9 London Activities For A Rainy Day
A mini rainforest with a roof, this is an ideal place to hole up on a grey day. Home to more than 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees, it’s a relaxing space that’s open on selected Sundays from noon to 5pm. There’s also the Barbican Centre just below it – for a film, concert or exhibition – and the cosy Jugged Hare pub just around the corner.
Silk Street, Barbican, EC2Y 8DS
The Electric Cinema
There’s something rather romantic about an afternoon tucked up in the cinema, while the rain pours down outside. For a luxe experience, you can’t beat The Electric Cinema on Portobello Road. Sink into one of the red-velvet armchairs, sofas or even double beds, pull up your cashmere blanket and revel in a retro experience as you watch one of the latest films. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to local restaurants and, if there’s a break in the rain, Golborne Road’s excellent vintage shops are a stone’s throw away.
191 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 2ED
Drink Shop & Do
Get crafty while enjoying cocktails at the charming Drink Shop & Do in King’s Cross. This quirky café-bar has a packed schedule of events and classes you can book for an alternative afternoon out of the rain. Modern calligraphy, tie-dye workshops and boozy soap-making are among its many options for organised fun.
9 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, N1 9DX
The Wallace Collection
Tucked behind the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, this 18th-century townhouse contains an impressive selection of paintings, sculpture, furniture, and porcelain – all shown against a backdrop of beautiful original interiors. Wander the free museum before popping for coffee and cake at one of Marylebone High Street’s many cafes.
Manchester Square, Marylebone, W1U 3BN
An afternoon spent sloth-like at the spa is the perfect antidote to heavy skies. For an affordable option, Spa Experience, an offshoot of the Better Gym group, offers Thermal Spa Experience packages from just £16 at facilities in Bethnal Green, Kensington, Old Street, Swiss Cottage, Waltham Forest and Wimbledon. Relax in a sauna, steam room or hammam – or just take some time in a fluffy robe to forget about the rain and the real world.
Peter Harrison Planetarium
Travel the universe without leaving your seat at London’s only Planetarium. Experience the wonders of the night sky, with expert commentary from real astronomers at one of the many shows. While you’re there, you could also pay a visit to the Royal Observatory, a fascinating museum and the home of Greenwich Mean Time.
Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich, SE10 8XJ
Beefeater Gin Distillery Tour
Learn the history behind your favourite tipple with an interactive tour of the Beefeater Gin Distillery. Understand the science behind Beefeater’s hand-crafted production process, discover its key ingredients and, of course, get involved with some complimentary tasting.
20 Montford Pl, Kennington, SE11 5DE
Pasta Masterclass With Simone Remoli
Learn from the best at a homemade pasta-making masterclass from Italian chef Simone Remoli. On Saturday mornings at his Ealing Broadway restaurant, you will be shown how to use seasonal ingredients to make tagliatelle and penne with Roman sauces as well as ravioli and tortellini. After the £75pp class, sit down and enjoy lunch and wine in the restaurant.
Longfield Avenue, Ealing Broadway, W5 2TD
Swingers Crazy Golf
With indoor crazy golf, street food and drinks, Swingers makes for an excellent rainy-day afternoon. Grab a group of friends and head to its City or West End venues. After a game of crazy golf like no other, take a break to enjoy the likes of Pizza Pilgrims, Breddos Tacos and Patty & Bun, as well as cocktails, craft beer and more.
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