Autumn has arrived in true style. We’re sure we’re not the only ones to have already reluctantly pulled out our scarves from the back of the wardrobe. We do love you London but we don’t want your cooler weather to rain on our parade! Whether you enjoy finding a cosy spot to grab a drink and a film, or you’d rather find an energetic activity indoors, it’s time to check out some of the great places you can retreat to in the capital when it’s raining!
Imperial War Museum
Lambeth Road, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6HZ
Our first thought when we feel that rain beginning to fall is to head for cover in one of London’s many iconic museums. The Imperial War Museum is a brilliant option for all, with exhibitions spanning wartime history across the globe. Their coverage of Britain and London’s own feats in WWI and WWII, as well as in modern day combats, is particularly renowned and worth seeing. With new exhibitions opening in October and November this year, you can shelter from the rain here every month of autumn and expect something new to cast your eyes on each time. The important part: it’s free.
337 Acton Mews, Hackney, E8 4EA
This little gem might be our favourite find as it has everything you could ever need on a rainy day: beer, coffee, comfort food and board games! Open beneath a railway arch in the heart of Hackney, Draughts is the result of a Kickstarter campaign to spread the joy of board gaming – and, we’re fans. It’s just under a year old and is home to a full library of games. And when we say library we mean it, it has more than 500 board games stocked ready for you to play! It’s definitely worth stumbling in here with your friends on a rainy day and getting into a good game of Monopoly for the afternoon.
Image: Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace Indoor Ice Rink
Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY
If you didn’t already know that London has a public indoor ice rink that’s open all year round, you do now! Alexandra Palace is home to a full scale ice rink where all the family can have a whole lot of fun without having to worry about the weather. Sessions are ongoing throughout the week and at weekends, so whenever that rain decides to fall, there’s always the option to head up to the stunning Alexandra Palace and get your skates on. You can check online for opening times and prices, but it’s well worth the trip on a rainy day in autumn – before the sudden festive influx of visitors take over the rink!
Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Leadmill Lane, E20 3AD
Get sporty – indoors! Four indoor tennis courts await you at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, meaning you can continue to stay active even when the bad weather hits. It’s definitely worth grabbing your kids, grabbing your mates, or even your parents and dragging them down to the courts to play a game of tennis together. You don’t need to be semi-pro, you just need to be up for the fun! Racket and tennis ball hire comes in at under £10 in total, so it’s a great, local activity that won’t break the bank on a rainy day.
Image: The Soob Productions
Salway Road, Stratford, E15 1BX
Our natural reaction to rain is to curl up with a film, so we couldn’t leave out that option! Right in the centre of Stratford, this intimate cinema is super easy to dive into as soon as that first drop of rain hits. Stratford Picturehouse is the perfect place to escape the outdoors and get sucked into the latest releases, as well as some brilliant indie films, classics and documentaries. Whatever your usual viewing choice, you’ll find a screening to please you at the Picturehouse. Their cosy bar and café will keep you well-fuelled during your visit too.
Do you have any other great ways to spend a rainy day in London? Let us know in the comments below.