Let’s be realistic – London gets more than its fair share of wet and rainy days. You might think that that’s one of the few downsides of living in the capital but there’s no need to let the weather stop you from having fun. There are lots of interesting things to do in London on wet days, from museums and art galleries to fun activities and games. Grab your brolly, put your wellies on, and get ready – here’s our guide to things to do on rainy days in London.
Things to do on rainy days in London
In this guide
- British Museum – Explore human history
- Eataly – Gorge on Italian ingredients
- Arthouse Crouch End – Activities for arts fans
- Sea Life Centre – Discover an underwater world
- Flip Out – Time to get bouncy
- Jamie Oliver Cookery School – Get busy in the kitchen
- Estorick Collection – Cosy Italian art gallery
- All Star Lanes – Bowling and more
- Westminster Abbey – Part of London's heritage
- Westfield – Shopping, eating, and activities
- St. Paul's Cathedral – Unmistakable London landmark
- Monopoly Lifesized – The biggest board game you can play
- ClueQuest – Challenging escape rooms
- Harrods – Sought-after shopping
- The Bath House – Banya London – Russian spa traditions
- Kenwood House – Stately home in Hampstead
- Whistle Punks – Let off steam with an axe
- Dulwich Picture Gallery – A home for art history
- Clay Time – Fun with pottery
- Draughts – Get comfy with a game
- St Martin-in-the-Fields – Free classical music
- The London Dungeon – Explore the dark side
- Re:Mind – Relax and restore
- Royal Observatory – Observatory and planetarium
- Churchill War Rooms – British wartime history
- The Africa Centre – Celebrate the cultures of Africa
- Old Spitalfields Market – Browse a covered market
- BookBar – Find your new favourite read
- Leake Street Arches – Immersive street art
- Fashion and Textile Museum – The UK's only contemporary fashion museum
- Barbican Conservatory – A rainforest in London
- Wellcome Collection – Unique and inspiring museum
- Japan House – A home for Japanese culture
- Queens – Ice skating all year round
- The Cartoon Museum – London's home for comic art
- Thai Square Spa – Visit a Thai spa
- Mission E1 – Vast yoga studio
Explore human history
Discover artefacts spanning the entire length of human history at the world-famous British Museum. This vast museum has four floors of permanent and temporary exhibitions, with around eight million pieces in its collection. Highlights include the Egyptian mummies and the Rosetta Stone, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
Gorge on Italian ingredients
If you’re a foodie looking for shelter from the rain, Eataly is a great place to go. This large food hall is London’s hub for Italian food, combining authentic eateries and Italian food vendors under one roof. You can also participate in the events and classes that take place regularly, including cookery classes.
Activities for arts fans
There’s lots to keep you occupied on a rainy day at Arthouse Crouch End. This North London venue in a converted church brings together a whole range of artistic activities. There are two cinema screens, plus live music, theatre, visual art, comedy, and dance, and spaces to eat and drink.
Discover an underwater world
The whole family can have a great day indoors at Sea Life Centre London Aquarium. Located on the South Bank, this venue has the largest coral reef in the UK and a whole host of creatures from sharks to penguins. Find out more by watching a feeding session or a talk.
Time to get bouncy
Visit one of Flip Out's London branches for a whole world of indoor trampolining fun. These spaces are full of vibrant colour and are great for both adults and children. Visit for a one or two hour session of fun or organise a memorable party, with themed party rooms available for hire.
Get busy in the kitchen
Whether you love to cook or you can't make toast without burning it, you can develop your skills at Jamie Oliver Cookery School. This welcoming and community-minded space holds classes for adults and children, suited to all levels of ability. There are many options, from making pasta to Mexican street food.
Cosy Italian art gallery
Nestled in Islington is Estorick Collection, a compact gallery in a Georgian townhouse. Explore 20th century Italian art here, with a special focus on the Futurist movement. There’s a permanent collection on show as well as regularly-changing temporary shows. After seeing the art, grab a coffee and watch the rain from the conservatory.
Bowling and more
There’s lots to do on a visit to All Star Lanes, which has several branches in the city. Bowling is a big attraction at these lively venues but you can also enjoy karaoke, music, and food and drinks. It’s fun for all ages and parties are welcome, including kids’ birthday parties.
Part of London's heritage
Westminster Abbey is a world-famous landmark, used as the site for royal coronations, weddings, and funerals. You can join a tour of this impressive gothic building and learn all about its long history. Religious services are also held here which the public are welcome to attend.
Shopping, eating, and activities
There’s no dashing between shops in the rain if you head to one of Westfield’s shopping centres. You’ll find a vast range of stores and fun experiences, including shops from some of the top high street brands. There’s stuff for children, luxury retailers, varied dining options, and activities like bouldering and mini-golf.
Unmistakable London landmark
The dome of St Paul’s Cathedral is without doubt one of the most famous fixtures of the London skyline. This Anglican cathedral is the UK’s second biggest church and the resting place of many historical figures. Church services are open to the public but you can also visit for a tour.
The biggest board game you can play
Don’t stay at home playing board games on a wet day – head to Monopoly Lifesized for a unique group activity. Travel around the life-sized game board and tackle challenges to win as much cash as you can. After the game, you can relax at the on-site bar and restaurant.
Challenging escape rooms
ClueQuest is one of London’s most popular immersive escape rooms, located a short distance from King’s Cross. You can choose from four different games suited to different age levels, packed full of thrilling challenges and puzzles. For even more entertainment, three different VR games are on offer here too.
Harrods is a world-famous destination for high-end shopping and is a great day out whether you’re buying or just browsing. You’ll find a variety of departments including tech, homeware, fashion, and jewellery. Added to that there are numerous bars and eateries on-site so you can make a day of it.
Russian spa traditions
The Bath House – Banya London gives Londoners a Russian banya experience, where you can relax and escape on a rainy day. Participate in classic Russian spa rituals, enjoy traditional steam rooms and icy plunge pools, or indulge in a treatment. Eastern European food and drinks including beer and vodka are served too.
Stately home in Hampstead
Tour a stately home with a visit to Kenwood House. At this grand property you'll find fascinating architecture and interiors, an impressive collection of art that includes a piece by Rembrandt, and well-maintained gardens. There's a café on-site serving breakfast, lunch, and snacks, and activities especially for children too.
Let off steam with an axe
If you fancy having a go at axe throwing you can do so at Whistle Punks. During a 70 minute session at this modern centre you can learn the basics and master some trick shots, all with the guidance of an experienced instructor. There’s a bar too, serving cocktails, beer, and pizza.
A home for art history
Housed in a purpose-built building, Dulwich Picture Gallery is a fantastic place to explore classical art and avoid bad weather. You’ll see work from some of history’s greatest artists including Rembrandt, Gainsborough, and Constable. Over 600 works are on show. As well as the permanent collection, there are frequent temporary shows too.
Fun with pottery
Get creative with ceramics at Clay Time. At this non-profit studio children and adults can try making their own pottery or painting a pre-made piece. This place welcomes all levels of experience and ability, and you’ll have guidance from experienced staff throughout your session. Parties and groups are welcome, including corporate team-building activities.
Get comfy with a game
Settle down with a drink and a board game at Draughts when it's raining. This place reinvents board games with a lively atmosphere and delicious food and drinks. Choose a game from the thousands on the shelves and get stuck into burgers and tacos, plus a full range of drinks whilst you’re there.
Free classical music
If you’re a music lover, visit St Martin-in-the-Fields, an inclusive Anglican church next to Trafalgar Square. The church is well-known for its programme of classical and choral music, with free concerts held at lunchtime and evening performances in this unique and atmospheric space. There are also family-friendly and educational concerts here.
Explore the dark side
Visit The London Dungeon to discover the darker parts of London's history. This attraction is guaranteed to spook you, with costumed actors, special effects, and immersive rides. Uncover the story of Guy Fawkes, witness a witch trial, or take your final terrifying boat journey to the gallows whilst you're here.
Relax and restore
Take some time for yourself at Re:Mind, London’s first dedicated meditation studio. You’ll find a calm and contemporary setting with plants and natural light. A variety of sessions are available, including restorative yin yoga, sound therapy, and breath-work or healing meditation. Class sizes are limited but you can book private sessions too.
Observatory and planetarium
Discover the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the world-famous Meridian line at the Royal Observatory. Set in Greenwich Park, you can see the UK's largest telescope at this family-friendly destination. You can also visit the Peter Harrison Planetarium to learn more about our galaxy. There are kid-friendly activities too.
British wartime history
History buffs will enjoy a visit to the Churchill War Rooms, a secret underground bunker in Westminster used by Winston Churchill and his government during the Second World War. Immerse yourself in British history as you explore the corridors and rooms where vital decisions were made during the war years.
Celebrate the cultures of Africa
The Africa Centre was established in the 1970s and continues to celebrate African cultures and the African diaspora. You can enjoy various cultural experiences here. Visitors to the centre can join a workshop, or see a film or art exhibition. There are opportunities for volunteering here too.
Browse a covered market
Head to Old Spitalfields Market to browse under the protective cover of a Victorian latticework roof. Check out stalls and boutiques offering everything from big name brands to small independent labels. This market is also well-known for its street food, with a smorgasbord of global cuisines for you to try.
Find your new favourite read
A rainy day is the ideal time to get cosy with a book. If you want to get out of the house, head to BookBar. This is a bookshop-cum-bar where you can purchase a new read and get started with it whilst you enjoy a coffee or glass of wine.
Immersive street art
Fans of art will enjoy Leake Street Arches, a covered tunnel street brimming with street art and graffiti. New pieces from a diverse range of artists appear regularly, and adding your own creative touch to the walls is both welcomed and encouraged. Music performances and street art workshops take place too.
The UK's only contemporary fashion museum
In Bermondsey you’ll see the Fashion and Textile Museum, the only museum in the UK dedicated to contemporary fashion and textiles. The museum hosts a diverse range of temporary exhibitions so you’ll always see something new. You can also join workshops and special events here that tie in with the shows.
A rainforest in London
Escape the rain for the rainforest at the Barbican Conservatory. Open on selected days, you can explore over 1,500 species of plants and trees that originate from all over the world. There are three pools filled with fish in this peaceful green space. You can also hire the space for special events.
Unique and inspiring museum
Art, technology, and science intersect at the Wellcome Collection in Euston. Visit the temporary and permanent displays, covering topics like happiness, medicine, and the relationship between humans and plants. If you want to stay a while, check out the bright and airy café or the reading room with books on various subjects.
A home for Japanese culture
Fans of Japanese food and culture will find lots to enjoy at Japan House. The centre is modern and crisp, featuring a restaurant and a casual takeaway café for hot drinks and treats. There's also a shop, a library, and a programme of events and exhibitions focusing on Japanese culture.
Ice skating all year round
In West London there's Queens, a modern and colourful site centred on an ice rink where you can take lessons or skate for fun. There's also bowling, an arcade, and food and drinks. Parties are welcome here and there's lots for both kids and adults to enjoy.
London's home for comic art
Visit The Cartoon Museum to dive into cartoons and comic art on a wet day, featuring pieces from the 18th century up until the present day. Often satirical and full of humour, this museum also offers workshops, and creative activities and educational programmes that encourage young people to get creative.
Visit a Thai spa
Escape the dreary British weather for something more exotic by visiting Thai Square Spa in the heart of the city. This elegant and award-winning spa combines Thai, Turkish, and Roman spa design elements. You can visit just to use the various facilities or really indulge with a refreshing spa treatment or package of services.
Vast yoga studio
Get out of the rain and rejuvenate with a yoga class at Mission E1, the largest yoga studio in Europe. There are several studios on-site and a vast range of classes covering styles like hot yoga and slow flows. Pranayama and meditation sessions are offered as well. Classes are available for every level and there's an on-site eatery.