What to Do on a Wet Weekend in London

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Every year, London attracts record numbers of visitors. They come from all over the world to experience the city’s historical landmarks, find out where the Queen lives, and enjoy a pint of beer in a traditional English pub. It is hardly surprising that London is so popular. There are at least 25 major landmarks worth seeing, not to mention hundreds of museums, attractions, and sights to explore. Many of them, however, are less attractive when it’s raining, so with an average 22 inches of rainfall in London each year, it pays to have a ‘rainy day’ itinerary planned, just in case.

Photo by Charlene Riskz

Visit a Museum

London is not short of museums. The V&A, Natural History Museum, British Museum, Science Museum, Tate Modern, National Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London Transport Museum, and the list goes on. Most visitors head straight to the headline museums, such as the V&A or the Natural History Museum, but on a rainy day, these can be crowded and exhibits are less enjoyable.

Instead of tramping well-worn corridors around the Tate or Imperial War Museum, check out some of the lesser known gems in London’s back streets.

The Cartoon Museum in Holborn is one such gem many visitors are unaware exists. Kids and adults will love the collection of British cartoon art dating back to the 18-Century. There is also a museum library if the subject really captures your imagination. If psychology is your passion, make time for a visit to the Freud Museum in Hampstead. Sigmund Freud and his family lived there after they escaped the Nazis in 1938. The house has been transformed into a museum paying tribute to the life and work of Freud.

Book Tickets for the Theatre

London is renowned for its theatrical heritage and there are dozens of enjoyable theatre productions gracing London’s stages at any given time. Popular shows include the Lion King, Wicked, Aladdin, Mama Mia, the Book of Mormon, and Phantom of the Opera. Most shows are on twice daily, so look for last-minute tickets for an afternoon show.

Tickets for the newest and most popular shows usually sell out months in advance, but it is possible to pick up last-minute tickets through cancellations, so call the box office. Alternatively, look for a lesser known theatre show or musical outside of the West End.

Take a River Cruise

A river cruise may not seem like the most obvious choice on a wet day, but most of the larger river cruises are all undercover, so you can see the sights in comfort and remain dry. The great thing about a river cruise is that many trips include lunch or dinner, plus drinks. Instead of trudging around in the rain, you can admire London from a different vantage point and enjoy a tasty meal at the same time.

If none of the above appeals, use the opportunity to go shopping. Spend a few hours wandering around Harrods on a wet day, but try to avoid spending too much money.

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