When visiting London for the first time, one of the lowest areas on your London to do list will probably be North West London. Mostly residential, and a good 45 minutes outside of the city centre, the area around Heathrow doesn’t exactly scream tourist heaven. When you scratch under the surface though, you’ll find a whole exciting side of the city that often goes untouched. What with Shaftesbury Hotels near Heathrow airport offering luxury accommodation a quick train trip away, and the nearby attractions offering untouched fun, you’ll wonder why you’ve never explored the North West of the city before. Whether your visit is for a longer period or a quick layover, there are diverse options which will ensure that your stay is both memorable and exciting.
First off, let’s look at the airport itself. Heathrow is the largest airport in the UK, spanning over 12 kilometres, and so a quick layover with no time to explore London is not too bad a deal when left to your own devices in the airport grounds. Whilst you’re allowed to leave the airport on a layover, you will have to pass back through immigration if you do not hold an EU passport. This means that the only queue for EU travellers is through customs, which can still be quite a long wait given that Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world. The travel between terminals can be quite lengthy too, and travel into the city centre can take up to an hour. If you’re on a layover of less than 5 hours then, it’s probably not worth the hassle.
That begs the question of what you can do in the airport. With a wide range of shops, restaurants and even British Airways commissioned artworks, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy. Whether it’s an extra souvenir, a spot of fine dining or an absorbing read in one of the many book shops, Heathrow airports retail therapy and recreational options know no bounds.
There are several interesting things to do near Heathrow airport, Here’s our list of 12 great attractions close to Heathrow Airport, several fascinating places for people traveling alone, as a couple, with friends or with family:
One of the most historic castles in London, not to mention the country, Windsor Castle dates to the 11th century and has been used as the palace for monarchs such as Henry VIII, Elizabeth II and Edward IV. The grounds around the castle are also stunning, and a day out in this Greater London is worth the journey out of the centre.
Hounslow Urban Farm
Another example of London’s fine tradition of inner-city farmsteads, Hounslow Farm is home to geese, pigs and horses, whilst organising community outreach projects exploring sustainability in the city.
Village life in Denham and Stoke Poges
Located near to Heathrow Airport you’ll find a surprising bustle of true British country villages. For a little fresh air and some quaint little snippets of village life in the UK, then Denham and Stoke Poges are within ten miles of the very city airport.
Little India in Southall
For a taste of UK British Asian culture, then check out Little India in Southall, a quick tube journey from Ealing and Heathrow. Here you can taste some of the best Indian food in the city, as well as getting a taste of the unique Asian culture of North West London.
Legoland Windsor UK
Legoland Windsor is one of the most family friendly theme parks in the Greater London area, bringing a great range of attractions and cute Lego made wonders to the forefront of an accessible theme park for all ages and tastes.
Hampton Court Palace
Built for Henry VIII favourite Cardinal Wolsey in 1515, this is one of the great Tudor landmarks which can still be seen in the Hampton area. With a maze in tis gardens and a beautiful interior, Hampton Court is well worth an historic day trip.
Airport Bowl Heathrow
Looking for a great way to kill some time in Heathrow Airport? Then the Bowling alley has everything you need to blow off some steam and knock down some pins.
Osterley Park and House
This Neo-Classical house created by Robert Adam is part of a larger garden area in South Ealing, complete with National Trust Heritage support.
One of the most famous sports stadiums in the UK, the 82,000 capacity Twickenham stadium is home to some of the best club and international rugby matches in the country.
A must for adrenaline junkies, Thorpe Park is one of the best theme parks in the UK for heart pumping roller coasters and is easily reachable from Heathrow airport.
Chessington World of Adventures Resort
Another perfect example of a family friendly and diverse theme park, Chessington is a short drive from Heathrow airport and draws in all ages to its fun-filled attractions.
Built in 1610, Ham House is a formal garden house based in Richmond, bringing a unique Stuart Style to the already beautiful Richmond borough.