Proud of your Irish heritage? Or maybe you’re simply searching for a local cultural festival to mark in March? Say hello to St. Patrick’s Day, an annual Irish festival that’s celebrated whole-heartedly across the UK. If you live in one of the cities and towns across our network, or close by, why not join in with this year’s celebrations?
What is St. Patrick’s Day?
St. Patrick’s Day commemorates Ireland’s patron saint and is marked every year on 17th March. While traditionally a religious feast day, it has rapidly become a major part of Irish culture in countries all over the globe.
Plenty of symbols and traditions are associated with St. Patrick’s Day, including the iconic shamrock and the colour green to represent the ‘Emerald Isle’. Parades have become a hugely popular way of marking the day, especially in cities across Ireland, the UK and the USA.
How to celebrate in 2022
What’s the craic in the North and Scotland this St. Paddy’s Day? If you live in one of the following locations, here’s our round up of the six best things to do on 17th March.
Watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Liverpool
Liverpool has one of the largest Irish communities in England, with over 75% of the population believed to have Irish ancestry. As such, you can expect the historic city on the River Mersey to put on quite a show for St. Patrick’s Day.
If you live in Liverpool, why not pop into one of the various Irish pubs for a pint of Guinness or some tasty authentic grub? And there’s also the annual Liverpool St. Patrick’s Day Parade to look forward to. It’s a relatively new event – the first was held in 2015 – and it sees members of the Irish community taking to the streets in bright clothing accompanied by lively Irish music.
The parade route usually starts at the old Liverpool Irish Centre building on Mount Pleasant and then weaves its way through the streets all the way down to O’Neill’s Irish Bar on Hanover Street. The perfect place for a delicious pint of Guinness.
- Enjoy some Irish whiskeys at Biddy Mulligans in Edinburgh
Speaking of typical tipples, if you live in Edinburgh why not swap scotch for Irish whiskey at this world-famous bar in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket district?
Biddy Mulligans has been a stalwart of the Irish pub scene in the city for years and is best-known for its friendly atmosphere and for hosting the smallest pub in Scotland. The tiny venue – known as the Wee Pub – sits next door to the main building and can be hired out for private events for 20 people or less.
If you’re in the Scottish capital for St. Paddy’s Day this year, why not pop in to Biddy Mulligans to try their heart-warming signature lamb stew served with thick slices of homemade soda bread? You’ll also have the chance to sip over 25 different Irish whiskeys and various whiskey cocktails. Sláinte!
- Keep the party going for longer at Manchester’s Irish Festival
Manchester is another Northern city that has strong links to Ireland. As well as being home to several Irish pubs – including O’Sheas and Mulligans – the city also usually hosts a two week Irish Festival just before St. Patrick’s Day. It typically includes live music performances, Irish literature readings, awesome charity events and even an Irish food market.
The cherry on top is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade that gives the streets of Manchester a buzzing party atmosphere. The festival was postponed in 2021, but there’s hope it’ll be able to go ahead in 2022. If you live locally, keep an eye on the Manchester Irish Festival website for updates.
- Line the cobbled streets for York’s 37th St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Another city that’s no stranger to a parade is York. Featuring participants from various Irish communities and businesses dressed in green, it really is a riot of colour on the ancient city’s streets.
York St. Patrick’s Day Parade was cancelled in 2021, but it is expected to be back in 2022 on Saturday 12th March. And there’s also the epic St. Paddy’s party at locally-loved Irish Bar O’Neill’s. Call York home? You should definitely check it out.
- Dance to top Irish tunes at the Leeds Irish Centre’s St. Patrick’s Day Party
Keeping with the Yorkshire theme for those that live near Leeds, why not check out Leeds Irish Centre’s brilliant St. Patrick’s Day party? It’s become a main event on the city’s calendar every March thanks to its fantastic atmosphere and great live music.
Tap your foot to covers of some of the best songs by Irish musicians performed by an eight-piece band and various special guests. Expect to hear tunes from the likes of The Pogues, Van Morrison, The Dubliners, Thin Lizzy and U2. Tickets for the event start at £15.
- Order up a pint of Guinness at The Grapes in Sheffield
Prefer a quieter St. Patrick’s Day experience in your local area? Sheffield’s The Grapes ticks all the boxes. The cosy Irish pub sits on Trippet Lane in the heart of the city and has a charmingly traditional vibe. Grab a table in the dark-wood panelled bar area and order up a pint of the ‘black stuff’. There’s usually live music six evenings a week too.
If you’re travelling this St. Patrick’s Day, book your tickets in advance online or using the TPExpress app, and remember to check before you travel.