Published: 28th April 2023
Scroll down to see our top tips for an unforgettable weekend.
On Saturday 6 May all eyes will be on London and the coronation of King Charles III - a huge celebration that the whole nation can get behind. Not only that, the British public have been gifted an extra bank holiday… which means you have three days to soak up the best of what London has to offer.
If you’re not sure what to do once the procession has passed by, we have some ideas to help you make the most of a historical weekend.
Whether you’re cheering along The Mall, from Trafalgar Square or Whitehall, the procession route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace runs alongside some of London’s most iconic landmarks. So, once you’ve seen the King and Queen Consort wave from the carriage window, you can start to explore more of what London has to offer.
Just behind Westminster Abbey where the King will be crowned is the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben, which are a must-see no matter how many times you visit the capital. The iconic Westminster Bridge sits next door for a fabulous view of the Thames and, if you’d rather get more up close and personal with the river, Westminster Pier has sightseeing tours along the water which offer a different way to explore this stunning city.
If you prefer leafier surroundings, then St James Park just down from the procession route and Green Park next to Buckingham Palace are beautiful outdoor spaces perfect for picnics, enjoying some sunshine and stretching your legs after catching a glimpse of the golden carriage.
We’ll all be wishing for sunshine but, let’s be honest, we’ve not got a great track record of sunny bank holidays in this country. If the clouds do gather then there are still lots of ways to soak up the city without soaking your socks.
London is brimming with fascinating museums, and there are plenty not far from the procession route. The Guards Museum just off Birdcage Walk has exhibitions on the Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry, with tours and talks which will help you understand the rich history of the guards that will be protecting the King on coronation day.
The secret underground headquarters where Prime Minister Winston Churchill lived and worked during WWII can be found on Horse Guards Road just five minutes walk from the Abbey and are a fascinating visit for any lover of history. Part of the Imperial War Museum, you can visit the main museum by heading over the river to Lambeth Road, a little further at 25 minutes from the Abbey.
If you’re watching from Trafalgar Square, then the National Gallery is right behind you featuring some of the most incredible works from artists across Europe, dating from the renaissance to modern times. And, beyond is the bustling Covent Garden where you can avoid a shower in any one of the hundreds of restaurants and coffee shops. In that area you’ll also discover The British Museum which showcases a huge array of global antiquities, including Egyptian mummies and ancient Greek sculptures.
If you’re feeling in the party spirit, and we’re sure you will, then London is going to be bursting with more street parties, community gatherings and themed events than you can shake a sceptre at. From up-market affairs in Mayfair through to cosy pub get-togethers in Chelsea, and street parties taking place along both Regent Street and Oxford Street, there will be plenty of opportunity to dress up, grab a drink and party like a royal for the day.
But, if London is not your thing and you still want to celebrate the coronation, there are hundreds of parties and events happening across the country which mean you can get in the coronation spirit even if you’re not there in person. Here’s just a few of our favourites…
York Minster will be ringing its bells loud and proud for the coronation weekend, plus there will be picnics, choir performances and celebratory church services across the city. Over in Blackpool they’ve lined up a heritage tram parade along the seafront, a “Big Lunch” outdoor picnic with free entertainment, a live screening of the coronation concert from Windsor Castle and a themed light show. And in Harrogate get ready for fairground rides, an artisan market, circus workshops and live music at a three-day extravaganza at Valley Gardens, with live coronation screens which will switch to family-friendly cinema in the evenings.
Winchester Cathedral will be transformed with greenery, shrubs and trees, a nod to King Charles III’s love of nature. A 200-strong youth choir will be performing around the live screening of the coronation. Across Devon they are pushing the boat out for a historic weekend, with firework displays, picnics, afternoon teas, food and drink stalls, and a live screening. Or, lap up some island fun on the Isle of Wight at Northwood House. Bring a picnic, friends, family and your dog to this community picnic where there will also be live music, games, food and drink stalls.
We hope you have an amazing weekend, however you choose to celebrate. Let us take you to the heart of the action, book your tickets now.
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