The ultimate UK guide to things to do in the rain

Days out, Family

Posted by Ruth on 24th May 2021

The UK is a wonderful destination for a holiday, whether you’re staycationing or visiting from abroad. But it’s a well-known fact that just sometimes, the weather doesn’t match up with your holiday agenda.

However, there’s no need to despair when the forecast looks gloomy or worry about how you’re going to keep the kids entertained – it just means you have a great opportunity to check out the UK’s many wonderful wet-weather days out.

No matter where you’re visiting in the UK, and who you’re holidaying with, you can find a rainy-day activity to give you just as much pleasure as a day in the Great British outdoors.

From fascinating museums where you can step back in time to cosy cafes where you can sample some local delicacies, we’ve rounded up the best things to do in the rain in the UK.


South West rainy day activities

The South West

Wherever you’re visiting in the West Country, there are plenty of things to do when it’s raining, even in counties which are better known for their outdoor attractions.

Visit mind-boggling museums, come face to face with creatures from the deep in awe-inspiring aquariums, or walk through undercover gardens and marvel at tropical plants – where will you choose to visit?

West Country indoor attractions

Cornwall rainy day activities

Cornwall

It’s not all surfing, and picnicking on pasties in Cornwall; there are plenty of good places to go on a rainy day too.

We’ve rounded up our top 10 rainy day activities in Cornwall, from stately homes to subterranean caverns, so you’ll be sure to find something to suit your clan.

Cornwall indoor attractions

The Cotswolds rainy day activities

The Cotswolds

When the skies turn grey above the honey-hued houses and rolling green hills of the Cotswolds, there are still plenty of fun activities for the whole family.

Meet one of the most famous cars on TV – Brum; walk in the footsteps of royalty at a historic castle, or get active at a climbing wall or skate park.

The Cotswolds indoor attractions

Devon rainy day activities

Devon

If you’re looking for places to go when it’s raining in Devon, how about 35 of them? We’ve rounded up the top rainy-day activities to inspire family fun.

Whether you’re searching for days out at stately homes and museums, want to take the kids to meet some animals, or are looking to do something totally unique, we’ve got you covered.

Devon indoor attractions

Dorset rainy day activities

Dorset

Even if fossil hunts, days digging on the beach, or strolls along the coast path are out of the question, there is still so much fun to be had on a rainy day.

Our favourite rainy-day activities in Dorset include visiting art galleries, touring stately homes, and letting the kids go wild at soft play while grown-ups enjoy a well-deserved break!  

Dorset indoor attractions


South Coast rainy day activities

South Coast

There’s no need to wonder what to do in the rain when you’re visiting the South Coast; swap days out on the beach for our favourite wet-weather activities in this region where it’s hard to be bored - even when it’s raining cats and dogs!

Sussex rainy day activities

Sussex

Sussex has so much rich history to be explored, and a rainy day is a perfect time to do it, so we’ve rounded up 13 of the best rainy-day activities for the whole family.

Revisit your childhood in a museum packed with 10,000 toys, let your little ones dress up as knights at a historic abbey, or discover secrets of smugglers past – explore all this and more with our guide to indoor rainy-day activities in Sussex.

Sussex indoor attractions

Kent rainy day activities

Kent

Kent is another place where there’s no shortage of indoor attractions and places of historic interest to go to in the rain.

Our favourite wet-weather days out span from crafty afternoons painting pottery to touring a nuclear reactor! Plus, there’s plenty of history to explore too – after all, Kent is home to the famous Canterbury Tales – so there’s no need to wonder where to go when it’s raining.

Kent indoor attractions

New Forest rainy day activities

New Forest

Home to spectacular heathland and famous wild ponies, the New Forest still packs a punch even on the wettest of days, with so much to see and do.

Highlights range from the popular Beaulieu estate where you can learn about history and culture to more high-octane pursuits, such as racing around a go-kart track emulating your favourite Formula 1 star. Take a look at our full guide below.

New Forest indoor attractions

Isle of Wight rainy day activities

Isle of Wight

While the Isle of Wight is known for its mild climate, there are some days you’ll wake up and discover less than desirable weather on your island holiday.

But there’s no need to feel disheartened – the Isle of Wight is simply awash with rainy-day activities you can enjoy, from visiting Queen Victoria’s opulent holiday home to meeting some of the world’s most beautiful butterflies.

Isle of Wight indoor attractions


East of England rainy day activities

East of England

Home to beautiful beaches and the tranquil Broads, the East of England is more well known for its outdoor pursuits. But there’s no need to wonder what to do when it’s raining; the wonderful counties of Norfolk and Suffolk have so much to explore on a wet-weather day that you may find yourself doing a rain dance!

Norfolk rainy day activities

Norfolk

While a day out cruising the placid waterways of the Norfolk Broads may be out of the question on a rainy day, there's still plenty to explore for all ages.

Hop aboard a glorious steam train and chug along the North Norfolk coast, come face to face with creatures from the deep, or step back in time with a tour through ancient buildings.

Norfolk indoor attractions

Suffolk rainy day activities

Suffolk

Suffolk has a rich tradition just waiting to be explored – and a rainy day is a perfect opportunity to discover more about this lesser-known county.

Wander around a grand stately home, learn about the secrets of the Cold War, or take a tour of the famous Adnams Brewery – although best not take the kids on this one!

Suffolk indoor attractions


Wales rainy day activities

Wales

The beautiful country of Wales is well known for its outdoor activities, whether you choose to walk along the beautiful coastline of the Pembrokeshire National Park or climb to the very heavens in Snowdonia. But don’t despair if a rainy day comes your way – it’s a great opportunity to explore Wales’ rich legend, culture and heritage instead.

Our favourite wet-weather activities in Wales include discovering King Arthur’s Labyrinth, learning about Welsh mining history at the many museums, and exploring impressive showcaves deep underground – no need for a brolly down there!

Wales indoor attractions


Scotland rainy day activities

Scotland

Scotland has its fair share of inclement weather, so it’s no surprise there’s a full programme of things to do and plenty of indoor places to go when the rain clouds appear. Explore vibrant cities, learn about ancient traditions and learn about Scotland’s most famous people.

Our top 10 things to do in Scotland in the rain includes activities from the Highlands to the Borders; discover where you can learn everything about Loch Ness while staying dry, find out where you can visit a museum that’ll transport you back to your childhood, and learn where you can see a whole range of animals on a drive-through safari.

Scotland indoor attractions


Heart of England rainy day activities

Heart of England

While the Peak District is more often known for its challenging terrain and breathtaking scenery, there are just as many fun things to do in the rain – not least if you enjoy your food and drink!

It wouldn’t be a visit to the Peak District without sampling a Bakewell tart, and we can think of no better way to spend a rainy day, unless you then follow it up with a brewery tour. You could also indulge in a spot of pampering, step back in time with a trip to a museum, or visit a majestic waterfall – well, you’re going to get wet anyway!  

Peak District indoor attractions


North of England rainy day activities

North of England

Despite what you may hear, it doesn't rain all the time in the North, but it's still a good idea to have some ideas for indoor days out up your sleeve. While mountain hikes, national park walks and days out by the coast may be out of the question on a rainy day, it does mean you have the perfect opportunity to explore the North’s vibrant culture and heritage at the region’s many indoor attractions.

Yorkshire rainy day activities

Yorkshire

Home to rugged moorland, historic towns and a gorgeous coastline, Yorkshire also has a surprising number of fun things to do in wet weather which your little ones willl love. 

Take a ‘smells-and-all’ walk around Viking York, delve deep underground with a tour around an impressive showcave, or spark your children’s imaginations with a visit to a science museum with over 400 interactive exhibits.

Yorkshire indoor attractions

Lake District rainy day activities

The Lake District

Climbing a mountain or taking on a fell walk might not be so appealing in the rain, but the Lake District’s many cultural and literary attractions are just perfect for a rainy day!

Top of your list should be the World of Beatrix Potter attraction, while other wet-weather activities include taking a trip into a slate mine, dressing up in period costumes at a castle, and learning about cars of the past at a fun museum.

The Lake District indoor attractions


Enjoy a UK staycation this year

There’s no need to worry about the famous British weather on a staycation when there are so many great wet-weather days out. Come rain or shine, enjoy a family holiday in the UK with a stay in one of our handpicked cottages; click the button below to browse the full collection.

All family-friendly cottages

 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.