London is a city filled with unique corner pubs, interesting neighbourhoods to explore, and a rich (but sometimes dark) history. It’s a city it can take you years to explore completely, but if you’re only here for a few days, how do you make the most of it – especially you find yourself in the rain?
While living in London for the past 5 years, I’ve found the fall and winters to be dreary and often a bit sad, if I don’t have something fun planned to look forward to. I’ve spent many weekends inside, binge watching the newest series on Netflix, but thanks to cabin fever, I’ve also spent many rainy days outside looking for something to do. You’d be surprised to find that there’s still plenty to do in this city even when it’s raining cats and dogs.
Here’s my top 10 things to do on a rainy day in London:
- Explore a museum – My two favorites are the Churchill War Rooms and the V&A. Make sure you buy your ticket in advance for the War Rooms as standing in the rain is no fun! Check out the V&A’s website to see if there are any fun exhibitions if you want to explore something a little extra.
- Have Afternoon Tea – One of the most famous spots for afternoon tea is Sketch, but if you’re trying to find something last minute, I recommend The Wolesley near Green Park tube station.
- Catch a last minute show – London is know for the theater scene, and there’s never a shortage of tickets (unless you’re hoping to see Hamilton last minute).
- Find a good corner pub – A warm hearty roast and beer is always a welcome treat on a rainy Sunday. If roasts aren’t your thing, not to worry. Draught’s has an endless supply of board games to play if you just want to hang out and have a good time.
- Watch a movie in a neighbourhood theater – Many movies premier in London’s famous movie theaters, but if you’re like me, you’d probably want to skip the crowds and head to a smaller theater with comfy seats and that serves great wine or a pint. Head to a Kino, Rich Mix, or an Electric Cinema for a cosy rainy day movie.
- Try a cooking class – With the melting pot of cultures living in London, you can find a cooking class for almost any cuisine. Ranging from a quick lunch taster to a day long adventure, these cooking classes are bound to keep you wanting seconds – L’atelier des Chefs, Migrateful, Jamie Oliver’s Cooking School, and Le Cordon Bleu. Listed from least to most expensive. Note: all require booking in advance.
- Catch a break from the rain by admiring the graffiti in the tunnel – If you’re out and about in Southwark or South Bank and catch yourself in a rain shower, head to the graffiti tunnel on Leake Street, under Waterloo Station. For the cautious of heart – don’t go down here at night by yourself.
- Try a brewery or a gin tour – Both Sipsmith and Fuller have tours at their locations in London. To book a Sipsmith tour, click here, and to book a Fuller’s Brewery Tour, click here. The cost of both tours include a tasting.
- Give it your best shot at an escape room – Shake things up, grab your friends, and give your best shot at solving the mystery before the time runs out. See the best rated Escape Rooms on TripAdvisor here.
- Shop underground in Canary Wharf – Oxford Street might be the most well known high street in the UK, but on the weekends when the offices are closed in Canary Wharf, you’ll find most of the same stores open in the underground shopping mall. Shop till you drop, and end the day with a drink at the secret bar at the Breakfast Club.
There’s an old Swedish saying, “there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing!” So go on, get out there and explore! Don’t let the rainy weather stop you from having a great day.
What are some of your favorite things to do on a rainy day?