Rainy day London

Bit of drizzle? Torrential downpour? Use our guide to London’s best rainy day activities for when indoor activities are the only option

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, what really can’t be overstated is just how much there is to do in the capital in the event that it does pour it down with rain on your hard-earned day off. Or the whole weekend. Or the entire summer.

The streets of the city may be iconic, but there are also untold amounts of things to do if you want to hide away from the rain. We’ve got you covered for indoor activities, whether you’re lost for where to shop, or want to get lost in London’s most interesting museums and exhibitions.

There are also the more random rainy day ventures, like if you’ve been caught in a random downpour and want to sample a few classy brollies in a Covent Garden umbrella store, or if you want to hole up in a board game café or a reading room for an entire stormy day. Here’s your guide the best indoor activities in London.

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
Museums

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

Edmund de Waal: Library of Exile
Museums

Edmund de Waal: Library of Exile

It stings the heart, this installation by Edmund de Waal. The ceramicist and author has lined the walls of his room within a room in the British Museum with books by writers in exile. Albert Camus’s ‘Exile and the Kingdom’, Jean Rhys’s ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’, Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’. Shelf after shelf of stories written by people far from home, thinking of home.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Museum of Neoliberalism
Museums

Museum of Neoliberalism

Whatever you take away from the Museum of Neoliberalism, you definitely won’t forget the display ‘Bottle of Amazon employee urine’. According to the museum, it came from a worker in one of the company’s fulfilment centres who passed up a toilet break in order not to fall behind on work targets. It’s just one of the ways this place confronts you with how modern economic structures have trickled down into people’s everyday lives.  Tucked between a laundrette and a hairdressers in an unassuming post-war shopping centre in Lewisham, the museum explains its purpose in a window sign: ‘to look back on neoliberalism, what it has done to our world; and what might lie beyond it’. Turns out, it’s quite scary stuff.  The exhibition, which begins with a display setting out the main players of twentieth-century neoliberalism, has been created by satirical artist Darren Cullen and Gavin Grindon, a lecturer at the University of Essex who curated parts of Banksy’s Dismaland.  Like the suspects board of a detective on the edge, it’s covered in a criss-cross of red string connecting  images of Margaret Thatcher, George W Bush, Tony Blair, David Cameron and Boris Johnson.  You’re then exposed to the ways capitalism has seeped into our lives, from Scouts badges embroidered with oil company logos to a replica of the cladding and insulation at Grenfell Tower.  Regardless of your political persuasion, it’s hard not to be moved. The museum admits that it ‘may seem dispiriting’, but it’ll stoke a

Time Out says
4 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

The Fight
Film

The Fight

The American Civil Liberties Union takes on Trump is this pacy, compelling doc

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Proxima
Film

Proxima

Eva Green captivates in this terrific astronaut drama

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
The Traitor
Film

The Traitor

This superior Mafia thriller grips from start to finish

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Litigante
Film

Litigante

This sharply observed Colombian film digs deep into the life of a single mother balancing work and home, life and death

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