Stuck on a London Heathrow layover at the Heathrow International airport? London’s Heathrow airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and is located roughly 15 miles from London’s city center, making it an accessible destination for those who are stuck on long London layovers. If you’re trying to decide whether you can leave the airport on your Heathrow layover, click here for useful tips.
If you’re stuck inside the airport during your London layover, Heathrow provides a number of services and activities that can help your layover become a short vacation in itself. Here are some of the various shops and facilities available, listed by terminal, to keep you busy during your wait. To aid with shopping, passengers can hire Personal Shopping Consultants, who can be distinguished by their green uniforms (to book a shopping consultant, call 0870 850 2825 (UK) or +44 (0)121 410 5105). In addition to duty free and regular shopping, there are also many restaurants ranging from fine dining to quick snacks to choose from during your Heathrow layover. Here are the various bars and restaurants options at the airport.
A number of executive lounges are available at the Heathrow airport (at Terminal 1,3,4,5). The lounges offer a range of beers, complimentary Wi-Fi and other standard facilities. You can book these lounges from here. The price starts from £17.95. In case you need special care assistance, contact +44 (0)844 335 1801 for general advice and information.
The Molton Brown Travel Spa is located in British Airways Terminal 1 and Terminal 4 Departures Lounges at Heathrow Airport. The spa offers a variety of services including massages, hydrotherapy showers, circulation and reflex therapies, and is an ideal way to relax during your Heathrow layover.
If you are looking to exchange the currency, Foreign Exchanges and ATMs are available at all the terminals (click here for their locations). In addition, the airport has many prayer rooms available including Catholic, Free Church, Anglican, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh chaplains. They can all be contacted through the airport information desks within the terminals and you can find more information here.
For passengers who arrive at night or are looking to relax, the Hilton London Heathrow Airport hotel is located across the covered walkway linked to Terminal Four, and the Sofitel London Heathrow is also connected via a covered walkway to Terminal Five. In addition there are many hotels near the Heathrow airport, including these. For more hotels at varying price points in London, click here!
If you’re looking to ditch your luggage during your Heathrow layover, Left Luggage facilities are available at all the terminals. The Left Luggage service charges £4 per item for 24 hours. For their hours of operation and location, click here.
Stuck on an overnight London layover, and looking for things to do? Click here for London nighttime activities!
Taxis are available outside the airport for quick transport, and there are also car rental companies onsite. Direct booking can be found here. Heathrow airport is also well connected with public transportation. 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. Click here to figure out the best way to travel into the city during your London layover.
Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On A Heathrow Layover:
You can book a Layover Tour in London, that will pick you up straight from the airport and show you the city’s sites, and get you back to catch your connecting flight. In addition, there are dozens of London tours you can choose from including dinner and theater tickets, cultural and museum tours, landmarks, trips to Stonehenge and so much more!
Address: Paddington Station – Praed St, London W2, United Kingdom
Travel Time from London Heathrow: 22 minutes on the Heathrow Express
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.
Address: Windsor and Maidenhead SL4 1NJ
Travel Time from London Heathrow: 21 minutes via car
A great option for a London layover is to take a taxi or bus 77 from Heathrow to Windsor Castle. The 900-year-old castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world. There are also private Windsor layover tours from Heathrow.
Tower of London
Address: London EC3N 4AB
Travel Time from London Heathrow: 1 hour 2 minutes, via Heathrow Express and London Underground
At The Tower of London, you’ll find torture exhibits as well as the famous Crown Jewels which includes the First Star of Africa, the largest flawless cut diamond at 530 carats! Beefeaters, who are the walking tour guides, lead the hour-long tours every hour until 3:30p.m. This is a good option for a longer layover, since it will involve a decent amount of travel time.
Address: London SW1A 1AA
Travel Time from London Heathrow: 54 minutes, via London Underground, Piccadilly Line
Another option for a long London layover is to visit Buckingham Palace, home to the British monarch. 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.
Address: Deans Yd, London SW1P 3PA
Travel Time from London Heathrow: 45 minutes via Heathrow Express and London Underground, Circle Line
One of the most picturesque spots to visit during your London layover is the Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. Exit the tube at the Westminster stop. You will first see Big Ben and further down the street Westminster Abbey, where Chaucer, Samuel Johnson, Tennyson, Browning, and Dickens are all buried here.
Churchill Cabinet War Rooms
Address: Clive Steps, King Charles St, London SW1A 2AQ
Travel Time from London Heathrow: 53 minutes via London Underground
Close to the Westminster Abbey, 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. It’s a great area to fit in a bunch of sightseeing spots during your layover.
Address: Staines Rd, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 8PN
Travel Time from London Heathrow: 13 minutes via car, no traffic
Thorpe Park is London’s most popular attractions and theme parks. It opened as a water park in 1970 however more thrill rides were added later. The park is around 5.1 miles from the airport, great for kids, and close for a quick trip during a London layover.
None of these activities interest you? Here’s a list of more suggestions of places you can visit during London layover at the Heathrow airport.
Have a suggestion for a London Heathrow layover? Leave a comment below!