There’s one thing we’re guaranteed to get plenty of every year – rain.

We might get a few dry days but a downpour is never far away.

When the inevitable happens, you don’t have to sit there sadly watching the water drip down your windows as there are plenty of fun and interesting rainy day activities to enjoy around south-east London.

Here is a selection of 10 of the best things you can do when the heavens open, mostly aimed at families but there’s also one for just the grown-ups.

Chislehurst Caves

There can’t be many better places to escape the rain than going 30 metres underground.

Take a lamp-lit tour of the labyrinthine man-made caves that cover more than six hectares.

The reputedly haunted 22 miles of tunnels have a fascinating history that includes being used as chalk and flint mines, an ammunition depot in the First World War, for mushroom cultivation in the 1920s and 1930s, as an air raid shelter for up to 15,000 people in the Second World War and as a venue for the likes of Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie in the 1960s.

Hourly tours take place from 10am to 4pm from Wednesdays to Sundays (every day during school holidays plus bank holidays). Prices are £4-6. Wear suitable footwear as the ground is very uneven in places and wrap up warm because it gets pretty chilly down there too.

Royal Observatory Greenwich

So, doing the photo thing on the meridian line in the rain might not be a lot of fun, there is still plenty to see and do at the Royal Observatory – in fact, there is a whole universe to explore at London’s only planetarium.

News Shopper: The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, home of the meridian line by which Greenwich Mean Time, and our winter clocks, are set

Sit back and marvel at a spectacular star show as astronomers take you on an epic journey to the Sun, a distant galaxy, Mars or other cosmic wonders.

The planetarium, where you can enjoy themed showed, summer holiday activities and sci-fi film screenings on selected evenings, is open daily.

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Entry to the observatory is £9.50 for adults and £5 for children, planetarium shows are priced £7.50 for adults and £5.50 for children with concessions available.

Paradice Board Game Cafe

Sales of board games have boomed in recent years and the hobby’s popularity has risen, perhaps fuelled by people seeking social interaction in the real world away from Facebook newsfeeds or alternative entertainment to sitting zombie-like in front of games consoles.

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Modern board games are a far cry from those classics Monopoly and Cluedo that are probably gathering dust somewhere in your home.

Get on board (ha!) with new favourites, enjoy the company of other gamers and relax with a coffee at the café found in The Mall just off Bromley High Street. It’s located within the Warboar Games shop which caters for tabletop gaming needs both board and war.

Airjump trampoline park

There’s no excuse for not getting any exercise in when it rains thanks to the trampoline park that opened at a disused warehouse in St Mary Cray earlier this year.

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As well as good all-round bouncing fun, there are fitness classes, parents and toddler sessions and even the chance to test your high-flying basketball dunking skills.

The centre is open seven days a week, with open jump sessions costing £11.95 an hour.

Horniman Museum

The world's natural and cultural diversity can be enjoyed in all its glory at the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill.

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The museum has 350,000 objects, specimens and artefacts from around the world, including internationally important collections of anthropology and musical instruments, as well as an acclaimed aquarium and natural history collection.

The Horniman is open daily from 10am to 5.30pm. Entry is free but charges apply for the aquarium and some special exhibitions and events that take place.

Greenwich Market

Don’t let a bit of rain put you off your shopping stride. Get along to one of London’s best covered markets where you’ll find up to 120 stalls selling antiques, art, beauty products, crafts, fashion, jewellery and much more besides.

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Photo: Mike Williams via News Shopper Camera Club

There is a mouth-watering mix of food and drink places in and around the market for when you get peckish or thirsty.

The market is open seven days a week from 10am to 5.30pm.

Fired Up Pottery Painting Studio

Stay dry and unleash your artistic side as you while away a couple of hours at this studio in Queensway, Petts Wood.

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Choose a piece of pottery from dozens of items including mugs, plates, teapots, ornaments and wine coolers, then paint it with your own unique design. You can relax with a cuppa and cake as you turn your pottery into something special, before your work is fired for you to collect in a few days’ time.


Just brilliant! #cat#joker#pyop #pettswood #potterypainting #bromley #ceramics

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The studio is open every day apart from Wednesdays.

Meantime Brewery

Are you a fan of the craft beers produced in Greenwich? If so, a two-hour tour of Meantime’s brewery followed by a tutored tasting session will be right up your street for a rainy day. Tours cost £20 per person.

News Shopper: Lucky reporter enjoys a tipsy tour of Meantime's brewery and Greenwich-based pub

Alternatively, visit the tasting rooms within the brewery to sample any or all of Meantime’s beers which are super-fresh since they haven’t had far to travel.

Crofton Roman Villa

For an educational excursion of a different kind, visit Crofton Roman Villa close to Orpington station.

The only building of its kind open to the public in Greater London, it was inhabited from about 140 AD to 400 and was the centre of a large farming estate.

News Shopper: Oysters, roasted dormice but no chips: Crofton Roman Villa revealed

The villa, where you can see the remains of 10 rooms, is managed by those real-life Indiana Joneses at Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit.

It’s very much kid-friendly, with a selection of Roman finds from the excavation to handle and activities such as mosaic making and dressing up.

News Shopper: Pupils from Deansfield School in Eltham get stuck in

Unfortunately, you might find the villa closed when it rains as it’s only open Wednesdays, Friday and bank holidays (10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm) and on the first Sunday in the month (2-5pm) but at least it’s right next to a station so you can hop on a train to one of the other attraction if need be.

TeamSport Karting

Show off your Lewis Hamilton skills or have your Fun House moment (if you’re of that generation) as you race around the go-karting track in Charlton.

Take the wheels of a 270cc kart and see what time you can set on the 800m tarmac circuit with its nine fiendish corners. See

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The centre is open seven days a week and there’s currently an offer on which allows kids to kart for £1 when at least one adult or child books a full-priced session.

You need to book to use the track, which rules it out as impromptu choice for when it rains but it’s worth keeping in mind for when the forecast looks a bit bleak for the next few days.