Ten things to do when it's cold and wet outside
25 February 2009

Since the UK has had a lot of rainy weather lately, we have put together a list of ten things you can do when it's cold and wet outside.

  1. Organise a group of your new friends and go tenpin bowling at a local arcade: many towns have them. http://www.tenpin.co.uk/home.stml
  2. If you haven't found the bowling alley, one of the bigger cinemas - called a multiplex - is likely to be close. These tend to show the latest Hollywood films. If you want to see something less mainstream, perhaps made in Europe or other parts of the world, you will need to find an art house cinema. A good starting point for information on all British independent cinemas and chains is http://www.britinfo.net/cinema/lcinemas.htm
  3. Go swimming in an indoor pool. Most larger towns will have one: some are fairly basic whilst others will have waterslides, wave machines and other things to make swimming fun. These are often called leisure pools. To find one, ask at your language school or check http://www.uksearchindex.com/funthingstodo-baths.htm
  4. Go dog racing. Greyhound racing has been a British sport since the 1500s and the modern version has the dogs chasing a small electric animal round a floodlit track as spectators bet on the winner. You'll usually get an evening of races, often seen from a glass-fronted bar or restaurant. To find a nearby track, visit http://www.dogracing.co.uk/
  5. Spend an hour in a historic church. Many can date back a thousand years, particularly in small villages or ancient towns. You will often find them open during the day. They may not be particularly warm but they will be dry.
  6. Find a teashop and enjoy afternoon tea. A pot of tea and scones (small plain cakes served with butter, jam and sometimes cream) is the classic order but you may be tempted by home-made cakes.
  7. Experience British history by spending time in a stately home (which would have belonged to a rich family) or a palace. Though some are closed in the winter, many of the most famous stay open. If you're close to London, Hampton Court is well worth a visit: for details on that and other palaces, try http://www.hrp.org.uk/
  8. Museums are another fantastic idea for wet weather. Many British ones are free, including the main London museums and usually local museums in towns and cities.
  9. Old-fashioned British pubs are usually warm and dry, and if you're lucky you will find one with an open fire. Look inside for an idea of what kind of time you can expect: lots of tables and chairs suggest lots of talk and perhaps older customers. A huge room, not much furniture and loud music probably means somewhere which will get very lively with younger people.
  10. Be prepared for wet weather. Pack or buy a small umbrella and waterproof coat and you won't mind the rain.

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