Things to Do in London When it Rains (Popular Indoor Activities)

February 1, 2017 6:22 pm

If you’re planning on spending any time in London, you’re bound to run into some rain.

England is notorious for being rainy even in the brightest days of summer, so it’s only wise to plan for some less than ideal weather during your vacation.

Looking for some indoors activities to enjoy while avoiding the London rain (and yes, the iconic London fog)?

Check out our list of suggested things to do in London when it rains that will make your vacation just as exciting and delightful as you could imagine.

Looking for some fun things to do indoors?

Admission to many of the below activities is available on the London Explorer Pass®.

Choose as you go from a number of fun attractions and save up to 35% off combined admission vs. paying at the gate.

See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.

A few of the available activities include…

  • The Coca-Cola London Eye
  • The London Dungeon
  • Madame Tussauds London
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • And more!

Coca-Cola London Eye

Although your view admittedly won’t be ideal during bad weather, it’s a nice change of pace to see the city from above when the fog’s rolled in and raindrops decorate the glass.

A trip to the top of the Coca-Cola London Eye is still a totally enjoyable experience in the rain, with the fun of being up high combined with the excitement of pointing out major city landmarks like Big Ben.

Plus, it will make for some unique photo opportunities that you won’t get elsewhere!

Getting In: Admission to the Coca-Cola London Eye is available with the London Explorer Pass®.

Madame Tussauds London

If you want to visit the place where the international phenomenon of wax replicas began, then you’ll need to stop by Madame Tussauds London. This venue is where the original Madame T herself pioneered her innovative waxworks techniques that allowed her and her fellow artisans to create lifelike duplicates of famous Londoners.

Of course, now this is a global artistic movement, with Madame Tussauds installations located throughout the world, and with figures as diverse as the Queen of England and Lady Gaga being represented in wax.

A visit here is also the closest you’re likely to get to the Royal Family, so don’t miss out on your opportunity to snap a photo with your favorite Brit celebrity.

Getting In: Admission to Madame Tussauds London is available with the London Explorer Pass®.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St Pauls Cathedral London

Another great option for bad weather is a journey inside one of the city’s most iconic religious structures – the historic St. Paul’s Cathedral. One of the most recognizable exteriors in all of London, St. Paul’s also boasts one of the most beautiful and elaborate interiors.

You have the option to explore on your own, or take a guided tour (we recommend the latter, because a tour can give you access to areas of the Cathedral you can’t go to without a guide).

Some areas to keep an eye out for include the tombs and memorials of famous British figures like Lord Admiral Nelson in the Cathedral crypt, the three iconic galleries, and the striking Geometric Staircase.

Getting In: Admission to St. Paul’s Cathedral is available with the London Explorer Pass®.

There are also a number of other historic churches in London that are worth exploring, like St. Dunstan’s and Southwark Cathedral, which are separately ticketed and are not included with the London Explorer Pass®.

SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Things to do in London in the Summer

This is one for the animal lovers in your party. Whether you’re traveling with little ones, or your group is all adults, any fan of marine life will want to save some time to explore this fascinating and diverse aquarium.

The SEA LIFE London Aquarium houses a wide variety of ocean critters and plants, with several distinct zones like Atlantic Depths, Pacific Wreck, Thames Walk, and many many more.

You’ll even get to roam through creature-specific areas, including Ray Lagoon, Shark Walk, and the charming Nemo’s Kingdom.

Getting In: Admission to the SEA LIFE London Aquarium is available with the London Explorer Pass®.

The London Dungeon

London dungeon with London Explorer Pass

Those of you looking for an indoor attraction that combines both scary and funny elements, then a visit to the London Dungeon is right for you.

It’s a delightful attraction that showcases the worst and shadiest of London history in a totally enjoyable way.

Embark on some spooky but thoroughly entertaining rides, take in several live shows performed by elaborately costumed actors, and even knock back a pint in the new Victorian pub experience.

Although you should still use your judgment when deciding if it’s appropriate for little ones, kids of all ages are welcome (keeping in mind that you must be of age to enjoy an adult beverage at the pub).

Getting In: Admission to the London Dungeon is available with the London Explorer Pass®.

DreamWorks Tours: Shrek’s Adventure

DreamWorks Tours Shreks Adventure

Although it’s primarily geared towards children ages 6-12, any fan of the Shrek movie franchise will get a kick out of this charming attraction.

With ten fairytale-themed shows, recognizable sets, and entrancing storytelling, kids will find themselves transported into the world of Shrek, from his own swamp to the astonishing Mirror maze.

You’ll also get a chance to interact with and explore other DreamWorks properties, like Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon.

Getting In: Admission to Shrek’s Adventure is available with the London Explorer Pass®.

Explore London Food & Drink

The Royal Oak London

It almost goes without saying that you can’t visit London without paying a visit to one of their iconic pubs.

The art of finding the perfect pub is a difficult one to master, particularly for out-of-towners, so why not take a few recommendations from us and try out the fish and chips at places like the Royal Oak Pub or the Rising Sun Pub?

If you prefer to venture out and explore on your own, be sure to look up reviews of the venues online before you go, as many places can seem authentic but are really just tourist traps. Yelp.co.uk is a good option, as is TripAdviser.

Getting In: The London Explorer Pass® offers the option to enjoy meals at the Royal Oak Pub or the Rising Sun Pub.

Those looking for more Americanized fare may prefer Planet Hollywood, also available with the London Explorer Pass®.

Visit Museums

British Museum London

There are more museums in London than you can shake a stick at, so if you’re at all culturally inclined, one of your indoor options should definitely be a museum.

Whether you’re interested in art (try the Tate Britain or the Tate Modern), history (the British Museum), or the natural world (the Science Museum), there’s something to appeal to all tastes.

Plus, with the heritage and history of the British Empire, you can be sure that they’ve got some of the best collections of artifacts and artwork in the entire world at their many prestigious institutions.

There are also several kid-friendly museums, like the Natural History Museum and the London Transport Museum. Best part? Many of these options charge no admission!

Getting In: Admission to many local museums is free; other museums are separately ticketed and are not included with the London Explorer Pass®.

Tour Royal Residences

Windsor Castle

Another great set of indoor activities is the wide selection of tours that cover famous royal residences, past and present.

Visit the public spaces of famed buildings such as Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, and see the sumptuous, elegant spaces you’ve only dreamed of or seen in PBS specials before.

These behind-the-scenes tours show you the most the public can ever see of these royal dwellings, and there’s a lot of history there to explore, from historic furnishings to paintings of previous royals.

Getting In: Admission to Royal Residences like Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace are separately ticketed and are not included with the London Explorer Pass®.

The London Explorer Pass® does offer admission to the Windsor Express Day Trip, which escorts you to the region.

Quick Rainy Day Recap

So if you’re looking for some indoors activities and attractions to fill up an almost-certain rainy day in London, try some of these ideas on for size.

And remember, you can save money on many of these attractions by picking up the flexible London Explorer Pass®.

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