Things to do in London

Top 5 rainy day activities in London

13:29 23 May 2012

The Tea Guild Top London Tea Award 2012 was won by the Athenaeum Hotel

The Tea Guild Top London Tea Award 2012 was won by the Athenaeum Hotel

Ian Jones

Even though the weather has improved, chances are more rainy days are not very far away.

There are two ways to combat bad weather when planning a day out.

The first is to refuse to let the rain affect your plans, and head out anyway wearing an awful looking waterproof jacket or poncho.

The second and, by far the more sensible, option is to instead make plans for an indoors day when the weather forecast is looking less than favourable.

Here, London24 gives you some ideas for rainy day activities around the capital.

Afternoon tea

That most British of traditions, afternoon tea, brings a little bit of luxury to any day. Two of the most glamorous and renowned places to enjoy a cup of tea and a cake with friends are Claridge's in Mayfair and The Ritz in Piccadilly. Officially the best place though is The Athenaeum Hotel, in Mayfair, which scooped the Tea Guild's award for Top London Afternoon Tea 2012.

Go underground

What better way to escape the rain than heading beneath the surface? One idea is to embark on a rainy day Tube tour, such as that detailed at during which you can see many of London's sights while barely getting a drop of water on you. Or you could visit an underground attraction such as Chislehurst Caves, a fascinating labyrinth of man-made tunnels.

Shops and stalls

It's possible to spend hours out of the rain wandering around the capital's iconic department stores such as Harrods, Selfridges or Fortnum and Mason.

Mega-malls such as Westfield at White City or Stratford offer shopping and lots of other activities under one roof.

Some of the capital's best markets are under cover too Borough and Covent Garden, for example.

Take a tour

Become a tourist in your own city and take a trip to see the best sights.

Bus tours provide a great way to explore the capital, and don't have to be open-topped if the weather is bad.

Alternatively, make the most of taxi drivers' extensive knowledge by getting a group of friends together and taking a guided black cab tour.

You can also get fantastic views during a Thames cruise. Many leisure trips are available, while the speediest option is London RIB Voyages' speedboats which zip through London at up to 35 knots.

Enjoy a show

Whether it's the provincial theatres or the world-famous venues in the West End, the capital offers vast choice and variety of entertainment.

Taking in a show does not have to cost a fortune - deals and discounts are available, especially if you can attend earlier in the day.

The same applies to movies. Local cinemas are worth checking out on a rain day. Use London24's app to see what's showing.

LONDON IN AN APP! Whether you're planning to visit the MCM London Comic Con or anywhere else in London, the fantastic FREE MyCityWayLondon24 app for iPhone can help you during a day out.

The app contains more than 30 really useful mini-apps which can help with everything from finding somewhere to grab a coffee or lunch to checking the latest travel information and locating free places to visit.

The app is the ultimate mobile city guide, the essential tool to have in your pocket whenever you're out and about in London.

For more information and to download MyCityWayLondon24, search the Apple iTunes App Store for 'London24' or go to

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