Local Guides

What to do in London in the rain

It’s (almost) autumn in the UK. Whilst that means our fair share of gorgeous autumnal foliage and crisp, misty mornings, it also means it’s the time of year for that most long-standing of British features – rain. And make no mistake, we get a lot of it. Every year, we have an average of 133 days of rain – not far off half the entire year. The stereotype of rainy British weather is 100% true.

That certainly does not mean you can’t have a good time, however. We Brits have evolved a certain knack for finding fun activities on rainy afternoons. Live here for long enough, and you may even learn to enjoy the sound of rain splashing gently on your windows. After all, it wouldn’t be England without it!

On the off-chance you are caught on a wet-weather weekend, we’ve compiled this list of fantastic things to do in London in the rain. Strap on your wellies, grab your umbrella and face the weather with true British spirit.

Museums at South Kensington

When it’s pouring it down, you don’t want to be dashing from place to place. Your best bets are places where there’s a lot to see and do inside one building, the sort of place that can take up a whole morning just to explore.

The Museums at South Kensington are just perfect for this. You can spend hours examining the fascinating creatures on display in the Natural History Museum or marvel at the beautiful designs in the Victoria & Albert. If you’re scientifically inclined, the Science Museum will provide hours of fascination.

Tate Modern

With seven floors of the world’s most innovative and essential modern art on display, the Tate Modern will keep you engaged until the clouds blow over. See famous pieces from Warhol, Dali, Rothko, and Picasso mingling amongst modern masters like Artur Zmijewski and Bill Viola. You’re sure to find something that will make you look twice.

London’s Department stores

The capital is famous for having some of the grandest department stores in the world. Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, and Liberty can all provide you with hours of retail therapy. At this time of year, too, the stores are resplendent with their stunning Christmas decorations. It’s worth going just to see them.

The Horniman Museum

This fascinating little museum can whisk you away to tropical islands and baking deserts even when it’s pouring down. The Horniman Collection is an assemblage of fascinating and exotic items from all around the world crammed into a stunning Victorian building. See everything from musical instruments to anthropological artefacts and natural history, not to mention the stunning gardens.

The Sea Life Center

If you’re going to get wet, why not embrace the aquatic theme and take a trip down to the Sea Life Center. This is one of my favourite London spots and provides hours of fun with some of the most amazing under-sea wildlife exhibits in the city. You’ll get to see everything from sharks to seahorses and even get to stroke a starfish at the Rockpool experience. It’s perfect for families and great even for adults.

If you’d still like to explore the rest of the city despite the rain, take a look at our London afternoon tea experience. You’ll get to see all the essential sites from the warmth and comfort of a vintage Routemaster bus. Make sure you stay dry this autumn!