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10 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in South Bank

September 6th, 2019 | by Tom Harrow-Smith

10 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in South Bank

Whilst you can't always rely on the weather, you can always find a way to stay out of the rain in one of South Banks fantastic attractions.

  • Galleries and Exhibitions at OXO Tower Wharf

    Did you know OXO Tower is home to a great gallery and exhibition space? With regular free events at gallery@oxo, chances are there will be something to see to while away the hours on a drab and drizzly day. gallery@oxo regularly showcases the best in photography, contemporary design and architecture - often putting thought-provoking and global issues at the core of its programme. Recent exhibitions have seen wildlife photography and art celebrating London life.

    There are also a number of fantastic independent shops in OXO Tower Wharf itself, which all in all makes it the perfect place to spend a rainy day.

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    Oxo Tower Wharf
  • IWM London

    The Imperial War Museum isn't just big guns, tanks and planes (although they are great to look at). It is also home to some excellent thought provoking exhibitions such as Culture Under Attack and fun, educational activities for children such as the recent Sporting Stories and regular Meet the Veterans events. 

    IWM London
  • Free Family Films at BFI Southbank

    Did you know that one way you can spend a rainy afternoon is at the BFI’s free family screenings? Open Tuesday to Sunday every week, sit down and relax in BFI’s amazing Mediatheque and discover all sorts of weird and wonderful titles that have been digitized from BFI’s archivesWhilst free, booking is encouraged, especially on weekends.

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    BFI Southbank
  • Draughts

    Sometimes, days when it's miserable outside just call for sitting inside with a great board game and a mug of something steaming. Fortunately you can do that right here in South Bank in the uber cool setting of Leake Street Arches at Draughts. The cafe can pride itself as London's first board game cafe and boasts a collection of 800 games and counting.

    Plus, you can choose from a mouth watering menu that includes dishes such as Korean Sticky Chicken, Mexican Quesadilla's, BBQ Jackfruit Burger plus plenty of sweet treats.

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    Leake Street Arches
  • All Kinds of Limbo

    You may think you'll have to plan way ahead to see anything that The National Theatre has to offer, but think again. With three performances an hour and at just £5 a ticket, All Kinds of Limbo offers a fantastic short escape in this cutting edge VR technology display.

    All Kinds of Limbo is an original piece of music and performance especially commissioned in response to Small Island. Singer Nubiya Brandon, musician Raffy Bushman and the NuShape Orchestra take you through the genres of reggae, grime, classical and calypso in a musical journey inspired by the influence of West Indian culture on the UK's music scene.

    Plus, there's a also a free holographic experience that's available throughout the day as well.

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    National Theatre
  • Afternoon Tea at Skylon

    Aside from umbrella’s and rain, is there anything more quintessentially British than afternoon tea? Replenish your energy, warm yourself up and have a treat with a South Bank Afternoon Tea at Sylon.

    Enjoy all the indulgent favourites of finger sandwiches, cakes, scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, alongside a wide range of teas, infusions and coffees or even a glass of bubbly if you fancy going all out. Skylon also cater for all dietary requirements, so there should be nothing holding you back from giving in.

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    Skylon Restaurant & Bar
  • The London Dungeon

    Having delighted and spooked in equal measure for nearly 40 years, The London Dungeon is a must see and if you've never ventured deep below the realms of County Hall before, then there's no better time to step inside.

    Experience a 110 minute journey through 1000 years of London’s darkest history and bringing together an amazing cast of theatrical actors, special effects, stages, scenes and rides in a truly unique and exciting walk-through experience that you see, hear, touch, smell and feel. There's 19 live shows, 360 sets and 2 underground rides; such as its very own Victorian Pub, the chance to step inside Sweeney Todd's barbershop and the 'Torture Chamber'.

    Feel brave enough? Tickets can be purchased online or on the day if you an impromptu escape from the weather.

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    The London Dungeon
  • Florence Nightingale Museum

    Tucked away in the site of St Thomas' Hospital, you may not have realised that his great little museum was here. Celebrating the life of Florence Nightingale (if you hadn't already guessed from the name!) the museum offers regular free public tours, themed talks, the chance to meet the Lady of the Lamp herself and as of October this year a brand new family corner. Plus, until February 2020 you can check out the award winning Spanish Flu exhibition, which recently won the best 'Temporary Exhibition' at the 2019 Museum and Heritage Awards.

    The collection itself consists of personal material associated with Florence Nightingale, items relating to the Crimean War and nursing artefacts. The museum archives include approximately 800 letters from Florence Nightingale and an important rare book collection of 284 titles.

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    Florence Nightingale Museum
  • House of Vans

    Exhibitions, cinema screenings, live music and an incredible skate space... and all free! House of Vans is one of South Bank's coolest venues and a perfect way to spend a rainy day. Situated in former Old Vic tunnels, Vans has transformed the 30,000 sq ft space into a hive of cultural activity. Underneath the arches of Waterloo Station there are two skating areas including concrete ramps and bowls, a free cinema, an exhibition and gallery place and even an 850 capacity live music venue. 

    From weekend beginner skate sessions to their Little Ripper Film Club, it's also a great place to bring the kids. For those passionate about all things skate boarding,it's a must visit, no matter what the weather's like outside.

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    House Of Vans
  • SEA LIFE London Aquarium

    What's not to love about the SEA LIFE London Aquarium? This South Bank institution is a great way to escape the drab weather and be awe inspired by some of the oceans most spectacular marine life. 

    Featuring the new Coral Kingdom and Penguin habitat you'll come to face with sharks, jellyfish and even Boris the Turtle! Over 500 aquatic creatures reside at SEA LIFE with many either on the endangered list or have been rescued and cannot be released into the wild or have been born and bred as part of our conservation projects. Kids and adults alike will be hard pushed not to be amazed by the sheer amount to see insude.

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    SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Find The Venues

  • 1 - Oxo Tower Wharf

    The Oxo Tower
    Bargehouse Street
    South Bank
    London SE1 9PH 

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  • 2 - IWM London

    Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ 

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  • 3 - BFI Southbank

    Belvedere Road
    London
    SE1 8XT 

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  • 4 - Leake Street Arches

    Leake St, Lambeth, London SE1 7NN

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  • 5 - National Theatre

    Upper Ground, South Bank
    London
    SE1 9PX 

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  • 6 - Skylon Restaurant & Bar

    Royal Festival Hall
    Belvedere Road
    London SE1 8XX 

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  • 7 - The London Dungeon

    Riverside Building
    County Hall
    Westminster Bridge Road
    London SE1 7PB 

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  • 8 - Florence Nightingale Museum

    St Thomas’ Hospital
    2 Lambeth Palace Road
    London
    SE1 7EW

     

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  • 9 - House Of Vans

    Main entrance
    Arches 228 – 232
    Station Approach Road
    London
    SE1 8SW 

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  • 10 - SEA LIFE London Aquarium

    County Hall
    Riverside Building
    Westminster Bridge Road
    London
    SE1 7PB

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