6 Things To Do on a Rainy Day in London


Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t always rain in London. However, when it does, there’s still plenty to do indoors.

The British Library. Photo by stevecadman, licensed under CC2.0.

1. Embrace your inner bookworm

Head to the The British Library and its free exhibition of the world’s rarest, oldest books. Peer over Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, Virginia Woolf’s manuscripts, or the first collection of Shakespeare’s plays. Then head to the London Review Bookshop next door for more browsing among its 20,000 titles, or you could visit the royally-endorsed Hatchards bookshop in Piccadilly, the oldest in the UK. Satisfy your wanderlust at the popular Edwardian Daunt Books in Marylebone, which specializes in travel books.

Leadenhall Market. Photo by Nicolas Lysandro from Unsplash.

2. See neon art in a Victorian covered market

For Harry Potter fans, the ornate Leadenhall Market is a must-visit, as it was used as the location of Diagon Alley in the films. While you won’t be able to buy a wand, you can buy cigars, watches, french pastries, luxury perfume, or stationery. Also, it’s worth going to look around God's Own Junkyard for neon art if you don’t have time to visit the original Walthamstow site.

The British Museum. Photo by Nicolas Lysandrou from Unsplash.

3. Explore the British Museum

A rainy day is the ideal time to explore The British Museum and its collection of objects from across six continents spanning two million years. From an Easter Island statue to the Rosetta Stone, there are over eight million objects to discover.

Barbican Centre. Photo by damo1977, licensed under CC2.0.

4. Visit an indoor rainforest and discover London’s history

The ‘60s brutalist architecture of the Barbican Centre hides one of London’s unusual sights—an indoor rainforest in its conservatory. Museum of London is nearby and maps a fascinating and interactive trail through events that have shaped the capital, from the Great Fire of London to Black history.

Brunel Museum. Photo by Bryan Jones, licensed under CC2.5.

5. Go underground in the first tunnel under the Thames

Having revolutionized ship and bridge designs in the 19th century, Isambard Kingdom Brunel was one of the greatest British engineers. Visit the small Brunel Museum to find out about the trials and tribulations he and his team of hundreds of men faced digging the first tunnel under the Thames; you can even go into the tunnel mouth. Then settle in for a drink or two at The Mayflower Pub nearby.

Leake Street Tunnel. Photo by joearchiaro, licensed under CC2.0.

6. Beat boredom with board games and street art

Next to Waterloo Station, you’ll find Lower Marsh , a street full of independent London shops and cafes. On a rainy day, head down Leake Street , an underground tunnel that goes under the station. It’s covered from ceiling to floor in street art, with new works being sprayed on every day. You’ll also find Draughts (Waterloo) , a board game cafe that has 800 unique games to choose from. Staff are on hand to recommend games depending on your ability, time to play, and interest.