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London Layover Tours

May 12, 2010 | Comments 10

London Layover ToursLondon offers a number of Layover Tours from Heathrow and Gatwick for passengers stuck on long layovers, to help you see some sights in a hassle free manner.

Customized tours can be personally arranged to pick you up from the airport on your London layover, see the places that most interest you around, and then return you to the airport with plenty of time to catch your next flight. For those who have limited time and might not be familiar with London, it can be the easiest and most efficient way to spend a limited amount of time. If you’re trying to figure out if you can leave the airport during your London layover, click here for useful tips.

Below are some of the Layover Tours available that will pick you up directly from the airport. For our full write-up on tips and suggestions for things you can do (both inside and outside the airport) on a Heathrow layover, click here.  For Gatwick, click here.

London Layover Tours:

London Magical Tours
With customized tours that can pick you up from both Heathrow and Gatwick airports, London Magical Tours will arrive at the airport carrying a sign with your name and will chauffeur you on your tour. Choose from tours to London, Windsor, Hampton Court and Oxford and opt for the layover option!

London Taxi Tour
London Taxi Tour also offers private layover tours to passengers from Heathrow or Gatwick. With a number of tours to choose from including a Harry Potter Tour and a James Bond Tour, you can make sure you see the places that most interest you.

London’s Tours
A comfortable car and your own guide can help you catch London’s sights in this layover tour. London’s Tours will “meet you at the airport and whisk you away to see the lovely countryside and places tour buses never reach! How about including lunch at an olde worlde pub before more delightful exploring en route back to the airport?”

London Sightseeing Tours
With a huge list of tours to choose from, London Sightseeing Tours offers virtually every tour possible in London (even tours from London to Paris). If you’re looking for an airport pickup, however, make sure to check the brochure page of the tour’s web site to find out the specifics on where they can pick up and drop off (tour customization at this site greatly varies depending on the tour).

CLICK HERE For the full Layover Guide to Heathrow, London

With cheap car hire usa you can visit the places you want to experience. Make up your own mind and your own itinerary and see how much fun you will have.

Filed Under: EuropelayoverLondonsightseeingtours


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  1. Kelly Little says:

    Just wanted to post back having read this article before our long layover in London.

    We took a tour with London Magical Tours based on the recommendation here – it was quite simply exceptional!

    We did a 5 hour visit with a London guide AND a chauffeur. More than worth it; we saw all the main sights we wanted to see, watched the changing of the guard and even counted down as Big Ben rang for 12 o’clock.

    Our guide was a true London expert, so much more than just a drive-by or photo stops. We went out to sightsee on foot, learned amazing secrets and our chauffeur was always ready to meet us when we were finished to move on to another location. We were first in line to see the guards at the ceremony at the right time and place and have videos and photos full of great memories.

    London Magical Tours was the best way to spend a layover- most highly recommended. We can’t wait to return to London!

  2. Bertie McDonald says:

    Thank you for the feedback Kelly; we used London Magical Tours last month for our stop over in London – absolutely fantastic service. We took a private tour of London and it was so much better than waiting at the airport!

    We loved the personal element of having our own guide but the additional driver made a massive difference. We have taken several private tours in both Rome and Paris but London Magical Tours come top. Having the driver meant that our guide could fully concentrate on us and the tour without having to worry about parking- fantastic service. They picked us from our arrival terminal at Heathrow and took us back for our departure flight with plenty of time. Our children loved London so much that they didn’t want to leave!

    Thank you again for sharing your comments; we had been in two minds as to whether to do this or try the subway into London. We are a family of 6 and the private tour actually cost us less per person than if we had joined a bus with 50 other people and all completely stress free.

    • Shauna says:

      We are going to have n 7 hour over night layover in London next week. We received a quote for a three hour tour. Do you think three hours is long enough to get to London see the lights and drive back? Some places say it will take an hour to just get to the city center. What are your thoughts?

  3. Paula says:

    We used London Magical Tours last week on an 8 hour layover from heathrow airport; my husband and I were returning from Africa to the US and had them recommended by our neighbor who had used them last year. We did the 3 hour tour plus transfers, it was AWESOME!

    To answer your question, we got into London in 30 minutes but I guess it depends on traffic on the day. We got to see all the main highlights and got out of the car to go sightseeing, walk, took hundreds of pics. We spent the time with an expert tour guide, learned so much and heard the most amazing stories. Having the extra driver was great in such a big city, no parking headaches, they both made us feel very special, couldn’t recommend enough. In fact we are now thinking of returning next year when they have the olympics!

    • tek says:

      We have a 4-hr layover in London going to Geneva from Abu Dhabi, on a Philippine passport. Can we avail of the 3-hour layover tour in London without a visa or could the airline assist us with a short pass for that layover. I am hoping to have a sneak peak of london… =)

  4. Mike says:

    Just returned from our vacation to Rome and wanted to write to say a big thank you for the recommendations on this website!

    My fiance and I were unsure of what to do with the 7 hours we had at London Heathrow in between our connecting flights but after researching on here decided to go with the recommendations and use London Magical Tours. We were anxious of whether we would have enough time to see much but it turned out to be the best decision we made on the entire trip!

    I guess its one thing to see a place by yourself but when you are with experts it makes all the difference We saw EVERYTHING! Our guide was amazing, a real fountain of information and put us right at ease with such a huge city. We were at the perfect spot at the changing of the guard, took a great tour of the Parliament and Westminster Abbey area, Piccadilly, Trafalagar Square, Hyde Park etc. Having the extra driver worked great, we felt so spoilt and it was just what I had wanted to make the best use of every minute. The convinience of being picked up at our arrival terminal and left at the departure area was brilliant. London Magical Tours was the highlight of the entire trip (and we took several tours in Rome) we will be returning to London 100%, couldn’t recommend more highly.

  5. Penny Travers says:

    Thanks for the great recommendations on here, we were unsure what to do with our long layover at Heathrow airport, just knew that we didnt want to hang arounf at the airport!

    We made an inquiry with London Magical Tours who recommended the best tour time for our layover, sent us a quote in under an hour and we booked it online, brilliant customer service. We had high hopes for the tour and were not disappointed, it was the best use of half a day I remember! Our guide was amazing, we took the guide with extra driver as suggested. The tour team worked perfectly, we saw so much of London and were able to go out of the car (which by the way, had a transparent clear roof!). While the driver waited for us, our guide took us out to discover the city, we toured the area of the palaces, saw the guard change (we were first in line and have the BEST photos!), went on a walking tour through the old parliament, really couldn’t recommend more highly. When we worked out the cost for our family to have done it on our own, it actually worked out cheaper on this private tour. We all agreed that we would never have got to see so much of London any other way. And all stress free, we got back to the airport with no problems for our flight to Kenya. It reallt felt like a dream, now cant wait to come back!

    London is incredible, if you get the opportunity on a layover dont think twice about it – just go!!

  6. Angelica says:

    Woops I meant to write back to this thread! First to say a huge thanks for the great advice and articles on this website. We had been dreading a 12 hour layover at Heathrow Airport on the way to India from the US but knew that we just couldnt miss the opportunity to see London. We followed the recommendations on here to use London Magical Tours and it was the best!

    We spent a lot of time researching our options and were super excited having read the reviews here. It was the best use of our time, we covered so much of the city in great detail and both our tour guide and the driver were incredible. There was another member of our group who tried to go into London by herself and did a bus tour. She ended up staying at a train station in the pouring rain, spent all the time lost and just about made the flight back soaking wet. My boyfriend and I though have the best pictures, we learned an incredible amount in the time and have memories which will forever stay with us. We would chose what we did every time. I still cant believe we got a chance to see so much of London and to think we used to hate layovers :) This experience was incredible and just shows what you can do with limited time if you are with experts. We are starting to plan our next trip in the summer to Australia and will be checking back on this website for ideas!

  7. Jadore says:

    I’m going to ireland and like to know if i’m gonna need a visa for the layover in london. I only have a green-card. Flying from las vegas. Do I need a visa for layover in London? and can is it safe for my toddler for this layover.

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