, which is good for you because it means you won't have to look very hard for places to celebrate the Feast of St. Patrick.
It falls on a Tuesday this year, but don't let that deter you – it'll still be an unmissable event.
The Parade on Sunday 15th March
Since 2002, London has hosted a St. Patrick's Day parade every year. They make sure it always falls on a weekend (so it's being held two days early this year) – which is great for you because it means you won't have any lectures or seminars getting in the way.
It starts at 12:00pm on the dot in Trafalgar Square, and don't worry – you don't have to buy a ticket or anything. It's free.
Fans of beer and ale need look no further than the Harp for their St. Patrick's Day watering hole. In 2010 it was voted the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Pub of the Year – basically, this means it's a great pub that serves really interesting beers (many from independent breweries).
If you are planning on going to the Sunday parade, you'll be pleased to know that the Harp is in Covent Garden, just a five-minute walk away. And there's no reason you can't make a return visit two days later on the Tuesday, for official St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
Ever been in a pub or bar that is spread over 12 different levels? Well that's what you can expect from the Porterhouse. But that's not the (only) reason you should celebrate St. Patrick's Day there.
The Porterhouse is about as Irish as pubs come. It's not just a pub either – it's a brewing company, based in Dublin. The beers on draught in the Porterhouse are shipped in from Dublin, where they were hand-crafted by ale artisans. This one's won an award too: 'Craft Beer Bar of the Year 2014'. We think that says it all.