5 Best Rainy Day Activities in London

It may be a stereotype, but London is well known for its changeable weather. When visiting the city, it’s best to prepare for the unpredictable; your day could start with sunny spells, followed by torrential rain, and then an hour later, blue skies and a warm breeze. Layers and waterproofs are advised!

On a trip to the city it’s always good to have a back up plan as good weather can never be guaranteed, particularly during the cooler months. Luckily, London is full of indoor activities that will ensure you’ll still have a blast even if the weather takes a swift turn.

Here are my top recommendations for the best rainy day activities in London…

5 Best Rainy Day Activities in London

1. Cinema

If the weather is gloomy, a trip to the cinema is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. Stock up on snacks, and cosy up whilst getting lost in a movie.

For a unique day out, you could try a 3DX screening, where you can watch a film whilst experiencing effects including water, wind, scent and strobe lighting, plus your seat moves – it’s almost like being on a theme park ride! It was much more intense than I expected and I would definitely recommend it.

There are lots of ways to save money on cinema tickets in London, so be sure to check these tips before booking your tickets. It’s also worth signing up to become a seat filler to get free and reduced cinema, gig and comedy tickets.

2. Museums and galleries

There are so many great museums and art galleries to choose from in London, and with ever changing pop ups and exhibitions, even if you’ve been before its likely you’ll spot something new.

Also, many museums in London are free to explore, so it’s a low cost activity and you can pop in for an hour without feeling you need to spend a full day to get your money’s worth.

South Kensington is home to the Science Museum, Natural History and V&A, so this is a good place to start! If you’re looking for a free art gallery, you could head to the Tate Modern.

3. Shopping

Whether you’d prefer to peruse the high end stores, or rummage through some of the best charity and vintage shops looking for one off pieces, London caters to every type of shopper!

You could head to one of the larger department stores, such as Harrods or Fortum & Mason for window shopping and to admire the extravagant displays (which are particularly stunning at Christmas time). I could spend hours just in the Harrods food court – everything looks so delicious!

If you are a bargain shopper, the huge Primark on Oxford Street is a must visit. Enjoy a bite to eat in the Greggs cafe (complete with sausage roll swing), and explore all four floors. Shops such as Søstrene Grene and Tiger are also great for inexpensive but adorable trinkets and cute homeware.

Lastly, either of the two huge indoor Westfield shopping centres are ideal to browse whilst the weather is dreary, or head to one of London’s designer outlets such as the 02 arena or London Designer Outlet for huge reductions. There’s something for everyone here, as well as a wide selection of cafes, restaurants and entertainment options.

4. Arcades

When you need to dip indoors to escape the rain, one of my personal favourite activities is a games arcade.

An afternoon in one of the best arcades in London is a great way to spend a drizzly afternoon, whether you are looking to entertain the family, or enjoying a spontaneous date night.

Gravity UK in Wandsworth is a particularly unique arcade, with an indoor go karting track, as well as interactive darts, mini golf, VR games, bowling and more.

5. Interactive Experiences

There is always an exciting new exhibition or immersive experience popping up across London, and they are becoming increasingly creative. CUTE at Somerset House looks like lots of fun for kawaii lovers (and you can enjoy a coffee in the nearby Hello Kitty themed cafe too!). The Bubble Planet experience looks great for little ones, too.

Other immersive experiences to look into include:

  • Otherworld
  • Fairgame
  • Gamebox
  • Gunpowder Plot: The Immersive Experience

Final thoughts: 5 Best Rainy Day Activities in London

If you are worried about the changeable forecast affecting your next trip to London, don’t panic! There are so many indoor activities to enjoy, you can plan the best trip whatever the weather.

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