When looking at the weather forecast for Easter, you’d be forgiven for thinking spring has been put on hold. We think the occasional rain shower is part of England’s charm, but if that doesn’t wash with you why not enjoy Blighty’s great array of indoor attractions – the perfect backup plan for when the dark clouds appear. From staying in the oldest beach hut in the world to riding the world’s longest indoor rollercoaster, there’s plenty to do indoors this Easter…
‘Weather or not!’ festival, Lancashire
Fed up with events getting called off because of the weather, an arts centre in Lancashire is holding a brand new and unique festival with a flood of fun activities to actually celebrate rain (!) The Civic Arts Centre in Oswaldtwistle is planning an umbrella street parade, wild synchronized swimming, mud sculpting and singing and dancing in the rain. The Weather or Not! festival is taking place over the Easter holidays on the streets of Oswaldtwistle.
A taste of the tropics, Cornwall
Where else in the world can you go from the pouring rain to the warmth of the Mediterranean in a matter of seconds? Forget jumping on a plane to far-flung destinations, just meander your way around the Eden Project, the largest indoor rainforest in the world. Wander around the jungles, waterfalls and gardens – the rain will become the last thing on your mind. Head there this Easter for the Freaky Nature event where visitors can get involved in everything from food cycle themed crazy golf to donning a Velcro suit to learn how stickiness helps plants attract food.
Costs £23.50 for adults, £10.50 for children aged five-16, kids under four go free
The longest indoor rollercoaster in the world, Blackpool
One of the country’s best known seaside towns, the fun doesn’t end in Blackpool when the sun stops shining. Take cover in the country’s largest indoor waterpark, Sandcastle Waterpark. The waterpark lays claim to Sidewinder, the world’s first indoor vertical waterslide, and the world’s longest indoor rollercoaster, Masterblaster. With over 18 slides – some of which launch from the roof and venture out of the building, fun pools, a wave machine, a lazy river and water chutes, it’s what rainy days are made for.
Costs £12.15 for adults, £9.86 for children, kids under three go free
Hire out the oldest beach hut in the world, Bournemouth
As well as the rain, another great English tradition is the beach hut. Bournemouth invented the beach hut back in 1908 and still rents out the oldest in the world to this day. Situated along Bournemouth’s seven miles of award winning beaches are over 250 huts available to hire. And if surfing is more your thing then hire out one of the new funky surf reef beach pods, one beach further up at Boscombe. The pods, housed in a 1950’s building, retain the building’s original features and have running hot water, large balconies with sea views and French patio doors.
Beach huts are available to hire for £62 per week over Easter and beach pods cost £90 during the same period
Underground adventure, Nottinghamshire
Whether in the city centre or out in the county, Nottinghamshire is famous for its caves. A network of over 400 sandstone caves runs under the streets of Nottingham and when the sun stops shining there’s no better time to explore some of these at the City of Caves or the Galleries of Justice. Along the way you’ll discover more about the caves and their various purposes throughout history. North of the county, explore Creswell Crags and discover some of Britain’s only Ice Age cave art, which is thought to date back 13,000 years.
Joint tickets for the City of Caves and the Galleries of Justice cost £12 for adults and £9.75 for children (a saving of 25 per cent)
Underwater world, Brighton
Whatever the weather, the Brighton Sea Life Centre offers a fun and educational day out for all the family. There are over 1,500 creatures in 50 displays and the kids will love watching the sharks and turtles glide above them in the underwater tunnel. Visitors can ride the UK’s first Glass Bottom Boat and experience an interactive rockpool where they can touch crabs and starfish.
Tickets cost £17.40 or £14.10 each when buying a pair
Steam train along the River Dart, English Riviera
No need to pack a brolly for this scenic seven mile journey from Paignton to Kingswear. The steam train is a wonderful way to explore the river woodland and tumbling fresh water of the Dart North, without exposing yourself to the elements. Take the one hour journey on this steam locomotive and you’ll see the spectacular Torbay coastline, the Dart Estuary and Dart Valley. You’ll chug through a designated ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’ and you’ll have the opportunity to spot incredible wildlife such as dolphins, seals and kingfishers, all from a carriage window.
A return ticket costs £11 for adults and £6.50 for children
For more ideas about what to do when those dark clouds appear, head to www.visitengland.com/ee/Rainy-Day-Ideas