Rainy day London

Bit of drizzle? Torrential downpour? Use our guide to London’s best rainy day activities and play the grey days away

Dark clouds loom over Bermondsey.
Dark clouds loom over Bermondsey © Tatenda Nyamande

 

While the image of London being constantly grey and drizzly may be grossly exaggerated the world over, what really can’t be overstated is just how much there is to do in the capital in the (extremely unlikely) event that it does pour it down on your hard-earned day off. Or the whole weekend. Or the entire summer.

There’s all the usual eating and drinking activities, of course – London's seemingly limitless supply of world-class pubs, barsrestaurantsand cafés – but there’s more to rainy days in London city than caffeine and craft beer. From exhibitions and cinemas to weird and wonderful museums, here’s your guide to indoor London. Whether it’s raining, drizzling, pouring, or full-on chucking it down, we’ve got bad weather conditions covered. 

Where to hide from the rain in London

15 perfect places to go when it rains in London
Things to do

15 perfect places to go when it rains in London

Make a grey day brighter by exploring the capital with no fear of a downpour

Top ten art exhibitions in London
Art

Top ten art exhibitions in London

Shortcut it straight to the good stuff and head to one of these shows on right now

14 weird but wonderful museums
Things to do

14 weird but wonderful museums

Don’t soak up the rain, soak up some culture at the capital’s weirdest museums

The 100 best shops in London
Shopping

The 100 best shops in London

Delve in and out of the very best boutiques, stores and fashion shops in London

Take shelter at the latest exhibitions

I am Ashurbanipal: King of the World, King of Assyria
Museums

I am Ashurbanipal: King of the World, King of Assyria

The great king Ashurbanipal was seriously not into lions, absolutely hated the things. The first of many gorgeously detailed Assyrian wall reliefs in this mesmerising exhibition depicts the king firing arrows at fleeing lions and shoving swords through their rearing chests. Lions, you see, represented power and savagery, and no one could hold power but Ashurbanipal, and his savagery, though gruesomely brutal, was anything but wild.  

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Home Futures
Museums

Home Futures

William Morris famously advised: ‘have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. The Design Museum’s latest exhibition is filled with over 150 domestic designs both useful and beautiful, all created with the intention of revolutionising how we conduct ourselves behind closed doors. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Shadows of War: Roger Fenton's Photographs of the Crimea 1855
Art

Shadows of War: Roger Fenton's Photographs of the Crimea 1855

In 1855, Roger Fenton arrived in the Crimea on a commission from publisher Thomas Agnew & Sons to photograph scenes and figures from the ongoing Crimean War. After he returned to London, the images were exhibited at four venues in the capital and… that was it. There hasn’t been a London show of Fenton’s creations since 1856. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Living with Buildings
Museums

Living with Buildings

Let’s talk about loos. Internal plumbing. Ventilation systems. Running water. Double-glazed windows and all the other things that make where we live helpful to our health. If you’ve ever found yourself with a household emergency, a bust boiler two days before Christmas or a hole in the ceiling ten mins before a thunderstorm, you’ll know that it’s oh so easy to take a functioning home for granted until the moment it stops working. 

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Find more great exhibitions in London

Get cosy in a café, bar or pub

Sip on a warm coffee
Restaurants

Sip on a warm coffee

Settle in the pub for the day
Bars and pubs

Settle in the pub for the day

Treat yourself to hot chocolate
Restaurants

Treat yourself to hot chocolate

Drown your sorrows in a bar
Bars and pubs

Drown your sorrows in a bar

See what's on at the cinema

Suspiria
Film

Suspiria

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
The Price of Everything
Film

The Price of Everything

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Widows
Film

Widows

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Overlord
Film

Overlord

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Check out the latest film releases

Keep the kids entertained

Enjoy a family-friendly show
Theatre

Enjoy a family-friendly show

Take a trip to the museum
Museums

Take a trip to the museum

Spend the day playing indoors
Kids

Spend the day playing indoors

Visit one of London's attractions
Attractions

Visit one of London's attractions

Read our full guide for kids in the capital