Rainy day in London

Rainy day in London

It is no secret that London has a lot of rainy days. Visitors should therefore be prepared with activities to do when the weather takes a dreary turn. Here are ten great activities to enjoy in London on a rainy day.

Why does it rain so much in London?

London is known for its frequent rainfall, and several factors contribute to its reputation for rainy weather.

London is in the southeast of the United Kingdom, and the weather there is affected by the North Atlantic Ocean. Most winds come from the southwest. These winds bring wet air masses, which can lead to more rain. London’s location makes it susceptible to the convergence of different weather systems. When warm and cold air masses collide, it can lead to unstable atmospheric conditions and the formation of rain-producing clouds.

Also, London has a maritime climate, which is influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Maritime environments tend to have relatively mild temperatures and higher levels of precipitation. The presence of the Gulf Stream also contributes to the moist air and rainfall.

The geography of the area affects how it rains in London. Higher land surrounds the city, like the Chiltern Hills to the northwest and the North Downs to the south. When wet air hits these high places, it is forced to rise, cool down, and condense, which makes it rain more.

Rainy day in London
Rainy day in London

Best things to do during a rainy day in London

Before you ultimately decide to return to your London hotel, consider the following activities that can be done easily during a rainy day.

Watch a movie

London has several excellent theaters. Movie fans can find everything from the latest blockbusters to art house films to screenings of classic films.

  1. BFI Southbank: Located on the South Bank of the River Thames, the BFI (British Film Institute) Southbank is a renowned cinema that showcases a diverse range of films, including classics, independent films, and international cinema. It also hosts special screenings, film festivals, and Q&A sessions with filmmakers.
  2. Curzon Soho: Situated in the heart of London’s West End, Curzon Soho is a famous cinema known for its curated selection of arthouse and independent films. It features comfortable seating, a stylish bar, and a vibrant atmosphere.
  3. Picturehouse Central: Picturehouse Central is a modern and stylish cinema in Piccadilly Circus. It offers many films, including mainstream releases, art films, and documentaries. The cinema features comfortable seating, a rooftop bar, and a spacious lounge area.
  4. Electric Cinema: Located in Notting Hill, the Electric Cinema is a unique and luxurious cinema experience. It boasts plush leather armchairs, footstools, and side tables, providing a cozy and intimate setting. The cinema also offers a bar and café for pre- or post-movie drinks and snacks.
  5. Prince Charles Cinema: Known for its eclectic programming and midnight screenings, the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square attracts film enthusiasts with its diverse selection of cult classics, themed movie nights, and sing-along screenings. It offers an affordable and lively cinema experience.

Go to the theatre

No city on Earth has better theatre offerings than London. Some of the best actors in the world ply their trade on the boards in London. Take advantage of this by seeing a matinee or evening show.

  1. The Royal National Theatre: The Royal National Theatre, commonly known as the National Theatre, is one of the most prestigious theaters in London. It showcases various productions, including classic plays, contemporary dramas, and new works. It is located on the South Bank and consists of three separate theaters: the Olivier, the Lyttelton, and the Dorfman.
  2. Shakespeare’s Globe: Located on the Bankside of the River Thames, Shakespeare’s Globe is a reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre, where William Shakespeare’s plays were performed. It offers an immersive Shakespearean experience with its open-air theater, period costumes, and traditional staging. In addition to Shakespeare’s works, the theater presents other classic plays.
  3. The West End Theatres: London’s West End is renowned for its world-class theater district, featuring numerous theaters that host various productions, including musicals, dramas, comedies, and more. Some iconic West End theaters include the London Palladium, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Her Majesty’s Theatre, and the Apollo Victoria Theatre, to name just a few.
  4. The Old Vic: The Old Vic is a historic theater near Waterloo Station. It has a rich theatrical heritage and has hosted acclaimed productions over the years. The theater showcases various plays, including classics, new works, and innovative productions. It also has a strong emphasis on community engagement and outreach programs.
  5. The Royal Court Theatre: The Royal Court Theatre is known for its commitment to new writing and innovative theater. It is located in Sloane Square and has played a significant role in shaping contemporary British drama. The theater’s programming often features thought-provoking and socially relevant plays.

Head to an indoor market

Shopping fans will love the abundance of indoor markets available in London. Shoppers will find fantastic deals on unique items at the city’s fascinating indoor markets.

  1. Borough Market: Located near London Bridge, Borough Market is one of London’s oldest and most renowned food markets. It offers a wide range of fresh produce, artisanal foods, baked goods, cheeses, and international cuisine. It’s a great place to explore and sample delicious food worldwide.
  2. Camden Market: Camden Market is a popular destination for shopping, food, and entertainment. It is a collection of markets located in Camden Town, offering a diverse range of goods, including clothing, accessories, vintage items, crafts, and unique artwork. The market also features numerous food stalls with global culinary delights.
  3. Covent Garden Market: Situated in the heart of the West End, Covent Garden Market is a bustling indoor market surrounded by shops, restaurants, and street performers. The market offers a mix of stalls selling antiques, arts and crafts, jewelry, fashion, and unique gifts. It’s a lively and vibrant place to explore.
  4. Old Spitalfields Market: Located in the trendy neighborhood of Spitalfields, this covered market is known for its eclectic mix of independent boutiques, vintage shops, and stalls selling fashion, art, crafts, and antiques. It also hosts regular food and drinks markets and themed events.
  5. Leadenhall Market: Leadenhall Market is a historic covered market in London. It features stunning Victorian architecture and has various boutique shops, restaurants, and pubs. The market specializes in fresh food, flowers, and luxury goods.

Visit the British Museum

London’s British Museum is fascinating on a rainy day. This world-renowned institution is filled with historical artifacts and cultural treasures worldwide. Take a map or a tour to navigate the museum’s enormous rooms.

British Museum interior on October 22, 2013 in London, UK
British Museum interior on October 22, 2013 in London, UK

Admire the Rosetta Stone, ancient Egyptian mummies, and Parthenon Elgin Marbles. Explore ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and more through exhibitions. The museum provides a fascinating look at human history’s varied cultures and civilizations. Appreciate each artifact’s craftsmanship, history, and story.

The museum features cafes and restaurants where you may relax, drink tea, and contemplate the fantastic exhibits. The British Museum is a fascinating and absorbing experience for art lovers, history buffs, and anyone looking for a rainy-day refuge.

Laugh at comedy clubs

There are loads of comedy clubs that visitors can enjoy on a rainy day in London. British humor is known for its wackiness, so visitors will enjoy laughing their heads off at some hilarious comedians.

  1. Comedy Store: Located in the heart of London’s West End, the Comedy Store is one of the city’s most famous and long-standing comedy clubs. It has been showcasing top-notch comedy acts since 1979 and hosts regular shows featuring a mix of established comedians and up-and-coming talent.
  2. The Comedy Store London: This comedy club is part of the Comedy Store franchise in Oxendon Street, near Piccadilly Circus. It offers a vibrant atmosphere and features a variety of comedy shows, including stand-up, improvisation, and themed nights.
  3. Up the Creek: Located in Greenwich, Up the Creek is a popular comedy club known for its lively and intimate setting. It hosts open mic nights, comedy showcases, and weekend shows with established and emerging comedians. The club has a relaxed and welcoming vibe.
  4. The Boat Show Comedy Club: As the name suggests, this comedy club is hosted on a boat, providing a unique and entertaining experience. The Boat Show Comedy Club operates on various boats along the Thames River and offers stand-up comedy shows with stunning views of London’s iconic landmarks.
  5. The 99 Club: The 99 Club has multiple venues across London, including Leicester Square, Covent Garden, and Tower Bridge. It features a carefully curated lineup of comedians, including well-known UK and international comedy circuit acts. The club offers a range of shows throughout the week.

Head to a pub

No city in the world is more famous for its pubs than London. The city has everything from workingman pubs to posh spots that attract the upper crust. Belly up to the bar and drink the rainy-day blues away.

  1. Soho: Soho, located in the West End, is known for its vibrant nightlife, including numerous pubs. Old Compton Street and surrounding areas have a range of traditional pubs and modern bars, making it a popular destination for a pub crawl or a casual drink.
  2. Covent Garden: Covent Garden, another bustling neighborhood in the West End, offers a mix of traditional pubs and trendy bars. The area around Seven Dials and the streets surrounding Covent Garden Market are mainly known for their pub offerings.
  3. Camden Town: In North London, Camden Town is famous for its alternative and vibrant atmosphere. The area around Camden High Street and Camden Lock has numerous pubs, many of which showcase live music and host events.
  4. Shoreditch: Shoreditch, in East London, is known for its trendy and hipster scene. Areas like Brick Lane, Old Street, and Hoxton Square are filled with pubs and bars catering to diverse tastes and preferences.
  5. Southbank: The Southbank area, along the River Thames, offers a variety of pubs with stunning views of iconic landmarks like the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. This area is perfect for enjoying a drink while enjoying the beautiful riverfront scenery.
  6. Notting Hill: Notting Hill, in West London, has a charming and laid-back atmosphere. The neighborhood is home to several traditional pubs, often with beautiful facades and cozy interiors.
Group of friends sitting in a pub, drinking beer at the bar counter.
Group of friends sitting in a pub, drinking beer at the bar counter.

Enjoy some fine dining

A rainy day in the city is the perfect time to enjoy a leisurely meal of several courses at one of London’s many upscale eateries or try some more rustic fare at a neighborhood pub.

  1. The Ledbury: Located in Notting Hill, The Ledbury is a two-Michelin-starred restaurant known for its refined modern European cuisine. It offers an elegant dining experience with dishes that showcase seasonal ingredients and innovative flavor combinations.
  2. Sketch: Situated in Mayfair, Sketch is a unique and visually stunning restaurant that combines art, design, and gastronomy. It features multiple dining rooms, each with its distinct style, offering a range of culinary experiences from afternoon tea to fine dining.
  3. The Clove Club: This Michelin-starred restaurant in Shoreditch offers a contemporary dining experience focusing on British ingredients and modern cooking techniques. The Clove Club’s tasting menu showcases innovative, expertly crafted, beautifully presented dishes.
  4. Core by Clare Smyth: Core is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Notting Hill led by renowned chef Clare Smyth. It serves elegant and refined cuisine with a focus on seasonal produce and expertly executed flavor combinations.
  5. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay: Located in Chelsea, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is a flagship establishment by the celebrity chef. With three Michelin stars, it offers a sophisticated and memorable dining experience featuring modern French cuisine and impeccable service.
  6. Hakkasan: Hakkasan is an upscale Chinese restaurant with locations in Mayfair and Hanway Place. It is known for its stylish and contemporary setting and its elevated Cantonese cuisine, including dim sum, seafood, and signature dishes.

Check out the bookstores

London has a fantastic array of used and new bookstores. Bibliophiles will have a field day checking all of them out.

  1. Daunt Books: Located in Marylebone, Daunt Books is a charming and iconic bookstore known for its beautiful Edwardian building and extensive selection of travel literature. It offers a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books and has a particularly strong collection of travel-related titles.
  2. Foyles: Foyles is a renowned independent bookstore with multiple locations in London, including its flagship store on Charing Cross Road. It has a vast selection of books across various genres, including fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and more. Foyles often hosts author events, book signings, and literary talks.
  3. Word on the Water: This unique floating bookstore can be found on a barge along Regent’s Canal near King’s Cross. Word on the Water specializes in second-hand books and creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere for browsing. It hosts live music and poetry readings frequently, making it a delightful destination for book lovers.
  4. Hatchards: Situated in Piccadilly, Hatchards is London’s oldest surviving bookstore, established in 1797. It offers a sophisticated and curated selection of books across various genres, including literature, history, art, and more. Hatchards has a long history of serving notable authors and holds a Royal Warrant as a supplier to the British Royal Family.
  5. Persephone Books: Persephone Books, located in Bloomsbury, specializes in publishing and selling neglected 20th-century women’s fiction. The bookstore showcases beautifully designed editions of lesser-known works by female authors, offering a unique and curated reading experience.

Try out escape rooms

London offers a range of highly recommended escape rooms that provide thrilling and immersive experiences.

  1. ClueQuest: Situated in King’s Cross, ClueQuest offers a series of high-tech escape rooms with a spy theme. Participants must complete missions and solve puzzles to prevent an evil organization’s plans. The rooms feature intricate puzzles, interactive elements, and a captivating storyline that keeps teams engaged.
  2. Enigma Quests: Enigma Quests, located in Mile End, offers a range of immersive escape room experiences. With themes like “The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” and “Sherlock: The Game Is Now,” participants can step into the worlds of famous characters and embark on thrilling adventures filled with puzzles and challenges.


On a rainy day in London, visitors can participate in a variety of entertaining activities. They can explore the city’s rich cultural past by visiting world-class museums or finding sanctuary in lovely bookstores. They might seek laughs at renowned comedy clubs or engage in the diverse culinary scene with upmarket dining experiences for entertainment. If they crave adventure, they can put their intellect and teamwork abilities to the test in exhilarating escape rooms.

Rainy days in London do not have to dampen spirits because the city provides a plethora of opportunities to engage, inspire, and create unforgettable experiences regardless of the weather.