London Layover Guide (LHR)
London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is an international airport located in London, United Kingdom. It is situated 23 km (14 miles) west of Central London. The airport first opened in 1946 as London Airport and was renamed Heathrow Airport in 1966. London is the capital of the United Kingdom and one of the most famous cities in the world. It’s also known for its luxurious shopping centers, iconic museums and incredible monuments.
Can you leave London Airport (LHR) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It is possible to leave London Heathrow Airport (LHR) during a layover. You would need to clear immigration and customs control. You might need a visa to enter the UK depending on your nationality (more info).
Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing
Magical London Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour
You are in the perfect destination if you are a Harry Potter fan. This wizard tour would take you across the muggle world in London to discover some of the most famous places that inspired J.K. Rowling. You would find out which Hogwarts House you truly belong in and you would follow the footsteps of the boy who lived.» book this tour
London: Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket
Take advantage of your layover and stop off at The Tower of London, one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Step inside British history, contemplate the extraordinary treasures of the British Monarchy, and learn about its ceremonial guardians. » book this tour
Coca-Cola London Eye
This observation wheel is the London’s top tourist attraction and offers you the best views across the city. The tour takes you all the way up to 135 meters, with a guide included and with a 4D cinema experience. Enjoy the height and the most famous landmarks of London, like the Buckingham Palace or the Westminster Abbey. » book this tour
Things to do / Sightseeing
This is the Queen’s London residence and it is truly worth a visit, although it is open only during the summer months. You would be fascinated with its spectacular staircase, its high ceilings and its royal rooms.
Time required: You would need at least one hour to stand at the door of the palace. Then, a regular visit will take you about 2 hours. Wait times vary depending on the day. Usually from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Airport to here: Metro from Hatton Cross to Green Park station (55+/- mins.). Taxi (60+/- mins.)
This castle is one of the three official residences of the Queen and it is also the oldest and the largest inhabitated castle in the world. The original castle dates back to the 11th century, when William the Conqueror chose this plase to build a fortress to defend London from the western approaches.
Time required: You would need half an hour to reach the castle by private car or taxi, or an hour if you take the bus. Then, you could spend there up to three hours. Wait time to get in: 10+/- mins during the summer months.
Airport to here: By public transportation to Windsor and Eton Central or to Windsor and Eton Riverside stations (60+/- mins.). By taxi or car (20+/- mins.)
Discover the British heritage and its history inside this magnefficient church, and admire its spectacular arquitecture. This place has been the coronation setting for the British Monarch since 1066 and for many other royal celebrations, including royal weddings. More than three thousand people are buried here.
Time required: You would need about an hour to be in the closest station to the Abbey, and from ninety minutes to two hours if you want to see everything of interest.
Airport to here: Metro from Hatton Cross to St. James Park station (55+/- mins.). Taxi (40+/- mins.)
For fans of rugby, this stadium, which was built in 1909, is a completely must-see. You could tour around the whole stadium and have a look from the top of the stand to get an amazing view of the arena. You could also visit the England dressing room and learn few details more of your favourite sport in the World Rugby Museum.
Time required: In less than 20 minutes by private car or taxi you could journey through rubgy history. You would need at least 40 minutes by public transportation. Wait times usually less than 10 minutes.
Airport to here: By private car or taxi (20+/- mins.). By bus to Tayven Avenue station (40+/- mins.)
Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
Plant and gardening lovers would find a fantastic experience wandering around the world’s largest collection of living plants and fungi. These gardens were found in 1759 by Princess Augusta and were inscribed in 2003 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy chasing butterflies, gazing the carnivore plants and learning about more than 50,000 living plants, from topical and arid to alpine climates.
Time required: In about 30 minutes (by car or taxi) or in less than an hour (by public transportation) you could walk through this garden. For exploring the whole length you would need a couple of hours. Wait times only in busy periods.
Airport to here: By private car or taxi (30+/- mins.). By metro to South Ealing station, and then by bus to Kew Road Victoria Gate (50+/- mins.)
The Big Ben is one of the most iconic monuments of England and it is located at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. It is a four-faced clock, built in 1859 and renamed in honor of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 as the Elizabeth Tower. The tower stands 96 metres tall.
Time required: You would need about 50-60 minutes by car, taxi or public transportation. Only UK residents are allowed to visit it and the tours last 75 minutes.
Airport to here: The fastest way would be from Hatton Cross to Westminster Station (45+/- mins.). By private car or taxi (55+/- mins.).
Chessington World of Adventures
This fun and interesting place houses a theme park, a zoo, an adventure park and a Sea Life Center, with rides, attractions and live shows. It is a great plan to go with children if you have a long layover.
Time required: A bit more than half an hour by car or an hour and a half by bus. You could stay there as long as you want, but it is highly recommended a full day visit
Airport to here: The best option would be to take a taxi or go by there, but you could also take the bus from Hatton Cross to Chessington Garden (90+/- mins.)
Relaxing and Sleeping
Airport Lounges and Relaxing
There are many airport lounges in London Heathrow airport terminal 2, 3, 4 and 5. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online
Hotel and Sleeping
There are hotels inside and near London Heathrow airport. » view all or book an airport hotel online
Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
Rest areas are located in terminals 3, 4 and 5, above Departures and near the following gates: 24/25 and B31-B49.
WIFI/Internet and SIM Card
WIFI/Internet: Free unlimited WIFI is available at London Heathrow airport. Connect to the "_Heathrow Wi-Fi" network.
SIM Card: SIM card is available at London Heathrow airport. You can buy SIM card from different network operators in terminals 2, 3 and 5, at arrivals. » buy a global sim card for London, United Kingdom that you can use for other countries as well!
Transportation to/from airport
Taxi: taxis and minicabs are available 24/7 from the ranks outside each terminal. They are black colored and have wheelchair access.
Train: Heathrow Express train takes only 15 minutes from terminals 2 and 3 to London Paddington and 6 minutes more from terminal 5. Regular trains depart every 30 minutes to local stations. They take between 30 and 50 minutes. There are three underground stations, one for terminals 2 and 3, and one each at terminals 4 and 5 (more info).
Bus: the central bus station is near terminals 2 and 3, but you could find coach stops outside terminals 4 and 5. They run to more than 500 destinations (more info).
Shuttle: Hoppa bus serves as a shuttle service from terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5 to hotels close to the airport. It is available from 04:00 to midnight.
Car rentals: you will find different car rental operators in the Arrival halls of all the terminals. » view available cars or rent a car now online
Parking: Short-stay, long-stay and Valet parking are available at all terminals. Terminals 2 and 3 offer business parking.
Luggage Storage & Lockers
There are left luggage facilities in all terminals, but no self-service lockers. Hours: open 24 hours. Rates varies (depends on size and duration). » book a luggage storage or locker at London Airport (LHR) online (subject to availability).