King's Coronation 2023: 6 alternative things to do in Edinburgh during the Coronation weekend
Millions across the country and around the world will watch Charles III being crowned as King on Saturday morning, but there are also plenty who would rather escape the coronation. So what can you do if you want to avoid the pageantry and ceremonial, the marching bands and the cheering crowds?
Unfortunately the weather forecast for Saturday is not so good – cloudy and wet – so a day out in the countryside to get away from it all might not be the easy and enjoyable alternative that you’d hoped for. "A series of storms will bring unsettled weather across the United Kingdom through the upcoming coronation weekend," AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tony Zartman said. But there are other things you can do.
Join a republican rally on Calton Hill
The Our Republic rally at 3pm will hear from Edinburgh East SNP MP Tommy Sheppard, Green MSPs Maggie Chapman and Lorna Slater and independent Edinburgh councillor Ross McKenzie, as well as speakers from Ungagged, the Radical Independence Campaign and the Scottish Socialist Youth.
Our Republic have been collecting signatures for a declaration calling for an independent Scottish republic. And they describe the coronation as a £250 million special day for Charles “to show off his gold-trimmed pomp and extravagance to a public struggling with a cost of living crisis – at their expense”.
Take part in the May Day march
The Edinburgh and Lothians May Day march takes place on Saturday, assembling at Johnston Terrace at 11.30am and moving off at midday.The marchers will arrive at the Pleasance around 12.30pm, where there will be stalls and, at 1pm, a rally upstairs in the Pleasance Theatre. And in the evening the action switched to the Leith Dockers Club in Academy Street where there will be music from Calum Baird and others from 7pm, organised by the Unison Lothian Health branch.
March in favour of independence
If you want to travel further afield for a demonstration, you could travel through to Glasgow and join All Under One Banner independence march. It starts from Kelvingrove Park at 11.30am and is expected to draw a large crowd for the march through the city to Glasgow Green with Saltires and Lion Rampants.
Go to Edinburgh Comic Con
Away from politics, this weekend sees the Edinburgh Comic Con at the St James Quarter on both Saturday and Sunday. It’s free – no tickets required – and takes place in the massive third-floor car park B3 car park from 10am to 5pm, with a variety of traders, artists, toys and crafts on hand, as well as a cosplay contest, meet and greets with heroes and villains, movie and TV props, games arcades workshops and events.
Enjoy music at Edinburgh Tradfest
This weekend also marks the end of the Edinburgh Tradfest, which celebrates traditional music from Scotland and around the world.
Saturday’s programme includes Cajun and Appalachian music with Dirk and Amelia Powell at the Traverse Theatre from 1pm till 2.30pm; World Play a Strathspey Day at the Traverse from 3pm to 4pm; and Tradfest Ceilidh House from 7pm until 9.30pm at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.
Go to the cinema or choose another channel
If you don’t want to watch the coronation coverage and it’s too wet to go for a walk or join in any other outdoor events, you could always go to the cinema and see a film. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is the latest blockbuster. It has been hailed as “the best Marvel movie in years” and is on widespread release.
But if you can’t stir yourself from the sofa, you could just use the TV zapper to switch to one of the channels not covering Charles III’s big day. The coronation is being screened wall-to-wall on BBC 1, BBC 2 and STV. But at the height of the events in London, Channel 4 will be showing Frasier and on Channel 5 there’s The Adventures of Paddington.