Ten ways to escape rain showers

A fresh air walk is a wonderful thing, but if a sudden downpour sends you running for cover, don't let the rain spoil your day out. We've still got plenty of things to do under cover - here's our pick of the best.

A man reading the paper at Allan Bank in Grasmere

Allan Bank, Cumbria 

Head to the reading room at Allan Bank, help yourself to a cup of tea, find a comfy chair and read at your leisure. You can also take inspiration from the changing landscape and have a go at drawing, painting or writing in our art room. Or head to our craft room where we have everything you need to try your hand at knitting, including step-by-step instructions for beginners.

The Saloon with carpet designed by Marion Dorn at Coleton Fishacre, the house designed in 1925 for Rupert and Lady Dorothy D'Oyly Carte at Kingswear, Devon

Coleton Fishacre, Devon 

Inside the house at Coleton Fishacre the jazz age is still swinging. Visitors are welcome to take a seat at the piano, tinkle the ivories and fill this atmospheric Art Deco house with some period tunes.

Items of scientific curiosity in the Electrical Room at Cragside, Northumberland

Cragside, Northumberland 

Find Lord Armstrong’s Electrical Room tucked away in the house at Cragside. It's a place of magic, mystery and electrical experimentation. See some of his experiments recreated before your eyes as our new installations bring the space to life and make the air crackle with electricity once again.

The kitchen at the Hardmans' House, Liverpool

The Hardman’s House, Liverpool 

Step back in time to the 1950s at the perfectly-preserved Hardmans’ House. This remarkable survival was both a business and home for the photographer Edward Chambré Hardman and his wife Margaret. The majority of the house provided space for clients to wait, or sit for photographs. While behind the scenes, the staff would be busy developing and mounting prints. The family lived in just three small, cramped rooms.

Mother and soon looking at toys at the Museum of Childood

Museum of Childhood, Derbyshire 

Can you remember your favourite toy from when you were small? For a healthy dose of nostalgia you can head to the Museum of Childhood, with its amazing array of toys and interactive displays. Watch your own children discovering something new, or learn more about how children lived in the past.

Early photograph of the 1830s glasshouse at Quarry Bank

Quarry Bank, Cheshire 

If it’s raining, step inside the newly restored, glasshouse at Quarry Bank. The glasshouse is a very early and rare example of an iron-framed hothouse, built sometime in the early 1830s with thousands of panes of glass and exotic fruit growing within its frame.

Two people inspect historic features in Souter's engine room

Souter Lighthouse, Tyne & Wear 

Climb the 76 steps to the top of Souter Lighthouse and look out on the foaming North Sea. This was the first lighthouse in the world designed and built to be powered by electricity. Opened in 1871, Souter remains an iconic beacon, dramatically hooped in red and white, and standing proud on the coastline midway between the Tyne and the Wear.

Visitors in the Billiard Room at Polesden Lacey, Surrey

Speke Hall, Liverpool 

If it's raining outside there are few better ways to while away the afternoon than playing billiards – and few better tables to play the game on then the wonderfully restored table at Speke Hall. Everyone is welcome to have a go. There are even special cues for children, and a box to stand on if you can't reach the table.

A closer look at the dolls' house at Uppark

Uppark, West Sussex 

Visit the Dolls’ House room to find a new display, called Life in Miniature, which explores the world of dolls and dolls’ houses. The remarkable Uppark dolls’ house was brought to the house in 1746 and has never been remodelled or redecorated.

You can see The Vyne's project unfolding on the rooftop walkway

The Vyne, Hampshire 

What better place to escape the rain than the Vyne, where we’re carrying out some major conservation work to repair the leaky roof. We’re using exciting new technology combined with centuries-old practices to carry out the repairs, and you can watch it all unfold from our all-access, 360° rooftop walkway. Protected from the elements, you’ll be able to look down on 71,000 tiles being removed and replaced, or take in sweeping panoramas across the wider estate.