Places to spend a rainy day

Prepare for a British summer's day!

There's just so much to do in capital when the weather is playing ball and the sun is shining, in fact few cities look better in the sun than London... but this isn't always the case, now is it?

Britain sure has got a reputation for a bit of drizzle - and so it's probably prudent to have some all-weather options lined up just in case the skies open during a day out in London.

We've given you a whole raft of options for bad weather activities and to suit all budgets, so if the heavens open... thank heavens for our list below.

The British Museum
Great Russell Street

AIL Says: The gargantuan British Museum requires more than a day to view all its collections, so there’s plenty to keep all the family entertained during a downpour. One of the world’s greatest attractions, it houses poignant items in the history of mankind such as Egyptian mummies, the Rosetta Stone and the controversial Elgin Marbles.

  • USERS 8/10
Tate Britain

AIL Says: These two fantastic galleries showcase contemporary and British art from 1500 to the present day respectively. All the greats are here: Dali, Picasso, Turner, Hockney and Bacon are just a few recognisable names. As well as the permanent collections (which rotate to ensure their vast catalogue is displayed) they both host temporary exhibitions.

Selfridges, Oxford Street
400 Oxford Street

AIL Says: Oxford Street’s chicest department store has an appealing mix of high end designer clobber and affordable high street clothing for men, women and children. Their shoe department is a dream (or a danger) for footwear fanatics, as it’s allegedly the world’s largest, and their mouthwatering food hall must not be missed.

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road

AIL Says: Although a lot of the Southbank Centre’s activities take place at night with concerts, plays, films and poetry readings, there’s plenty you can do during the day too. Visit the Hayward Gallery, which focuses on contemporary art, buy books at the covered riverside market or at Foyle’s, and eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants dotted around, with views of the river.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
The British Library
96 Euston Road

AIL Says: The British Library has a copy of every single publication ever printed in the UK, including the Magna Carta! Given the sheer number of items they have there are no books on shelves, so instead you need to register for a reader pass and stay in the library’s reading rooms, but it’s a lovely way to spend a few studious hours.

Dover Street Market
17-18 Dover Street Mayfair W1S 4LS
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Green Park (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: This four storey department store is the brainchild of Comme Des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo, so expect beautifully displayed high fashion which makes even a window-shopping trip worthwhile.

  • USERS 8/10
107 Charing Cross Road Covent Garden WC2H 0DT
Region: Covent Garden
Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: London’s biggest book shop (their website boasts that they have over four miles of shelves) has everything you could possibly want, with a particularly wonderful section devoted to art and oversized books.They also stock world, jazz and classical CDs, and there’s a café on the fifth floor.

  • USERS 8/10
Lee Valley Park
Old Nazeing Road, Broxbourne

AIL Says: This indoor ice skating rink in Leyton is open all year round. You can turn up to skate or join a class – there’s both group and individual tuition for all ages. There are also nearly 800 seats if you’d rather sit back and watch the action. The centre is home to the local hockey team, and participants on ITV’s Dancing On Ice often train here.

  • PARK
Alfies Antique Market
13-25 Church Street Marylebone NW8 8DT
Region: Marylebone
Nearest Station: Edgware Road (Bakerloo) (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: This indoor antiques market is the largest in the capital, with four floors of ceramics, light fittings, glassware and much more. Vintage clothing, jewellery and accessories are also sold, and the top floor café offers lunch and views over London.

  • USERS 10/10
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park 66 Knightsbridge Knightsbridge SW1X 7LA
Region: Knightsbridge
Nearest Station: Knightsbridge

AIL Says: It may look gloomy outside, but that doesn’t mean you should too! Pamper yourself at one of the city’s – make that the world’s - most luxurious spas. The facilities include relaxation rooms, a hydrotherapy pool and amethyst crystal steam rooms, which are essentially steam rooms containing chunks of amethyst which are meant to aid healing and relaxation.


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