Top 10 Rainy Day Ideas

Stuck for ideas when the sun’s gone in? Here are our top ten things to do with a gloomy afternoon!

Explore Oxford Castle & Prison

Take a guided tour of Oxford Castle & Prison and let the costumed characters reveal their fascinating stories entrenched in the building’s 1,000-year history while you explore the Saxon St. George’s Tower and  descend deep underground to the 900-year-old crypt.

Soak Up Some Culture at an Oxford Art Gallery

Modern Art Oxford is a great way to spend an afternoon; the gallery is a leading UK contemporary art space with an international reputation for inspirational and innovative programmes and is free and open to all.

Lose Track of Time in the University of Oxford Museums

The Pitt Rivers Museum houses within an atmospheric building more than 700,000 objects, photographs and manuscripts from all over the world and from all periods of human existence.  The Ashmolean Museum, the worlds oldest public museum founded in 1683, is home to world-famous collections and artifacts ranging from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art. Don’t forget to also explore the Museum of Natural History and the History of Science Museum!

Embark on a Brewery or Distillery Tour

Join a brewery tour at Hook Norton Brewery, explore the Oxford Artisan Distillery, Oxford’s first distillery or if gin’s more your thing, visit Sky Wave Gin in Bicester or The Henley Distillery in enley-on-Thames.

Visit the Theatre

New Theatre Oxford plays host to some of the biggest shows and names. From comedy shows to operas, there is something for everyone. The North Wall has a vibrant public programme of live music, theatre and dance in the heart of Summertown.


Explore Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting magnificent Baroque architecture is full of priceless collections art and opulent state rooms, as well as fantastic restaurants and cafés. Check out their current exhibitions and events to while away a rainy day.

Go Shopping

Shelter yourself from the rain in one of Oxfordshire’s leading shopping centres. Westgate Oxford offers visitors some prestigious retail and lifestyle brands, inventive and eclectic restaurants and cafes of all types. Dating back to the 18th century, Oxford’s Covered Market is home to a collection of independent shops and retailers. Located in the Oxfordshire countryside, discover Bicester Village with more than 160 boutiques of world-famous brands.

Discover the stars, stories and science behind British motor racing

Silverstone Museum is the number one destination for any motorsport fan! An immersive visitor attraction which celebrates the past, present and future of Silverstone and all things British motor racing.

Snap Some Photos at Crocodiles of the World

Visit Crocodiles of the World, the UK’s only crocodile zoo, to meet many of the animals – we’re talking Komodo dragons and giant Galapagos tortoises – up close. You might want to stay back from the big crocs, although the zoo does have underwater viewing enclosures for eye-to-eye encounters! Plus the park is all inside, meaning total respite from the rain.


Visit the River & Rowing Museum

Visit the River & Rowing Museum in its beautiful riverside location in Henley-on-Thames. The doors of the Museum open onto the art and stories of the river including the enchanting family-friendly Wind in the Willows, the history of Henley, riverbank wildlife conservation, the work of local Modern British artist John Piper and the sport of rowing.

More great things to do