Last Updated on 3rd August 2017 by Sophie Nadeau
If there’s one thing that you can guarantee on a trip to London, it’s that it will rain! With weather reports placing rainfall averages at 30% across the year, then you can and should expect at least a day or two of rain on a trip to the UK’s capital. Luckily, there are plenty of things to do when it’s raining in London. Here are some rainy day in London activities!
Visit a Museum
With dozens of museums to choose from, you’d be hard-pressed not to find one you like! Sure, everyone’s heard of the likes of the British Museum, and the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum… but what about the Grant Museum of Zoology? Or the cinema museum? Even if you’re ‘not a museum person,’ I’m sure you’ll find a topic that fascinates you within the 100+ museums on offer in the UK’s capital city.
Suggested small museums:
Sir John Soane’s Museum: 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP. The former home of 18th-Century architect Sir John Soane, here you’ll find an eclectic mix of ancient artefacts and paintings by world-reknowned artists. Entrance is free.
Benjamin Franklin House: 36 Craven St, London WC2N 5NF. The only surviving residence of USA president, Benjamin Franklin, here you’ll find a traditional, terraced Georgian house.
Fan Museum: 12 Crooms Hill, London SE10 8ER. A quirky, yet fun and interesting small museum specialising in all things fan related.
As a major capital city, there’s no shortage of places to shop in London. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir magnet to bring home to your Grandma, or are looking for a high-end luxury purse, you’re sure to find it in England’s Capital. And a rainy day in London is the perfect opportunity to sneak inside, escape the rain and look for a bargain (or do some window shopping if your budget doesn’t include a few indulgences)!
Suggested Department Stores:
Liberty London: Regent St, Carnaby, London W1B 5AH. Located in a mock tudour building, Liberty London sells all kinds of fashion products, as well as homeware. And the interior decor is simply stunning…
Harrods: 87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge. The twinkling lights of Harrod’s are hard to miss in the very heart of Knightsbridge. Head to here if you want to purchase luxury goods, or even if you want to peruse the store…
Fortnum and Mason: 181 Piccadilly. The duck egg blue and gold exterior are synonymous with luxury department store Fortnum and Mason. The best thing about this luxury store is its food court; filled with all manner of teas, sweet treats and iced desserts…
Catch a quirky Film at the Cinema
Check out a film… and not just the Hollywood blockbusters, either. There are plenty of independent cinemas throughout the city showing quirky, unique and downright bizarre films.
Suggested Independent Cinemas:
Art House: 159A Tottenham Ln, London N8 9BT. Once known as ‘the Queen’s Opera House’, it was eventually converted into a cinema, the very purpose it serves today.
Regent Street Cinema: 309 Regent St, Marylebone, London W1B 2UW. Often dubbed the ‘birthplace of British Cinema’, the Regent Street Cinema showed the first motion picture in the UK and is now a go-to place to view repertory pieces.
Check out an Art Gallery
London is full of gallery spaces; some free to visit, others paid. Whether you’re a modern art maven or prefer classical pieces, you’re sure to find a gallery that suits your preferences.
Suggested Art Galleries:
Tate Modern: Bankside, London SE1 9TG. Quirky, unique and modern, you can’t go wrong by spending an afternoon exploring the Tate Modern, and all it has to offer. Set in the heart of a converted power station, the Tate Modern has it all: an ambience, great location along the Thames and enough Art to make you think for days on end… Oh, and the permanent collections are free!
Serpentine Gallery: Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA. This free gallery often hosts world reknowned artists’ work in the heart of Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park. A trip here can easily be combined with a trip to nearby museums such as the Natural History Museum or the V&A.
Explore the Covered arcades
From the chic to the downright unusual, London is filled with covered arcades, just waiting to be explored. These little alleyways and small arcades are best explored on a rainy day when the weather is not on your side but you still want to see another side to the UK’s capital.
Suggested covered passageways:
Burlington Arcade: 51 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0QJ. Chic and located not far from Piccadilly Circus, Burlington Arcade is filled with designer stores, complete with eye-watering prices.
Hide from the rain in a café…
Full of quirky cafés and hidden bakeries, London is a treasure trove for those with a sweet tooth or those who just really love coffee!
The Fork Deli Patisserie: 85 Marchmont St, Kings Cross, London WC1N 1AL. A cute little café in the very heart of Bloomsbury, serving all kinds of cakes and coffees.
Farm Girl Café: 59A Portobello Rd, London W11 3DB. Most probably the most photogenic coffee shop in the capital, here you’ll find all sorts of lattés and specialty coffees; including buttefly matcha (a bright blue brew), and a rose flavoured latté.
Read a book… at the British Library!
Where better to read a book on a rainy day in London than in the British Library itself? Home to millions of books, manuscripts and more, the British Library often also houses small exhibitions. Here, you can also see one of only four copies of the Magna Carta.
Play some games
From bowling alleys to boules, there’s a large selection of undercover games on offer throughout the city. (The perfect activities for spending a rainy day in London!)
Suggested Rainy Day Game Acitivities:
Bloomsbury Lanes: Tavistock Hotel, Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 9EU. A set of eight bowling lanes, pizza, drinks and plenty of entertainments. Here you can quite literally bown the night (or day) away…
See London from above
From the Shard to the Sky Garden, there are plenty of ways to see the city from a bird’s eye perspective. Not sure which attraction to visit? Here’s my guide to some of the best views in London (which are open to the public).
Suggested Rainy Day Viewpoints:
Sky Garden: 20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF. Even if it’s too cloudy to see very far, entrance is free, and there’s still a lush green garden to enjoy, as well as a bar where you can buy refreshing drinks, teas and coffees, and alcoholic beverages.
Tower Bridge: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP. Located in the very middle of the iconic River Thames, there’s more than just the view to enjoy at Tower Bridge.
Viewing Level, Tate Modern: Bankside, London SE1 9TG. The Tate Modern is not only a great place to see good art, but also where you can find one of the best views over London… for free!