Things to Do in London When It Rains
By Laura Porter
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Wet Weather Does Not Stop Play in London
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Don’t worry, it really doesn’t rain that much in London but we are weather obsessed so we just talk about it a lot. (Find out more about London weather.) The beauty of a city with so many things to do means that there are loads of attractions on hand for when the rain does start to fall.
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Explore The City’s Museums
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This is probably the most obvious idea but still worth mentioning as London has so many great museums and galleries. The larger ones are all free so you can pop in for five minutes when you are in the area if there is a sudden downpour.
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Find Your Way Out of an Escape Room
••• clueQuest London.
Open from 10 am to late into the evening an escape room is an excellent indoor option, although you do need to book ahead. It’s a live escape game for teams of 3 to 5 people. You get shut in a room and have 60 minutes to work out how to open the locks and find a way out. It’s suitable for 9 to 90-year-olds and is a lot of fun.
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••• The London Science Museum. Feargus Cooney/Getty Images
Who doesn’t love watching a movie when it’s raining outside? Leicester Square is the heart of London’s ‘cinema-land’ and the location of most London film premieres. As well as the big cinemas you’ll also find the Prince Charles Cinema here which specializes in lower rate tickets. There is also an IMAX cinema at Waterloo and another inside the Science Museum. Another idea if you’re on your own is to go to BFI Southbank to the Mediatheque which is a space where you can watch the British Film Institute’s archive for free.
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See a Theatre Show
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Clearly this depends on the time of day when the rain arrives but London theatre is perfect for taking your mind off inclement weather. Find out how to get cheap London theatre tickets.
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Enjoy a River Cruise
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As long as it’s not too windy it can be a perfect time to take a cruise along The Thames while it’s raining. You can get a dining cruise from Bateaux London (try their dinner and afternoon tea cruises) or on the Silver Sturgeon. Both offer daytime and evening options.
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Hit The Shops
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Well, London does have some of the best shopping on offer in the world so why not? If you want to stay in one location consider a large department store such as Harrods or even one of the two Westfield shopping malls (Westfield London or Westfield Stratford City). Oxford Street is long (this one street has four tube stations) and is lined with ‘High Street’ shops and many flagship branches. Turn off at Oxford Circus to explore Carnaby Street or take the kids to Hamleys as there are seven floors of toys.
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Ride The London Eye
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This rotating attraction is definitely a good move on a rainy day as you can enjoy the views from a warm, dry capsule. Yes, there will be raindrops on the windows but use those to take more interesting photos of the sights in the rain on the London Eye.
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Eat and Drink
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Comfort eating can be what’s needed when it’s raining so go for fish and chips or some other British cuisine. Whatever the weather, every day is just right for afternoon tea as fancy cakes and a dainty cuppa will always make you feel good. If you’re looking for something more casual then have a pint of real ale and a decent pub pie.
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Take the Bus
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To make the most of a rainy bus journey you need to head upstairs and grab the seats at the front which never ceases to bring child-like joy to all who get that position. Some good routes for just watching the world go by include the no.11 plus the no.9 and no.15 which are heritage routes on old Routemasters.
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Play Ping Pong
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At Bounce London you can play table tennis at the location where ping pong was created and patented in 1901. You can book by the table so this is a good option for large groups to have some fun indoors together. Bowling is still popular in London too.
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Walk in the Rain
••• Chelsea Pensioners walking in the rain at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. VisitBritain/Michael Walter/Getty Images
The streets will certainly be less crowded and I hadn’t really considered how much fun this was for visitors who come from hot countries. If you are not afraid of getting wet then head out and enjoy the rain. Umbrellas are on sale all year round here so wear a raincoat and a grab a brolly if you want some protection.