Where To Escape The Coronation In London (And Beyond)

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 14 months ago

Last Updated 05 April 2023

Where To Escape The Coronation In London (And Beyond)

Can't wait for the coronation? Sadly, you've landed on the wrong article. Read all about the big day; special coronation events; and coronation afternoon teas. Otherwise, read on...

Charles with a cross through his face
Excited about the extra bank holiday weekend, but not this chap? This article's for you.

Escaping the coronation in London.

If you've been silently (or not-so-silently) grinding your teeth through Londonist's (and to be fair, the rest of the world's) coronation coverage, this one's for you. We appreciate that not everyone is elated — or indeed, moderately interested — that we're getting a King Charles 3.0. For you, here's a roundup of stuff to do over the long coronation weekend that, to the best of our knowledge, doesn't involve corgis, Union Flag bunting or Gary Barlow.

Follow in the footsteps of socialist Karl Marx (quite literally)

Karl Marx with a couple off beers
Follow/stagger in the footsteps of Karl Marx's epic pub crawl

Anti-monarchists will appreciate following in the literal, blotto footsteps of Socialism's very own Karl Marx, from that time he had a bevvy in every pub along Tottenham Court Road, and wound up smashing the street lights (Note: we condone neither binge drinking, nor damaging private property, capitalist or otherwise.)

Alternatively, our friend Ben from Unseen Tours is running his socialist-tinged guided walks around King's Cross and Clerkenwell on 6 and 7 May. Yes, come to think of it, that's a far more sensible idea.

Hang out somewhere that Charles wouldn't approve of

The walkie talkie
The Walkie-Talkie: can't imagine Charlie is a fan. Image: Matt Brown/Londonist

Stubbornly refuse to accept that Charles is your king, by attending a screening at the now technically-incorrectly-named Prince Charles Cinema. Over coronation weekend, you can forget about anything remotely regal, with screenings of er, The Princess Bride and oh... The Royal Tenenbaums. Hmm. Moving on then.

Back when he was a lowly prince, Charles also inspired the 'Carbuncle Cup', so why not hang out in one of the previously-disgraced winners of this architectural wooden spoon — maybe the Cutty Sark (yes it really did win the Carbuncle Cup), Nova Victoria or the Sky Garden in the Walkie-Talkie? The architectural stick-in-the-mud would surely disapprove.

Go to one of these bank holiday events

A colourful looking band posing outside
Raka Balkan Band are on the lineup of the Gypsy Jazz Festival.

A little bit more sensible now. There are lashings of non-Charles happenings over coronation weekend. We'll have a full roundup closer to the time, but here are a few things we've handpicked for you, sifting thoroughly through, to make sure they don't include traces of diamonds or renditions of 'god save the king':

  • Brewldn is at Printworks in Rotherhithe — pouring gallons of quality craft beer, with tunes spun on the Saturday by Norman Jay (5-6 May)
  • Gypsy Jazz Festival swings into town, featuring guitarist Olli Soikkeli and his quartet at Vortex Jazz Club, and the incorrigibly foot-stomping Raka Balkan Band at Jago Dalston (3-7 May)
  • Meet the women who made Soho, on this Footprints of London walking tour. Pretty sure Camilla is not one of them. (7 May)
  • Go to the open day at the endlessly fascinating Croydon Airport. (7 May)
  • The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is laying on a special coronation cabaret, and while there are sure to be queens (and possibly kings), it's safe to assume the show will be about as far away from the official Windsor Castle concert as is humanly possible. (8 May)
  • Speaking of which... Can't imagine any of London's comedy clubs will be toning it down in regal deference — in fact, comedians will almost certainly be cracking jokes at the expense of the new monarch.
  • Get thee to a beer garden! (Maybe just avoid any pubs called the King's Arms.)

Flee London altogether

A beautiful Italian canal
Milan - not a street party in sight. Unless you count all the partying going on in the streets. Image: iStock/Robertobinetti70

Well that's another way to do it. In which case you'll want to get stuck into our Beyond London coverage — which gives you the skinny on everything from a cheeky day trip to Brighton, to an entire weekend in Milan. Prego. You might, however, want to avoid our guide to Windsor, as the place'll be teeming with royal well-wishers. And Gary Barlow.