west end theatres in london

What to do on a rainy day in London

“I’m leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it’s not raining” Groucho Marx….clearly ole Groucho hadn’t heard about…….

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Singin’ in the Rain – Palace Theatre London

Oh me Oh my!!! here you are with just 3 days in London and it’s raining!!!!

Now what?  You can’t go watch the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, no point taking the Hop-on Hop-off bus, unless you enjoy sitting in a downpour and getting soaked!  Can’t stand in the queue at The London Eye (for the same reason) and the sheltered area around Big Ben will be jam packed with other tourists determined to catch a glimpse!   What can you do when its raining in London?

Well lots really!  There are a multitude of museums, most of which are FREE to visit! For example:
The British Museum (Nearest tube: Russell Square – Piccadilly Line)

The world famous British Museum, London
instantly recognisable

Natural History Museum (nearest tube: South Kensington – District & Circle Lines)

natural history museum london
The amazing interior of the Natural History Museum

The Science Museum (nearest tube: South Kensington – District & Circle Lines)

the science museum london
The Orrery

Then there are the paid attractions you could visit:
Madame Tussauds (Baker Street – Bakerloo and Jubilee Lines)
The London Dungeon (Waterloo – Northern Line)
The Tower of London (Tower Hill – District & Circle Lines)

poppies in the moat at tower of london
Tower of London

You could also enquire about bookings for the Theatres in the West End, many have last minute special offers.west end theatres in london

Other places of interest you could visit for free:

Covent Gardens (nearest tube: Covent Garden)

covent garden london
the world-famous Covent Garden, London

The Museum of London (nearest tube: St Pauls or Barbican)  With 350 years of history, their mission is to inspire a passion for London and documents the history of London from Roman times to the present.

museum of london city of london
Exhibitions at the Museum of London – Dickens and London

The Bank of England Museum (nearest tube station: Bank) a hidden treasure down a side-road, off the Bank of England. The absolute highlight – the opportunity to lift a genuine gold bar!

bank of england museum
Bank of England Museum

St Paul’s Cathedral: enter for free on a Sunday and attend a service but no touring. (nearest tube: St Pauls – Central Line)

st pauls cathedral london
beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral, City of London

St. Dunstan’s Chapel:
Head up the main steps, and enter on the left-hand side. Inside you’ll find the queue to buy tickets but keep to the left and you can enter St. Dunstan’s Chapel for free at any time. This is open for prayers all day but is well-frequented by visitors too.
The Crypt Area:
The Churchill screen/gates divide the refectory and the crypt so can be seen for free when visiting the cafe/shop/toilets.
Attend a Service:  There are services every day in the Cathedral and all are welcome to attend.

Gresham College:  an educational institution of higher learning, has no students and does not teach courses but exists to provide free public lectures. The free public lectures have been running for over 400 years.

Free Lunchtime Recitals at St. Olave’s:  St Olave’s Church is a small medieval church. St. Olave’s is a peaceful place to listen to music, with a lively lunchtime recital series.  Samuel Pepys, London’s 17th century diarist, and his wife Elizabeth are buried here.

happy 4th july
Guildhall Art Gallery

Guildhall Art Gallery: Located in the historic heart of the City next to the medieval Guildhall, the Gallery was established in 1885 to house and display paintings and sculpture belonging to the Corporation of London. The present building was opened to the public in 1999 and admission to the Gallery is free; Open Monday – Saturday 10am-5pm & Sunday 12pm-4pm with free Friday tours of the Guildhall Art Gallery and the Roman Amphitheatre showing highlights of the Gallery’s permanent collection. The tours take place every Friday at 12.15pm, 1.15pm, 2.15pm and 3.15pm. Booking is not needed.

Roman London’s Amphitheatre:  Beneath the Guildhall Art Gallery and discovered in 1998, the site is now a protected monument.
London’s first Roman amphitheatre was built in AD70 from wood then renovated in the early 2nd century with tiled entrances and ragstone walls.  The amphitheatre was used for entertaining soldiers and the public with animal fighting and public execution of criminals, as well as religious activities.  After the Roman’s left in the 4th C the amphitheatre lay derelict for hundreds of years. In the 11th C the area was reoccupied and by the 12th C the first Guildhall was built next to it.

roman london
the Roman Amphitheatre – Guildhall

The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square (nearest tube station: Charing Cross & Leicester Square) –

the national gallery london
The foyer of the National Gallery

Artworks that look like photographs so finely are they painted, some of which are so beautiful they bring tears to your eyes, by masters we only hear about, Titian, Monet, van Dyck, Tintoretto, Canaletto, Leonardo da Vinci, van Gogh, Bellini, Vecchio, Pellegrini and so on.  How priviledged we are to be able, after centuries, to still enjoy these treasures!

The Clockmakers’ Museum: relocated now to the Science Museum was the oldest, and considered by many to be one of the finest collections of clocks, watches and sundials in the world. The exhibition will be opening Summer 2015 at the Science Museum

The Clockmakers’ Company:  Established by Royal Charter granted by King Charles 1 in 1631, ranks 61st in the order of precedence of the 108 City of London Livery Companies. The oldest surviving horological institution in the world,  it’s motto is “Tempus Rerum Imperator” Latin for “Time is the Commander of (all) things”.

Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk

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