Where To Seriously De-Stress In London

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 25 months ago
Where To Seriously De-Stress In London
Zombies: be one or kill one. Photo by World of Tim in the Londonist Flickr pool

London: sometimes it's enough to make you scream. But there are plenty of places and plenty of ways to let off steam. So don't headbutt your desk/boss — do these things instead.

Hit things/people

A good old-fashioned bout of fisticuffs does wonders for the stress levels, and London is stacked with boxing establishments of repute. Peacock Gym near Canning Town has produced such greats as Frank Bruno and Lennox Lewis, and offers classes in white collar boxing, kick boxing and Muay Thai. At 12 Rounds in Clapham Junction they lay on a childcare service (that would have made Rocky a different film) and Fitzroy Lodge ABC on Lambeth Road has been churning out champs for almost 100 years.

For hitting (and kicking and generally chucking about) people with an exotic twist, enrol at Bethnal Green's Lucha Britannia — the biggest Mexican wrestling school in Europe. Camp outfit not provided.

Become a human football

If a bunch of fives just isn't enough, throw your whole body into it with a bout of bubble football. The idea here is to kick a footie while posing as another one, i.e. prepare to barge and be barged. No surprise then that you're guaranteed to come out the other end looking redder than Alex Ferguson after a methuselah of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Vintage. Here's our guide to bubble football in London.

Peacock Gym near Canning Town. You can hit people here and you won't even get arrested

Scream at the top of your lungs

You know we said earlier that there are alternatives to screaming? Well, the other option is to just scream. Heavy metal nights are an excellent excuse for such hijinks. The Crobar on Manette Street in Soho is famed for its high-decibel jukebox and cheap bourbon. Or scream along to a live band at the chic Black Heart in Camden; an upcoming bill features Bludgeoned, Sodomized Cadaver and Chainsaw Castration. It's unclear whether or not these are acoustic sets.

If you're really desperate for a scream, go for that age-old classic, the London Dungeon. This will have you squealing at the top of your lungs from the moment you see how much you've paid for your ticket.

Shoot stuff/zombies

If you're still reading by this point you must be seriously strained. To begin, may we recommend an hors-d'oeuvre of old school shoot 'em up. Heart of Gaming in North Acton has a splendid spread of retro games where you can go 'bang' till your heart's content, as does Four Quarters in Peckham (the mid 1990s shoot 'em up Point Blank is as addictive as an umami box set).   

Main course: point (not actual) guns at actual folk by venturing beneath the streets of Greenwich for Zombie Experience London. If you'd rather be aggressive AS a zombie, wait for the next World Zombie Day to come around, and stalk the streets of London looking your utter worst.

And for dessert: revisit your 12th birthday party at Star Command in Whitechapel, where you can zap your friends till the cows come home your time's up. You can also shoot 12 year olds you don't know, a la Mark Corrigan in Peep Show.

Last Updated 21 January 2016