Are you planning a trip to London but worried about the unpredictable weather? Or are you already in the city and it’s started raining? Well, don’t let rain ruin your trip because there are plenty of fun activities to do in the city even when it’s pouring outside. From indoor attractions to cosy cafes and pubs, there are numerous ways to make the most of your rainy day in London. In this article, we have compiled a list of some of the best things to do when it rains in London.
Why you shouldn’t let the rain ruin your London trip
London is known for its unpredictable weather, and rain is a common occurrence throughout the year. However, the city has plenty to offer even on rainy days. In fact, some of the best experiences can be had indoors when it’s raining outside. London is home to numerous museums, galleries, theatres, and historic landmarks that are perfect for exploring on a rainy day.
Moreover, the city is famous for its cosy pubs and cafes that offer the perfect refuge from the rain. You can spend hours sipping a hot cup of tea or coffee, having a pint, enjoying a good book, or chatting with friends while the rain pours outside. So, don’t let the weather dampen your spirits because London always has something to offer and keep you entertained, even on a rainy day.
Best things to do in London when it rains
1. Visit a museum, gallery or aquarium
London is home to some of the world’s best museums and galleries, and they are the perfect places to explore on a rainy day. From the British Museum to the National Gallery, or Madame Tussauds London, there are countless options to choose from. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or science, there’s something for all interests. A big plus of London’s museums is that most of them are free to visit as well.
The British Museum is a must-visit attraction that showcases the history and culture of civilizations from around the world. The National Gallery, on the other hand, has an extensive collection of European paintings, including works by Van Gogh, Monet, and Rembrandt. Other notable museums and galleries include the Tate Modern, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Natural History Museum.
Another top indoor attraction that would be perfect for visiting with kids is the SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium which is home to a vast selection of marine life across 14 zones and three floors.
2. Take a tour of a historic building or landmark
London is a city steeped in history, and there are several historic landmarks and buildings that you can explore on a rainy day. From the Tower of London and Tower Bridge to Kensington Palace, there are numerous options to choose from. You can take a guided tour or explore the sites on your own.
The Tower of London is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has played a significant role in English history. It has served as a royal palace, a prison, a fortress, and even a zoo.
Tower Bridge is another top attraction and although often admired from the outside, if it’s raining then why not pop inside? You can then learn about the bridge, its history and its current operation.
There is also Buckingham Palace, an official residence of the British monarch and the state rooms are open to the public during the summer months. It’s advised to book a visit in advance.
3. Watch a play or musical in the theatres
The West End in London is famous for its theatres and is home to some of the best plays and musicals in the world. Whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare or Broadway shows, there’s a wide range of options. Watching a play or musical is the perfect way to spend a rainy evening in London and you can also find daytime performances too.
Some of the most popular shows in the West End include The Lion King, Wicked, Thriller, Les Miserables, as well as The Book of Mormon (which is hilarious). You can book your tickets in advance or visit one of the many ticket booths in Leicester Square and around the city to find last-minute deals.
4. Go shopping at indoor markets or malls
London is a shopper’s paradise, and there are numerous indoor markets and malls that you can explore on a rainy day. From vintage clothing to designer brands, there’s something for every budget and taste.
Covent Garden is a popular destination that showcases local artisans and often includes street performers. The Camden Market, on the other hand, is a vibrant market that specializes in alternative fashion and handmade crafts. Borough Market offers a range of fresh produce, cakes, and gift items. It is also a great place for lunch.
You can also visit one of the many shopping malls in the city. Some of the best include the one at Battersea Power Station, as well as Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City. Around these shopping centres, you’ll find plenty of places to eat or grab a drink too.
There is also a slightly smaller indoor shopping area in the 02 Dome and here you’ll find plenty of indoor entertainment including bowling, cinema and bars.
5. Have a cosy day in a coffee shop or pub
The city is famous for its cosy cafes and pubs, and they are the perfect places to spend a rainy day. You can relax with a hot cup of tea or coffee, enjoy a pint, read a book, or catch up with friends while the rain pours outside. Some cafes and pubs also offer board games and other activities to keep you entertained.
If it starts raining then you also won’t have to go far as you’ll find a very large number of pubs and cafés all throughout the city. Ideas of pubs and cafes and pubs to visit include the Monmouth Coffee Company and Sherlock Holmes. You can also visit some of the city’s historic pubs, including the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese and the Lamb and Flag, as well as Gordons Wine Bar.
6. Visit one of the indoor viewpoints
London has several indoor viewpoints that offer stunning views of the city even on a rainy day. Including The Shard, the Skygarden and the London Eye, there are numerous options to choose from. You can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city while staying dry indoors.
The Shard is one of the tallest buildings in Europe and offers panoramic views of the city from its observation deck. The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel that offers a 30-minute ride with views of the city’s iconic landmarks. Other top viewpoints include the Sky Garden and the Emirates Air Line cable car.
London is a city that has something for all of us, even on a rainy day. From museums and galleries to theatres and historic landmarks, there are plenty of top indoor attractions to enjoy. You can also spend a cosy day in a cafe or pub or go shopping at one of the many indoor markets or malls. So, don’t let the weather ruin your London trip because there’s plenty to do even when it’s raining.
Tours and activities
Here are some tours and activities you may be interested in during your visit. Click the blue button for even more ideas.
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