We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can change this and find out more by following this link

What to do in London on a rainy day

Typically British weather means carrying an umbrella with you at all times. If you’ve forgotten yours, never fear – we bring you the ultimate guide on what to do in London on a rainy day, from museums and cinemas to theatre tours and cocktail masterclasses

Katie Ramsingh
City Guide
Katie Ramsingh,

Feeling creative?
If you see rain forecast for the weekend ahead, why not book a place on a Harvey Nichols Cocktail Masterclass? After a healthy breakfast and a mocktail to get you in the mood, the expert tutor will teach you how to create three themed cocktails before letting you re-create them. Your hard work will be rewarded with a two-course lunch and a Cocktail Masterclass certificate, but best of all you’ll have avoided the rain for half the day. If the weather still hasn’t cleared up by the afternoon, spend your time exploring the rest of Harvey Nichols. We especially love its beauty department and food market.


Feeling comfy?
If the mere sight of rain just makes you want to hide away, why not take a trip to the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill? With an art deco-style interior, this 100-year-old cinema has plush red velvet two-seater sofas at the rear of the space and six double beds at the front. A unique cinematic experience, it’s the perfect place to snuggle up on a damp day.


Feeling curious?
London has more than 40 West End theatre shows for you to discover on any day, not just rainy ones. However, if you fancy a theatrical activity that’s a little more adventurous, book a place on a behind-the-scenes theatre tour. The Old Vic tour, which takes 75 minutes, is our pick for a wet day. The stage door manager will take you behind the curtain and tell you everything you could want to know about the theatre’s history, from when it was opened and who has performed there to the ghosts that are said to haunt the place.


Feeling cultural?
Nearly all of the best museums in London are free, including the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, British Museum, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. Take your pick of museum depending on your interest, but we do have a soft spot for the Victoria and Albert Museum. Its café is situated in the Morris, Poynter and Gamble Rooms, which have richly decorated 19th-century interiors, making it an ideal place in which to savour a cup of tea and take some time to think about all the beautiful exhibits you have seen.


Feeling classy?
Afternoon tea is a great British tradition, and a rainy day in London is a perfect opportunity to enjoy it in a beautiful setting. One of the best afternoon teas is served at the Ritz hotel in the dramatic Palm Court room. All the classic teatime treats are on offer, including finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, and an assortment of cakes and pastries.



Travel Pack