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London Layover (Heathrow And Gatwick)

| December 15, 2008

London Layover StopoverLondon layovers in Heathrow and Gatwick are common stopovers for many travelers, and sometimes it can be a lengthy stay. Instead of spending half a day in the airport, there’s tons to do and see in London that can keep you greatly entertained. However, keep in mind that Heathrow is a big airport, with two security check points, so you want to leave yourself with more than enough time to make your connection.

For the full Layover Guide To Heathrow, CLICK HERE.

While taking the London Underground is the cheapest way to get into London, it can take up to an hour each way. If you’re strapped for time, the London Heathrow Express train can get you into London for as little as 15 minutes. The trip from Gatwick on the London Gatwick Express will take 30 minutes trip and runs every 15 minutes.

When you get into London, if you’re planning on taking the tube around for the day, look into buying the Oyster Card, which for a small fee will get you unlimited rides on the tube, buses, and riverboat discounts.

If you want the sightseeing to start straight from the airport, the London Magical Tours will pick you up from either Heathrow or Gatwick, and offers three and seven hour-tours of London starting at $60.

For more London layover tours that will pick you up directly from the airport, click here.

Sightseeing BusLondon Layover

The hop-on, hop-off bus gives a commentary of the sights as you pass them. Tickets can be purchased right on the bus or online. You can “hop on” at Paddington station, and “hop off” wherever you choose. It swings back around to Paddington, if that’s all the time you have, to get back to the airport.

Tower of London

At The ToLondon Layoverwer of London, you’ll find torture exhibits as well as the famous Crown Jewels which including 530 carat Star at the Jewel House. Beefeaters, who are the walking tour guides, lead the hour-long tours every hour until 3:30p.m.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, home to the British monarch, is another favorite sightseeing spot for those with only a short time in London. Victoria, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner are the closest Tube stations. Also, you can catch the changing of the guard, but should check ahead for the schedule as it does not happen every day.

Westminster Abbey and Big Ben

Exit the tube at the Westminster stop. You will first see Big BeLondon Layovern and further down the street Westminster Abbey, where Chaucer, Samuel Johnson, Tennyson, Browning, and Dickens are all buried here.

Cabinet War Rooms

Close to the Abby, you can see the actual underground bunker Winston Churchill used during World War II. Everything there from the wall maps, to Churchill’s cot are authentic.

Windsor Castle

Take a taxi or bus 77 from Heathrow to Windsor Castle in about 40 minutes. The 900-year-old castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world.

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Category: Europe, Heathrow, layover, London, UK

Comments (4)

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  1. Nayla says:

    HI, On July 18th, I have a total layover in Heathrow of seven hours. Do I have any time to take the kids to see Big Ben, Westminister Abbey and maybe London Eye? How long is the trip by Tube? How much walking do I need downtown to just snap a few pictures? I have to take into considration my trip back, be @ least 1 hour ahead and the check-in lane. Will it be too tight or do I have a few hours to spare?

  2. Dana says:

    We used http://www.londonmagicaltours.com last week on our layover at Heathrow from the suggestions on this site and it worked out great. We had 7 hours total from landing to take off and cleared immigration in about 40 minutes. We did the half day tour with transfers and got back with about 2 hours before the flight out which was plenty really. Well worth it for the service direct from the airport terminals, looking back we could never have done it any other way. We covered so much of London in the time, loved the personal experience. Good tip is to check in online in advance, our bags were sent direct from the US to Rome so we just had to go through security which took us about 10 mins. We love London 🙂

  3. Rosanie says:

    hello everybody!

    On feb 6,2013 i will have a total layover 10 hours at London Heathrow. I was in London 2 years ago, can i go out and see the places i miss and take some pictures of it again? just want to spend some hours of my layover having fun with a beautiful place like London. hope to hear some opinions please.

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