Things To Do On A Rainy Day in London

an underground sign in london

So you’ve planned a lovely family day out in Central London but you’ve opened the curtains and it’s raining cats and dogs! Trust the British weather to have your back… ANYHOO you can still have an epic day out despite the miserable weather. Don’t believe us? Follow along for our top picks of Things To Do On A Rainy Day In London…

We’ll cover everything from beautiful museums (all FREE entry), brand NEW shopping centres like Battersea Power Station, immersive experiences, board game cafés, kids’ afternoon teas and so much more!

Enter a new realm at Outnernet London

the Spaces In-Between exhibition
Take cover in the mind-blowing Outneret exhibition. Not only is this attraction free, but it is also unforgettable. Best combo right?

This immersive experience is the largest digital exhibition space in Europe with the world’s largest LED screen deployment. Bringing art and culture to the public for free, the Outernet is a great place to stop by if you are visiting London.

It’s not so much of a day out but more a unique experience to check out while you weave through the city to dodge the rain.

One of its recent exhibitions is The Spaces In-Between which is an interactive digital artwork created by visual light artist, Rupert Newman. You can find out all about this in our article, The Spaces In-Between Exhibition.

Another recent mind-mashing event is the Summer Palace immersive journey and the Room To Breathe mindfulness experience. You can also enjoy live music sets and comedy performances on the big screen! You can stand or sit on benches inside of the building.

Shape Location Get directions

Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 8LH

Opening Times

Open 24 hours a day

Pricing

Free

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Shop, dine & play at Battersea Power Station

battersea power station lit up in colourful lights at night time
NOW OPEN, Battersea Power Station offers an eclectic array of shops, restaurants, bars, playgrounds, and attractions! Dine out in Gordon Ramsay’s Bottomless Pizza restaurant, Street Pizza or watch a new flick in one of the cinemas.

Put your way to victory at London’s coolest crazy golf venue, Birdies. Take a ride up Lift 109 – London’s most unique glass elevator that offers 360-degree views of London from 109 metres up. It was made out of an old power station chimney!

Or, travel to fantasy worlds where rain doesn’t exist at DNA VR Battersea! Fight zombies, battle against dragons or become a synth ryder. There are up to 50 games to choose from! DNA VR Battersea is the flagship virtual reality arcade, so you’ll be in the best hands. This epic free-roaming experience is seriously unmissable so make sure you check it out!

Enjoy vegan food restaurants like Clean Kitchen or dabble in French and Japanese delights at Kova Patisserie. Adults will love grabbing a cocktail from Control Room B – a cocktail bar set in the power station’s original control room! There is also a Ping-Pong bar opening in 2023 so keep your eyes peeled for updates!

There are multiple cinemas under the arches too and heaps of retail shops where you can find all your favourite brands from affordable to upscale! So if you are a family looking for somewhere to spend the whole day while it rains then Battersea Power Station will offer you more than enough things to do … and eat!

Shape Location Get directions

Circus Rd W, Nine Elms, London SW11 8AL

Opening Times

Monday - Thursday 10am - 8pm
Friday & Saturday 10am - 9pm
Sunday 12pm - 9pm

Pricing

No entry fee

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Go for an Afternoon Tea Experience!

Paddington Afternoon Tea Bus
Live like the high society for an afternoon in London! Sip on fine china, eat multi-coloured macaroons, and try irresistible finger sandwiches while nattering away.

It’s no shock that London offers some of the finest establishments to eat and drink at and you can indulge at so many hotels, restaurants and cafes. Whether it’s a Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea or a scrumptious serving of baked pig in the Peter Pan Afternoon Tea in The Shard, there are so many exquisite places to dine while the rain pours.

Why stay in one place while you sip the day away? Hop aboard Bridget’s Bakery Bus Tours and treat your tastebuds to many themed afternoon tea experiences while visiting all of London’s most famous landmarks. Kids will also get to sing along to their favourite songs while tapping away on interactive tablets built into their tables!  The Peppa Pig Afternoon Tea Bus Tour is a common favourite as well as Paddington.

You can find all of our top recommendations for kid-friendly afternoon tea experiences in our article Kids Afternoon Tea London

Uncover fossils, flowers & more at the Natural History Museum

whale skeleton at natural history museum
If you are looking for a spectacular day out on a budget in which you will also escape wet weather then the Natural History Museum is the place to visit…

Uncover thousands of years of history and over 80 million amazing plants, animals, fossils, rocks and minerals. Marvel at Hope, the enormous Blue Whale skeleton – she’s been on display for 127 years! Say hey to the other star resident, the animatronic dinosaur, Dippy.

If you don’t mind getting drizzled on then venture out into the Wildlife Garden where a wide range of British flora and fauna thrive – 3,300 to be exact!

There are so many FREE Museums in the capital that you can explore during a rainy afternoon in London. You can find all of the best free science museums, art museums, and history museums in our fun article, Free Museums in London!

Shape Location Get directions

Cromwell Road,
Kensington,
Greater London,
SW7 5BD,
England

Opening Times

Monday to Sunday 10:00 - 17:50
Closed 24th - 26th December

Pricing

Free entry

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Explore the Barbican Conservatory

barbican conservatory london
CALLING ALL GREEN-FINGERED FOLK!

One of the most magical indoor activities on our list is a day trip to London’s very own, FREE, indoor rainforest!

The Barbican Conservatory is home to hundreds of tropical plants, cacti and flowers all nestled on the third floor of the building!

If you and your family have green thumbs and love all things hidden and naturalist – you’ll appreciate this mystical secret garden.

Shape Location Get directions

Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS

Opening Times

he Conservatory is open on selected days every week, from 12pm.

Pricing

Free entry

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Experiment with flavours at Borough Market

borough market
Do you love food – it’s a serious question right?! Well, Borough Market has hundreds of food vendors cooking up sweet and savoury dishes from all over the globe…

Foodies, this really is THE food market to visit when in London. From mouth-watering doughnuts and warm, crusty bread to spicey Buddha Bowls and crispy chicken – it’s got it all!

It’s free to explore and you can even spend an hour or two just sampling the different foods. BUT if you’ve found your perfect flavour combo and you want to commit to a full meal you will have to pay for it.

Shape Location Get directions

8 Southwark Street. London. SE1 1TL

Opening Times

Monday, Closed
Tuesday - Friday 10 am - 5 pm
Saturday, 9 am–5 pm
Sunday, 10 am –4 pm

Pricing

Free entry

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Get endless thrills at Babylon Park

inside of babylon park with roller coasters
This space-themed indoor amusement park is full of out-of-this-world adventure, fun rides, and super cool special effects making it a fantastic family day out!

Take a trip to space on a VR simulator or feel as if you are bursting through the atmosphere on the cool indoor rollercoasters like the Babylon Park Rollercoaster. There are bumper cars, Saturn Ring Toss and so many more super-fun family fairground activities.

You’ll find this space adventure near Camden Market in London! With only a short hop away (2 minute’s walk), you can indulge in some delicious food at the market and head to Babylon Park for some outer-space fun!

Shape Location Get directions

8 Castlehaven Road, London, NW1 8QU

Opening Times

Monday - Friday, 11 am – 10 pm
Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–10 pm

Pricing

Free entry

You control how much you want to spend on games, rides and food.

Arcade & rides range from £1 - £6

£1 will give you about 10 Game Coins, depending on the pack you selected. The bigger pack the better the value you will get.

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Go to a gaming cafe!

dog on woman's lap in Tanuki Gaming cafe
Shelter from the bad weather in one of many gaming cafes! Play as many board games as possible from checkers to draughts, snakes and ladders and more!

We recommend trying out the Ludoquist in Croydon, The Library Pot in Richmond, and Tanuki Gaming in Deptford!

Check out West India Quay in Canary Wharf

pizza pilgrims west india quay
There are plenty of restaurants to try out at the Canary Wharf and hey, when the sun comes why not try one of the unique Skuna Hot Tub experiences – it’s perfect for the Summer!

But for now, let’s stick to experiences that turn those drizzly frowns upside down! Feed your family and get great value for money at the Wetherspoon. Enjoy a lip-smacking meal at Lobster & Burger. In the mood for a taste of Italy? Head over to the ‘pizza playground’ that is Pizza Pilgrims!

The leisure quarter is home to a variety of activity, dining and lifestyle brands, from well-known national brands to local businesses and independents. Check out leading attractions from Cineworld, to Skuna Hot Tub experiences and BBQ Boats, and the Museum of London Docklands. 

Shape Location Get directions

Hertsmere Rd, London E14 4AE

Opening Times

Check individual restaurant & shop opening times online.

Pricing

Free entry

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Soak up the views from the Sky Garden

picture of sky garden with the view of the skyline and plants around the tables
After a rainy day activity that involves panoramic views of the city? Head over to the highest public garden in the capital, the Sky Garden! The Sky Garden is free entry which is an added bonus! It’s the perfect place to take shelter while the gloomy British weather booms through the city.
Shape Location Get directions

1, Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF

Opening Times

Monday, 10 am–11 pm

Tuesday - Thursday, 8 am–11 pm

Friday & Saturday, 8 am - 12 am

Sunday, 8 am–11 pm

Pricing

FREE (tickets are released one week in advance from 10:00 on Thursdays)

Find out more

Fine dining at The Shard

View from the Aqua Shard
Dine almost 1,020 feet in the sky in one of London’s most elegant skyscrapers!

There are plenty of brasseries and restaurants to choose from in The Shard. Try Hutong or TĪNG, the Aqua Shard or Oblix! Just make sure you are dressed appropriately as some restaurants require a dress code…

To find out more about these restaurants, check out our London’s Best Restaurants With A View article.

Shape Location Get directions

32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG

Opening Times

Thursday – Saturday: 10 am to 10 pm (access until 8:30 pm).
Sunday – Wednesday: 10 am to 7 pm (access until 5:30 pm).
Closed on 25 December.

Pricing

FREE entry but make sure to book your reservations and dress appropriately.

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Play with your senses at TWIST Museum

girl covering boys eyes next to a light installation at twist museum london
Developed by artists, neuroscientists, and philosophers, the Twist Museum offers many immersive moments and excellent photo opportunities.

Enter a room where all colours disappear or stare at a photograph of strawberries and guess their colour – you won’t believe what the answer is… Head into a black-and-white room where you can grow into a giant on one side of the room and then shrink down to the size of a fairy in seconds as you run to the other side! There are also immersive light tunnels, sound experiments, and so much more.

Twist Museum London is located near Cavendish Square Gardens and it is on the same road as the John Lewis Cafe Bar.

This is without a doubt, the wackiest in our list of Things To Do On A Rainy Day in  London.

Shape Location Get directions

248 Oxford St, London W1C 1DH

Opening Times

Monday - Thursday: 11.00am - 8.00pm (last entry 7.00pm)
Friday & Saturday: 11.00am - 9.00pm (last entry 8.00pm)
Sunday: 10.00am - 7.30pm (last entry 6.30pm)

Pricing

Prices vary Between £19.50 - £23.50

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Mooch around Covent Garden Market

Apple Market at Christmas time in Covent Garden
Escape the rain and shop til you drop at this beautiful indoor market!

Covent Garden is made up of two markets: the Apple Market and the Jubilee Market. The Apple Market is the permanent Market at Covent Garden that happens seven days a week. The Jubilee Market takes place in Jubilee Hall at the Southside of the Covent Garden piazza.

Grab a prosecco from beneath its arches while you watch one-man circus performances or puppet shows. Load up on skincare from The Ordinary or Glossier. Get a new gadget from the Apple Shop or find your new scent from Channel. You can find everything from high-end luxurious to affordable luxuries and independent businesses in Covent Garden’s square.

Shape Location Get directions

Regal House, 14 James St, London WC2E 8BU

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From a bit of retail therapy in a restored factory to optical illusion museums, sky-high gardens with incredible views & more, we hope you’ve found the perfect activity for a rainy day.

There are so many other magical London attractions you can visit during bad spells of weather like Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour, London Dungeon, Westfield London, Tate Modern and Greenwich Market!

If you enjoyed our article, Things To Do On A Rainy Day London, then why not gather even more inspo and check out some of our most recent articles? Here are a few we think you’ll love: Rollerskating in London, Monopoly Lifesized, Best Indoor Water Parks In London, 10 Best Steam Train Railways In London, 10 Best Free Days Out In London and our top recommended free days out!

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