In this first part of these articles I talked about the Science Museum in South Kensington and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Both of these are great places to explore when the weather turns on you during a visit to London. In my mind, London is almost better when it's raining. Firstly you can appreciate what life is like a bit better, as those sunny summer days are not the normal at all. Secondly, you can enjoy the major tourist spots without the same number of tourists crowding these places. Now I want to talk about a few more spots that are ideal when the weather is bad!
Southbank Centre Book Market
This is one of those places that are pretty hard to find unless you know where you are looking. There are not many signs or much advertising, so you'll need to have an exact location to get to this gem. Luckily I'm going to give you it right now - if you go to Waterloo Bridge (the one next to The Savoy hotel and Somerset House and the National Theatre on the southern side), underneath the bridge on the National Theatre side (southern side of the bridge) you will find the market. It's just about under cover, and so whether it's a beautiful sunny London morning, or a rainy afternoon, you will find books and book enthusiasts here. There are very old (expensive) books on sale, or just books that people bought last week and then no longer want, as well as everything in between. I love browsing books, as they are things that people love and adore, so they are not just pieces of paper with words, but instead are little personal adventures, different for every person.
See a play at the National Theatre
The book market mentioned above is underneath Waterloo Bridge, and this is the location for the most important of the theatre venues in London, so why not include a play in your rainy day in London. There is around 25 new plays produced and put on every year, with giants like Macbeth playing fairly regularly, alongside new, unique and exciting theatre productions as well. It's worth checking what's on here before you visit London, in case a rainy day pushes you inside. There are serious and provocative works and you can also find comedies and more light-hearted and entertaining plays as well.
Something to warm the soul...
My final tip for enjoying London on a rainy day is a drink based one. No cold and wet day is complete without a big hot chocolate with plenty of marshmallows. Choccywoccydoodah, although difficult to pronounce, is a chocolate lover's idea of heaven, especially difficult to resist on a cold, wet day. The design is quite odd, but there really is chocolate everywhere, whether you are looking at the walls, the tables or the windows, you will be seeing chocolate and chocolate and chocolate.
Picture taken with permission - link to website below
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