June 21, 2013

Ten years of rain. Ten years; a decade; 120 months! Just as the sun made an appearance for the first time this year, the barbeques lit up and we all reached for that lovely bottle of chilled Chablis, the Met Office go and hit us with a stat like that. 10 years of rain.

OK, so not every day will be wet. Not every day will be stir rods, cats and dogs, soaking clothes and bored children. If the reports are to be believed, however, it sounds very much like the majority of the coming 3644 will be.

But damn it all we’re British, and if there’s one thing the British are used to it’s rain. We get it in winter, we get it in autumn, we get it in spring. And let’s be honest, most of a British summer is spend sheltering from the bally stuff too. Do we let it stop us? Of course not, we’re too plucky for that.

So with that in mind we thought we’d take a look at how to have a great day out indoors, so you don’t get your favourite dress in a mess.

Here are our top suggestions:

1) Pretend to be in your own episode of Downton Abbey by visiting a country house. Britain has some of the most glorious estates and country houses in the world, a quick search on Google will reveal a whole host in driving distance you may never even have heard of.

2) It is an undeniable fact the Britain makes the world’s best beer. And with microbreweries and real ale drinkers on the increase why not forsake the wine for a weekend and visit a beer festival? Not only will you keep the rain off your head, once you get a couple of pints down you, you won’t be at all bothered about what the weather is doing outside!

3) Take a trip back in time and find out what the countryside was like to previous generations. It may surprise you to learn that the UK has a whole network of rural museums covering all aspects of country life, many of which are indoors. For more information go to

4) Visit Crufts. OK, so you can’t do this one all year round but if you like dogs, where better to go to than the world’s greatest dog show?

5) Do your greatest Poirot impression by taking part in a murder mystery weekend. Often held in the grandest of locations with costumes that could have come straight from the Orient Express. And who knows, you might discover a talent for amateur sleuthing.

6) Go up, up and away in a glider. Taking a glider ride gives you a unique view of the countryside and is surprisingly inexpensive. Better still, you will keep warm and dry while having an adrenaline-filled ride of a lifetime.

7) Expand your dinner party repertoire by attending a cooking school. Interest in cooking has been growing rapidly in recent years and has led to the opening of lots of cooking schools across the country. Learn more about fresh, seasonal produce by booking yourself in for a day.

8)  A day at the races. Most race courses now have sheltered grandstands so even if the weather is a bit nippy, you should be able to keep the rain off your trilby. But of course, it all depends on whether you can find a meet that isn’t waterlogged.

9)  Your own village show. Now you may be thinking, ‘that’s not indoors you buffoon’, and you would probably be right, on both counts, but we thought we’d include it because when all said you done, you should support your local village show. And if the weather gets so bad you really ought to head indoors, well, there’s always the beer tent now isn’t there?

10) Finally ... visit the umbrella shop! Yep, inside is all well and good but sometimes no matter what the weather is like you simply can’t beat the great outdoors; the scent of the air and the wind in your hair. There’s nothing like it. So what are you waiting for? Buy yourself a brolly and get out there. After all we’re in for ten years of the stuff, may as well get used to it as soon as possible.

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