How to make the most of the events in London Trafalgar Square
When you visit London, especially for the first time, you may not see Trafalgar Square as something to admire compared to all the other London attractions, however events in London Trafalgar Square has always been a meeting point for the community to come together. Situated in the West End, it’s also a place for socialisation, relaxation, and a place to have your lunch after a hard day’s walk around the city. Organised by the Mayor of London, events in London Trafalgar Square is always buzzing and vibrant.
Trafalgar Square London History
What does Trafalgar Square represent?
Trafalgar Square has always been a major tourist attraction because of its history and its location. The British naval won against the Napoleonic War between France and Spain in 1805. The tall Nelson’s Column standing in the middle commemorates Admiral Horatio Nelson who brought excellent strategic plans within the British navy, later died in the Battle of Trafalgar, hence the name Trafalgar Square.
Modern day Trafalgar Square
In the modern day, Trafalgar Square is a great social place to sit, eat and socialise with friends and family. Four giant lions stand at around 10 feet tall around the Square. Lions have always been the national symbol for British celebrations, whether it be sports or victories during wars, and it also symbolises power and strength in the economy and other social statuses.
The many mermaid fountains found in the square is to commemorate Admiral Jellycoe and Beatty, two British navy admirals in the Battle of Jutland, 1916. The UK has had many turmoil and downturns going back to the 11th Century and it has made our present country stronger and better economically, socially, and politically. Consequently, the nation opened Trafalgar Square for the public to celebrate the many victories the UK won.
There used to be thousands of pigeons in the square but for health, safety, and animal cruelty reasons, we had to stop feeding them. If you get caught feeding them, you get fined up to £500.
There are so many events you can attend in and around London, but nothing compares to events in Trafalgar Square. In this post, I will run down major events that have happened in the past and will continue in the future. Some events have been postponed due to COVID, but I managed to see the opening of the Chinese New Year. Once everything’s back to normal, I will surely post a review on it soon. Generally, Trafalgar Square is incredibly quiet when there’s no festivals going on.
From experience, events in Trafalgar Square can be crowded and claustrophobic, especially when it’s raining, so be prepared for pushing and shoving, as well as raincoats and umbrellas.
Introduction to events in Trafalgar Square
Battles failed, people lost, the economy collapsed but the nation always stands strong later. Today’s national celebrations and festivals are still celebrated today since Trafalgar Square opened to remember the various battles won, and to reminisce the lives lost in the past. In the modern day, we celebrate multi-culture, political and social demonstrations and art, and there’s no doubt that we will get through the COVID pandemic. London is a multi-cultural city and people from all over the world have immigrated here to live a better life.
The best eating places in Trafalgar Square
If you want to save money on lunch, check out the meal deals in supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s. £3 will buy you a bottle of drink, a packet of crisps (potato chips) or a bar of chocolate and a sandwich. Alternatively, there are many fast-food restaurants around here including Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Itsu, Tortilla, Subway, Costa, Café Nero, and many others. There are also two pubs by Whitehall, The Silver Cross or The Lord Moon of the Mall for fish and chips. They aren’t cheap, and it’s always crowded with people, you’d be lucky to find a seat, but if you want to try the traditional British pub food, these pubs are worth a try. However, the services are usually great and you’d only have to wait 20 to 30 minutes for the food to arrive.
How to get there
To get to Trafalgar Square is easy. Take the train, or bus to Charing Cross Station, or take the tube, Bakerloo (brown line) or Northern (black line) to Charing Cross Station, and Trafalgar Square is right in front of the station. You can also get to Covent Garden by foot, and it’ll take approximately 10 minutes.
What is there to do in Trafalgar Square?
Visit the National Portrait Gallery, Leicester Square and Admiralty Archway for free.
The Admiralty Arch leads to St. James’ Park and Buckingham Palace.
There are so many more attractions you can visit in the West End. If you only have one day in London or 2 days in London, walking around the West End gets tiring. It’s better to stay 3 days in London, 4 days in London or more. If you want to spend 5 days or more here, feel free to contact me on Facebook. I don’t recommend on covering the West End all in one day and I have I walked all day in and around the West End, but if you’re looking for inspiration, check out my West End walk.
If you see a glimpse of Big Ben from Trafalgar Square, you’ll end up in the South Bank area. It’s only a 10-minute walk from here. Walk through Whitehall, at the end of the street, and you’ll be there. The City of Westminster consists of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. By bus, it will take approximately five minutes, but around this area, it’s a great spot for nightlife by the River Thames, and attractions for kids of all ages.
Once you reach Westminster, cross Westminster Bridge, you’ll see the London Eye, Sea life Aquarium, London Dungeon, Shrek the Experience and rows of restaurants, cafes. Further up, you will see the Shakespeare Theatre and Globe Theatre, the National Theatre and Southbank Centre. Check out 31 things to do in the Southbank and how you can make the most of your Southbank walk.
Events in Trafalgar Square
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year always starts with a parade down Charing Cross Road near Trafalgar Square. You’d see dancing dragons, martial arts, and Chinese people dressing up in their Chinese traditional costumes. In Trafalgar Square, on stage, the Mayor of London, the Councillor of Westminster, and the Ambassador of China come together to celebrate it with the nation. There’s usually stalls selling Chinese food and Chinese souvenirs and products, and most businesses from Chinatown will promote their products on this day. In Chinatown, reserve a table in one of the Chinese restaurants and hopefully, the dancing dragon will give you a visit in the restaurant.
Since London is a multicultural country, we celebrate different religions and festivals from all over the world. Because of our large Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jewish, and Hindu community, why not celebrate it in style in Trafalgar Square? During Christmas, although there are only five stalls, you will usually find 5 Christmas stalls scattered in the square alongside a tall Christmas tree in the middle. It’s better to check out the Southbank Winter Market or Leicester Square Christmas Market next to Trafalgar Square. It’s more lively and crowded, but if you like a quiet intimate, and dark setting, Trafalgar Square is the one. Diwali usually finds Indian dancing with their multicoloured saris, Eid Festival celebrates the end of Ramadhan where there’ll be food stalls, music, and family fun.
New Year’s Eve
When people think of New Year’s Eve in London, they think of going to the London Eye, and we celebrate and enjoy fireworks there. If you happen to be in Trafalgar Square on NYE, why not celebrate and enjoy fireworks here too? There will be crowds of people gathered and you can see a glimpse of the London Eye from here if you stand by the River Thames. Not far from the South Bank, celebrating New Year’s Eve in Trafalgar Square is just as fun, however, the fireworks happen by the River Thames.
Insider’s Tips on New Year’s Eve: The crowd can be stressful, and there will be road closures. To see the fireworks near the River Thames, you’d have to pay £10 per person in advanced, however, during winter, it can rain, can be muddy, and standing for long periods of time just for the fireworks can be tiring. The crowds in Trafalgar Square and South Bank isn’t that different, so choose your spot wisely. Otherwise, if you can see the fireworks from your hotel window near here, even better, so book your accommodation as early as possible, preferably not nearer the time.
St. Patrick’s Day
England and Ireland have had a close relationship historically, economically, and socially. Around 1 in 4 English people have an Irish heritage here and Irish people have immigrated here since the early 19th Century when Britain colonised them. On the 17th of March, many Irish living in London celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in order to celebrate the death of the patron Irish Saint Patrick in AD 385-461. There are usually Irish dancing, Irish musicians, parades and many more. I haven’t had a chance to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in London due to COVID, but hopefully next year, everything will be back to normal, and I can review it as soon as possible.
St. George’s Day
Like St. Patrick’s Day, the English celebrate the death of our patron English Saint George on 23 April. It was thought he was a soldier in the Roman army, and killed a dragon to save a princess, now St. George’s Day is a national day for the Brits to celebrate his death. In Trafalgar Square, there are usually various people in fancy dress costumes, English ladies wearing red and white, dancing to English music and waving their British flags above, people teaching children how to tap dance, and British drummers with their red and white uniform. I haven’t had a chance to review St. George’s Day lately due to COVID, but once everything’s back to normal, I’ll review it as soon as possible.
Other Events in Trafalgar Square
Other events in Trafalgar Square include demonstrations on climate change, animal cruelty and free speech and politics. Londoners gather round to ask questions about the current economic situation, and if you go on their website, there are other countless events coming up soon. So, whatever it is you want to celebrate, whatever background you’ve celebrated as a child, Trafalgar Square is the main hub for current events and parties. There’s always something going on, so if there are events during your visit, just search for things to do in Trafalgar Square today, tomorrow, this week, or next week.
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Click here to go to the Trafalgar Square website.