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10 things to do in London when it’s raining.

At the start of every summer we are bombarded with articles about all the outdoor events that we can all partake in over a glorious season of constant sunshine. It never quite works out that way though, does it? Let’s face facts, we’re in London and it’s going to rain, let’s just get over it. Sure, we have our nice days too; but to pretend that just because summer is here we can wear shorts every day and spend out evening on rooftop bars is delusional at best.

Thankfully London has had a lot of practice in dealing with, um, ‘unpredictable’ weather, so there is plenty to do when the heavens open. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of things to do when it rains in London.

10 things to do in London when it’s raining.

10. Museums

Things to do in London when it's raining

It’s the obvious one, but still a solid option. There are countless museums in London on almost any subject and each of them offers entertainment, education and shelter from the elements. If you want to go with a safe option head over to South Kensington Station because there are three huge museums within walking distance; the Science Museum, the Natural History museum and the V & A museum. Each of these museums are so large that it would take a whole day to explore in full.


9. Go to one of London’s Covered Markets

GThings to do in London when it's raining

Just because it’s raining it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the thrill of market shopping. London has some exquisite covered markets that let you haggle your way to a bargain whatever the weather. Covent Garden is considered the grandest of all London markets and it’s mostly indoors; with its dozens of restaurants, hundreds of shops and variety of street performers it’s a good option for a day out in less than ideal weather.

8. Go to the IMAX Cinema

Things to do in London when it's raining

When it’s soaking outside sometimes you just want to stay at home and watch a movie, well why not kick it up a gear and head over to the London IMAX to see one of the largest screens in the world?! Located a short walking distance from Waterloo Station, the London IMAX puts on an incredible show with its giant, curved, 3D screen. It definitely beats sitting at home in front of Netflix.


7. See a Matinee Show on the West End 

Things to do in London when it's raining

Don’t look at the awful weather as a waste of a day, see it as an opportunity to broaden your cultural horizons; fortunately a lot of culture is indoors! There are dozens of theatres offering matinee performances of some of the best shows in the world. There is something for everyone, comedy, musical, drama, horror, all available on a drizzly afternoon. You usually won’t have to book in advance for a matinee (unless it’s a new, popular show), just go on the day to the box office or one of the many ticket stalls dotted around the West End, You may even pick up a bargain ticket!

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6. Escape Rooms Activity 

Things to do in London when it's raining

If you’re stuck for what to do on a rainy day in London and have never tried to escape from a strange room using northing but your wits, then boy to I have the experience for you! The Escape Rooms is a live puzzle game where you work together with a group of friends to escape a room by solving riddles and finding clues. It’s designed to develop teamwork skills, intuition and intelligence. Most importantly it’s loads of fun and there are a few ‘themed’ rooms to choose from.


5. Go to the Bounce Bar for some drinks and table tennis 

Things to do in London when it's raining

Do you ever find yourself in the mood for a bit of ping pong? No, me neither. What about ping-pong in the place where it was invented, where there is also a bar? Now you’re talking! I bet you didn’t know that the game of ping-pong was invented and patented at a site in Holborn; now a themed bar has popped up where you can whisk the night away with endless games of ping pong. It sounds rather strange, but the bar has won numerous awards and has become one of the cities hottest new venues.


4. Visit Alexandra Palace Ice Rink – Open All Year

Things to do in London when it's raining

Want to rekindle that winter wonderland feeling? Even in the middle of summer, with tropic storms beating down outside, you can still skate on ice in the beautiful Alexandra Palace. The ice rink is open all year round and offers a very unique summer experience. Professional ice skating lessons are available as well as a huge arena just to have fun it. Alaxandra Palace is a beautiful building and worth a visit anyway.


3. Visit the London Aquarium


If you’re looking for a child-friendly day out that doesn’t depend on good weather, the London Aquarium (review) has to be a top choice. The huge aquarium, one of the largest in Europe, hosts thousands of exotic marine creatures, including jellyfish, sharks, manta rays and countless others. You’ll be amazed by the range of species available to see and kids will be able to learn all about them through interactive screens. Try to avoid the busiest times, Saturdays and Bank Holidays, as it can get a tad crowded.


2. Cycle at the London Olympic Velodrome

Things to do in London when it's raining

If the weather is dreary, why not take the opportunity to get active?! The Stratford Velodrome, a legacy of the Olympics, allows you to test your cycling skills in a state of the art indoor arena. You can hire world class bikes and take lessons from seasoned experts. Anyone can join in regardless of fitness level, although it does help if you can ride a bike.


1. Visit the extremely popular Harry Potter World

Things to do in London when it's raining

The Harry Potter Studio tour is a magical all day adventure that won’t be ruined by the rain. Located a little bit outside of London, the Harry Potter Tour takes you around the real sets used in the Harry potter film series in the exact place it was filmed. If you enjoyed the Harry Potter series then you’ll be absolutely blown away by this place! Best of all, 90% of it is indoors, so come rain or shine you’ll still have a great time!

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London Writer and Blogger. Featured in the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times.

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