We wish we didn’t have to post this article but alas, here we are Londoners. Thanks British weather! Well, let’s stop moaning about it and make the most of our beautiful capital, with this roundup of wonderful things you can do around London when the weather is a bit crap.
Things to do on a rainy day in London
1. Brighten your day with a trip to London’s beautiful indoor rainforest
Barbican Conservatory is a verdant oasis in the heart of the city that’ll will make you forget all about the pouring rain, transporting you to a faraway jungle instead. Similarly, London’s Sky Garden is a great place for a sky-high drink and some awesome city views, even on a rainy day.
2. Or brighten up your bleak living room with some flowers
We’d say Columbia Road flower market is the haven for all things floral but of course, if the weather isn’t nice then you’re not going to want to stroll around outside over dilapidated daisies, are you? Why not pick up a bouquet from Petals at Bibendum, or one of London’s other lovely flower shops?
3. Take cover in a charming bookshop
There’s something about bookshops that leave us all warm inside, so why not hide from the elements alongside the smell of leather-bound ledgers? We recommend a gander around these 17 charming London bookstores that are perfect for literature lovers.
4. Or visit one of London’s incredible free museums
London is riddled with amazing free things to do and buildings to visit, so why not head out for a day of discovering some art and culture? As we all know we’re home to some of the world’s best museums (like the infamous Natural History Museum), and we’ve rounded up 31 of the best free ones for you here.
5. Settle in a cute café for a rainy day cappuccino
What better way to while away a rainy day in London than with a warm cup of coffee and some people-watching? Get comfy in one of our city’s many amazing coffee shops with a book and some music, or even switch up your work environment for the day if you can.
6. Warm yourself up with a cup of the good stuff
We love tea and we sure love a cup of coffee, but hot chocolate can’t go amiss, even in the summer. It’s the ultimate comfort drink — so if you’re craving something extra decadent, check out these 10 delicious chocolate shops that are guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
7. Or how about something a bit stronger?
Needless to say, any day spent at a bar is a good one, but rainy days provide the perfect excuse to hide away from the world with a drink in hand… after all, there’s not much else you can do, right? You sure won’t have trouble finding bars in London, but if you’re looking for some inspiration, we have plenty of suggestions for a pretty cocktail, a cosy glass of wine, or a pint at one of the city’s oldest pubs.
8. If you want to start early, these bottomless brunches are brilliantly boozy
…And you can head straight to the bar right after, like a true Londoner. Here are some of our favourite bottomless brunch spots, but in case you suddenly crave pancakes and mimosas at 1am, you can always opt for this 24-hour bottomless brunch when it’s running.
9. Use the opportunity to discover your new favourite restaurant
Even in London we don’t get enough rainy days to check off all of our city’s best restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch or a fine dining dinner experience, we truly have it all. To get you started, here are the absolute best restaurants the Big Smoke has to offer, according to Londoners themselves.
10. Or eat your way through this giant Italian food hall
We promise you that Eataly has enough food and wine to last you several hours, so the giant Italian food hall on Broadgate is the ideal place to tuck into some pizza and pasta, or start your own afternoon wine tasting crawl. If you like some more cuisine variety, head to Seven Dials Market in Covent Garden.
11. Relax with a delightful afternoon tea
I think we can all agree that a hot cuppa is the ultimate rainy day remedy, and an assortment of pastries, sandwiches (and perhaps champagne?) can make it even better. We’ve rounded up 18 of London’s loveliest afternoon teas which are perfect to brighten up any grey day.
12. Take cover in a railway arch …
… And we don’t mean just to hide from the unexpected downpour! London’s railway arches are the new place to be, especially on a rainy day. Check out Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross for some shopping and food, or Camden’s new Bavarian-inspired Beer Hall nestled under railway arches.
13. Kick back and snuggle up at a cosy cinema
There’s truly no better way to escape reality for a couple of hours than with a visit to the cinema. Grab some popcorn, kick back, and relax with a movie whilst laid out on a reclining sofa. Just try not to fall asleep! Take a look at our roundup of London’s cosiest independent cinemas.
14. Let the good times roll at a bowling alley or indoor golf course
Spend a rainy afternoon with a competitive round of bowling, or challenge your friends to some fun arcade games. Check out these fun bowling alleys, lose track of time at this extremely fun music video-themed crazy golf course.
15. Indulge in a little comfort food because, you know, it’s gross outside and we need all the cheese
The team behind The Cheese Bar clearly know the way to our hearts, as they’ve recently opened a double-decker cheese barge to bring us even more of the good stuff. Not to forget, there’s also a cheese conveyor belt restaurant at Seven Dials Market, launched by the same geniuses. All we can say is thank you.