London is a vast and baffling place, yet for many of us, whether we are visiting or live there, a weekend in London can often be an itinerary of the same old things. For those who call London home the convenience of a local pub can be too tempting to resist, and if it's pouring it down not leaving the house at all seems like the best option. Visitors, on the other hand, find themselves dutifully traipsing around the sights and the famously unreliable British weather can call a halt to their fun.
Luckily, there are enough interesting and unusual things to do in London that don't rely on glorious sunshine to keep you busy for years of rainy weekends. So, if the forecast is unpromising and you want to avoid the crowds of tourists packed out in all the usual spots, here's a few different things you can do to enjoy your weekend.
Learn to Meditate
If you are in need of relaxation, you can go on meditation courses such as those provided by Will Williams Meditation in London. Meditation has well known stress relieving qualities and by choosing this activity you can find the calming effects lasting beyond the weekend, and it also can help you in picking up a healthy new habit.
Meet New People
Those who live in London know that it's notoriously difficult to meet new people there. Speaking in very general terms, London is sometimes not as community minded as other parts of the UK, and people can become quite self-contained in their select social groups.
Thinking Bob is a resource that counteracts this. By putting on social events for like-minded people, Thinking Bob creates shared social experiences for people who had never met before, but by their participation know that they share particular interests. With quizzes, discussions, dinners and games, you can pick what suits you, and expand your social circle.
Drink Shop Do, a café and bar, puts on all kinds of fun events that make the usual afternoon coffee or night out a little bit different. With crafts, evenings devoted to making Lego robots, interactive quiz nights and more, you'll find something for every mood and taste here and the informal setting and exuberant atmosphere guarantees a good time.
If you fancy something truly unusual, then you can't go wrong with getting locked in a room with a bunch of mates and being tasked with the mission of getting yourself out. Hint Hunt gives 5 people 60 minutes to solve the puzzles and unravel the mysteries of their room before, they suggest (not all together seriously), locking you in forever. With team building, a chance to get you thinking cap on and a bit of delicious panic there's worse ways you can spend an afternoon.
Sipsmith, a London gin distillery that creates high end and beautifully packaged gin puts on regular tours around its distillery which is the first of its kind to open in London since 1820. London and gin share a long love affair and the tour explains some of this the history, as well as providing you with a drink.
Weird and Wonderful Drawing Events
Rather than the usual life drawing, Art Macabre offers death drawings instead, creating curious and gory scenes that should appeal to anyone with an inner goth just waiting to be unleashed. With a penny dreadful aesthetic and unusual venues, this is definitely something you will remember. If this is not to your taste then there are of course more conventional life drawing classes in London (there's a guide here), and whatever your skill level they can be a fun and rewarding way to spend a few hours.
Now, this may not seem like the most sensible idea but in warm summer rain taking a dip in one of Hampstead Heath's open air swimming ponds could be rather nice, especially as you are going to get soaked in any case. It's one way of getting fresh air and, in all likelihood, some time to yourself. Just remember to get a check up with the doctor beforehand to make sure the cold water won't have any ill-effects, and take a thermos of tea for when you get out.