A long airport layover can be a pain no matter the country, the airport or how prepared you are. Of course some airports are better than others when it comes to finding ways to entertain yourself for 8 hours, 12 or more.
Heathrow Airport is just a few miles away from Central London, it’s location, amenities, activities and possibilities certainly take the win.
Heathrow airport hotels offer you many options to catch up on your sleep, get going with your work or just have a place to relax. The airport’s fantastic location also makes it possible to take a quick day trip to do some exploring on extra long layovers.
Here are a few ideas on things you can do when stuck at London’s Heathrow Airport:
Shop ‘til you drop
If it wasn’t already an airport, Heathrow could be one of London’s glitziest shopping centers. Walk the bookstores, pick up your souvenirs and, if your budget allows it, visit some designer labels like Alexander McQueen or Zara.
It also boasts excellent duty free shops where you can pick up perfumes, liquor, cosmetics and more at enviable prices. With about 85 stores to shop, shopaholics won’t be bored.
Heathrow is also a great place to relax or indulge. Journey to Terminal 5 and wander through T5 Gallery to view a remarkable art collection. This calm and reflective place is the perfect spot to gather during a hectic day of travel.
Spas are located in several of the terminals, with services like massages, manicures and professional makeup application being widely available. You can also perk up your shoes with an old fashioned shoeshine!
Go on a whirlwind tour
There is so much to do and see in London! No matter if you have 40 minutes or 3 hours, there are so many available tours that will take you through Central London.
Visit historic landmarks such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square or even the area of Windsor. The options are endless and you can even venture out on your own if you’re brave enough to take a train into Paddington Station or the Underground.
Grab a bite
Sitting at an airport café or restaurant is a great way to spend time during a layover – Heathrow airport has many great options that also offer fun people watching.
Curb your hunger by visiting eateries that specialize in everything from gourmet coffees to upscale seafood. You can grab a quick bit to go, dine in style, feed the family or sip a good Guinness at a busy pub. For an authentic British experience, try bangers and mash or fish and chips at the Dining Street Restaurant.
Have time to venture out for some great food? Head to “Little India” for some authentic Indian food.
Treat the kids
Hanging about an airport with children can be incredible stressful for the entire family. Other than booking a local hotel, parents usually have few options to keep kids entertained during a long layover.
Heathrow Airport is just a jump away from top amusement parks such as Thorpe Park and Legoland. Thorpe Park is packed with thrill rides while Legoland offers plenty of entertainment for little ones and big kids alike.
Whether you stay at the airport or choose to venture farther afield, Heathrow’s perfect location and many transportation options makes it easy to enjoy even the longest of layovers.