Things to do in London when it rains

Posted December 22, 2016

There is nothing more discouraging for a traveller, than arriving to London to find it cold and raining. When the weather outside is frightful and all you have with you are the thin layers that fit in your backpack, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to brave the elements and go exploring. London is notorious for being a cold and wet city but luckily there are plenty of things to do that will keep you warm and dry and still give you the London experience.

Indoor Markets

To still get the market experience without the frostbite, seek out one of London’s equally wonderful covered or indoor markets. Spitalfields market is one of the most famous markets in London and is held in a covered square that keeps shoppers and vendors out of the weather. Come here if you’re looking to shop for clothing, art or design pieces. People come to Brick Lane to browse the bric-a-brac along the street’s edges, but it is also home to two indoor markets. The Backyard Market and the Sunday Up Market are held in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane and feature vendors selling an amazing variety of food, unique but very wearable clothing and accessories, and backyard treasures.  Other markets to consider include the Greenwich Market and the Brixton Village Night Market.

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Spitafields Market I Image via Fickr.com – David Wade

Free Museums

London’s museums offer a great retreat from less than perfect weather with their impressive buildings and warm galleries. Even if it isn’t pouring rain and sleet, the museums here are worth visiting as they hold some of the world’s best art, rare artifacts, and exhibits in history and science. Also they’re all free?

Lovers of art will have a hard time choosing where to go among the many spectacular art museums. The National Gallery gives visitors a chance to see the works of Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, Monet and Van Gogh.

Other museums that shouldn’t be missed are the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern which showcase British art and international modern and contemporary art, respectively. The Victoria and Albert Museum has a something for everyone with 3,000 years worth of artifacts ranging from ceramics, to fashion to metalwork. If science and history is your thing you’ll love the Natural History Museum with its dinosaur skeletons, the British Museum and the Imperial War museum.

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Tate Modern I Image via The Londonist

Cozy Pubs

It doesn’t get much cozier than a British pub and when you’re looking for a place to dry off and warm up, there is no better place to go. You’ll be hard pressed to find what people think of as a “traditional British pub” because every pub is different with varying atmospheres, clientele, food and drink. Pubs are plentiful though and there is always at least one nearby.

You will undoubtedly see a decent selection of wines, liquors and imported beers but there are lots of other options too. Try a pint of bitters, hoppy ale that comes in a variety of strengths and flavours and is served at room temperature. Lager is a good option for those who like lighter.

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The Churchill Arms I Image via Flickr – Jari Kurittu 

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