I lived in London for over five years, which means that I’ve survived about 532 days of rain during that time and obviously, being a little Dora The Explorer, I had to find exciting things to do in the British capital even when it was raining cats and dogs. There is one thing that you need to learn fast when you move there: never venture out without your Oyster Card and your umbrella. Armed with these two things, you can go anywhere and London will be your perfect oyster of adventures, experiences and discoveries.
Let it rain or let it shine – London is still magical.
15 exciting things to do in London when it’s raining
Books, bookstores and libraries
London doesn’t only offer an endless number of bookstores chains and libraries, but also a huge amount of tiny independent bookshops. I made a personal project of visiting them all and here are my favourites:
1. Daunts Books
An original Edwardian bookshop with a long oak gallery and a huge amount of natural light that shines on an incredible collection of travel and adventures books. There is no better place to satisfy your wanderlust.
Address: 83 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QW
When I grow up I wanna work in a book shop... ? . For now, I found my new favourite bookshop in #London, all dedicated to #travels and the #world... ?? planning to go back this weekend and come home with at least 20 new books... ????? my true & only eternal love... ? . #thelondonbrunchclub_caravan
A post shared by s a b r i n a ANDREA s a c h s (@the_storyteller) on Feb 18, 2015 at 12:11pm PST
With one of the largest book collections in the world, the British Library is the right place to turn into a real bookworm on literary treasures like the Magna Carta and original Beatles tunes, but also a great place to work or study.
Address: 96 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2DB, UK
George Eliot was the pen name of the novelist Mary Ann Evans, born #onthisday in 1819. This page is from the manuscript for her first full-length novel Adam Bede which tells of carpenter Adam’s love for dairy maid, Hetty Sorrel, and her seduction by the young squire-to-be, Arthur. The subject of a woman’s virtue was a common topic for 19th-century novelists, but Eliot’s decision to centre the novel on a female Methodist preacher, Dinah Morris, sets Adam Bede apart from other literary works of the time. #georgeeliot #adambede
A post shared by British Library (@britishlibrary) on Nov 22, 2016 at 5:13am PST
Art, history and quirky stuff
Most of London’s art galleries and museum are free to explore which makes it the perfect place for a free, wet afternoon. You can head to the most popular like the National Gallery, National Portrait Galleryand ** National History Museum, but you can also opt for the less-known, here are my favourites:**
What is the Great Fire and what really happened in 1666? How old is the tube system and how far does it go? A visit to the Museum of London is a mandatory stop whether you recently moved to the British capital or if you are just visiting the city for a weekend.
Address: 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN, UK
After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, today is #GivingTuesday – the annual day to do good stuff for charity.Thank you to all our supporters, volunteers and visitors for making our work possible throughout the year – take a look at our infographic to find out how you help us make a difference. How are you going to celebrate #GivingTuesday?
A post shared by Museum of London (@museumoflondon) on Nov 29, 2016 at 4:01am PST
Another secret architectural gem that most tourists (luckily) don’t know about. Enjoy a wet afternoon strolling around the upper-level gallery, where some beautiful Caravaggios are stored, but also make sure to check the most beautiful spiral staircases in London, the famous Tulip Staircase.
Address: Romney Rd, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF, UK
The stunning Tulip Staircase at the Queen's House, Greenwich, London. . Exploring London area by area is my plan in the next few weeks. I'm so excited to finally have the time to dedicate to all the things that have populated my to-see list for ages. I've been living here for over five years, but I still feel a tourist sometimes and in certain areas.. Here we go, starting from here, come with me for my #see_my_london2015 . Have a lovely Easter peeps! ? #livemoredomorebemore Also for @toasttravels #toastwhiteonwhite competition. ⬜️◻️ And a great place for #TownHallCrier selection [04/04/15] #mytinyatlas
A post shared by s a b r i n a ANDREA s a c h s (@the_storyteller) on Apr 4, 2015 at 3:22pm PDT
Hidden away behind the chaotic Oxford Street, the Photographers Gallery was the first gallery in the world completely dedicated to photography. There is an annual program of solo and group exhibitions, that includes up and coming as well as established international photographers.
Address: 16–18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW
A post shared by The Photographers' Gallery (@thephotographersgallery) on Dec 6, 2016 at 6:04am PST
6. White Cube
Here is where influential British artists including Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Gilbert and George had their successful kick start. The initial idea was to create an intimate (and totally white) space where an artist could present a single body of work in all its majesty. I have been there many times and I can tell you that they successfully managed to accomplish their goal.
Address: White Cube Bermondsey, 144 – 152 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3TQ and White Cube Mason’s Yard, 25 – 26 Mason’s Yard, London, SW1Y 6BU
With its 25 galleries and impressive eighteenth-century French paintings, including works by Rubens and Rembrandt, this is probably my favourite gallery in London.
Another great day out #exploringLondon with a bunch of new and old friends for episode number 3 of #ladiesofleisureandluckyFemi at the @WallaceCollection. I was truly in awe of all the treasures, paintings and sculptures of this beautiful and less-known museum in #Marylebone. I can't believe it was my first time there! ? . Thank you to @femsta @rachcatjones @amypat @natal13d @rudinetto @maisofala and @doherty_steph for a great day out! ? See you soon ?? . #see_my_london #see_my_london2015 #thisisLondon #bbcBritain
A post shared by s a b r i n a ANDREA s a c h s (@the_storyteller) on Jun 2, 2015 at 12:22pm PDT
This gorgeous venue in Hackney not only offers a yummy menu of snacks and drinks, but it’s also London’s first board game café. Draughts holds a huge library of games – 600 and counting – so forget about Monopoly and try something new while outside is pissing down.
Address: 337 Acton Mews, Hackney, London, E8 4EA
Visit a traditional market
If you like markets, London is the place to be. Whatever you are looking for, you will be sure to find it in one of the markets below:
This is the finest example of a Victorian covered market where 120 stalls of antiques and collectibles, craft and design gather here every day (except on Monday).
Address: 5b Greenwich Market, London SE10 9HZ, UK
Any Harry Potter fans? Here is where Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was filmed. The entrance to wizard’s pub, the Leaky Cauldron, is in real life an optician in Bull’s Head Passage. Outside Harry Potter’s tales, Leadenhall Market is a unique and up-market destination right in the middle of the City of London.
Address: Gracechurch St, London EC3V 1LT, UK
The ever popular and evergreen Covent Garden market remains one of the favourite spot for a wander on a rainy morning, where you can enjoy some violin live music while grabbing one of the best paellas in London.
Address: Covent Garden
12. Borough Market
This is the best place to get caught in the rain – especially if you’re hungry. This traditional food market was established 1002 years ago and is still going strong thanks to the fresh produce that local farmers bring to it every week.
Address: 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, UK
13. What about a matinee?
Most people think that musicals and plays are things for the evening, but what about a show in the middle of the afternoon? Most shows start at 2.30pm to 3pm and finish between 5pm and 6pm which gives you plenty of time for a fun night out.
Discover the latest theatre deals here.
14. Have a cuppa!
What is a day without a cup of tea? Make the most of a wet day to take in the most original and long-standing British tradition. There are plenty of options to choose from, but my favourite is at Sketch's pink venue. Maybe not the most traditional settings, but surely the most intriguing one.
Address: 9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG, UK
15. Music, music and more music
London has been a music heaven since or even before The Beatles, Adele and David Bowie eras, so what about investing a rainy day scouting for old and new records and vinyl? My top ones are Flashback on Essex Road, Rough Trade just off Brick Lane and the various music stalls at Camden Lock market.
What are your favorite things to do in London when it’s raining?
Tag your photos with #spotyourlife and let us know!
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