Things to do in Heathrow
An international hub for the city’s business travelers, as well as the third-largest airport in the world for passenger traffic, Heathrow is a destination that much first time or returning visitors to London will frequently find themselves near. Well-connected to the rest of London via the Underground and Heathrow Express, there are plenty of hotels and serviced apartments to be found in the local area, as well as a number of attractions to keep visitors entertained during a lengthy stopover.
Here Are The Top 5 Attractions Near Heathrow We Would Recommend To Any Traveler:
- Chiswick House
Situated in one of West London’s most scenic public gardens, Chiswick House is perhaps the finest example of Neo-Palladian architecture in the city. The house and gardens were designed by Lord Burlington and completed in 1792, and currently occupies an area of some 65.1 acres. While the house is a historic sight in itself, the surrounding gardens are also some of the earliest examples of British landscape gardening and are well worth a visit on their own.
- Richmond Park
Slightly less far to travel than London itself, the bustling suburb of Richmond upon the Thames always warrants thorough exploration simply due to its scenic green spaces. Richmond Park is the most famous of these; stretching over 2,500 acres, it qualifies as London’s largest Royal Park, and features everything from free-roaming deer and ornate bridges, to landscaped shrubbery and exotic plants and flowers.
- Thorpe Park
Along with Legoland Windsor and Chessington World of Adventures, Thorpe Park is one of the many popular theme parks in the area surrounding Heathrow. Situated between Staines and Chertsey, Thorpe Park is home to a number of thrill rides, rollercoasters, and arcade games, with overnight accommodation also available. Some of its rides are nationally renown: Tidal Wave, Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, Stealth, The Swarm and Saw are a must for all those white-knuckle fans, but the park also contains a number of rides for younger children. A fun day out for the whole family.
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Home to the world’s largest collection of living plants, the beautiful Kew Gardens came into existence in 1840, and over the last 150 years has become a haven for rare and exotic species of plant. While its accompanying library contains more than 750,000 horticultural volumes, the gardens themselves contain more than 30,000 different kinds of plants and have been on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 2003.
- Ascot Racecourse
Don that top hat and tails or posh frock and get ready for a day at the races! Ascot is possibly the most famous flat racecourse in the UK and the venue for a number of the leading meetings each year. Located just outside the town of Windsor, horses have raced on Ascot’s grounds since 1711, and the reigning monarch and royal family members are frequently in attendance whenever an event is running. In particular, the Ascot Gold Cup, King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth Stakes draw in talented horses and jockeys from across the globe, and the turnout is always excellent.
Museums Near Heathrow
Whether in Heathrow for a brief stopover or for an extended stay in London, one of the best ways of spending an idle afternoon is to explore the history and culture of the city in one of its many museums. With Central London just a short tube journey away on the Piccadilly Line, many of the city’s top museums are within easy reach. But for those looking for something a little closer to home, there are plenty of excellent exhibitions off the beaten track for visitors to enjoy.
Here is a list of our top 5 museums near Heathrow:
- Musical Museum
Located just a few miles from the airport, the Musical Museum in Brentford contains one of the most renowned collections of self-playing musical instruments in the world. Not only does this venue house rare working examples of player pianos, orchestrions, and violin players, but there is also a 230-capacity concert hall and in-house cinema, both of which are used for performances throughout the year. Admission is £11 for adults and £9 for children.
- London Motor Museum
A must for auto enthusiasts, the London Motor Museum in Hayes boasts over 160 exhibits, including classic cars from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Among them are several iconic vehicles from pop cultures, such as the Batmobile (1989), Herbie the Volkswagen Beetle, and a Ford Gran Torino from the TV series ‘Starsky and Hutch’. The entry costs £30 for adults and £20 for children but it is well worth the price.
- World Rugby Museum
The World Rugby Museum reopened in February 2018 in the South Stand of Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby, with a current collection comprising over 37,000 pieces of rugby memorabilia, from boots to balls, jerseys and more. Many temporary and permanent exhibitions can be found here, and the museum is also a great complement to the World Rugby Hall of Fame, located in the town of Rugby itself. Admission costs £25 for adults and £15 for children.
- Ham House
A Grade I listed a property, Ham House is a truly remarkable historic building. Completed in 1610, it stands amid the beautiful scenery of Grade II listed parks and gardens in the London borough of Richmond upon the Thames. Visitors can enjoy the gardens at their leisure, before exploring the numerous pieces of period furniture and artwork in the house itself. Entry to the house costs £11 for adults and £5 for children, a bargain for those antique enthusiasts.
- Marble Hill House
The home of Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk, Marble Hill House is an 18th-century Palladian villa chock full of early Georgian furniture, paintings, and gilded decorations. With past residents also including Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope, the manor is steeped in history, and the grounds of which it is a part also contain many leisure facilities, such as tennis courts, cricket pitches and a children’s play area. The site is now owned and preserved by English Heritage, and admission is free.
Shopping Near Heathrow
Aside from the brand boutiques and duty-free shopping opportunities of Heathrow Airport itself, there are plenty of shopping opportunities in the wider area for visitors to really sink their teeth into. An afternoon browsing the various local wares or stocking up for the next city break is a great way of passing the time, so here are the best places to shop around Heathrow we would recommend:
- Elmsleigh Shopping Centre
Located in the nearby Staines-Upon-Thames, Elmsleigh Shopping Centre is the main shopping destination in town. A modern mall featuring mainstream fashion stores, phone retailers, bookshops and cafes, visitors are bound to find what they are looking for on its many shelves, and can easily kill some time browsing for extras as well.
- Heathrow Boutique
Heathrow Airport offers much to see and buy on any given day. Filled with countless high street stores, the airport also boasts several designer outlets thanks to its sheer size, among them Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Hollister and Tommy Hilfiger.
A short journey on the Underground will take visitors into Central London, with its plentiful shopping opportunities. One of the most exclusive shopping districts is Knightsbridge, home to a number of designer boutiques, not to mention Harrod’s, the world’s most famous retail emporium. Featuring everything from antique to vintage clothes, Harrods is synonymous with luxury shopping and is the ideal place for some retail therapy. And for children, the world-renowned Hamley’s toy store is just around the corner, boasting over 35,000 toys and games across seven floors.
For high street shopping with a touch of history thrown into the mix, look no further than Windsor and Eton, on the banks of the River Thames. Not only does this famous town offer a number of high street stores, including Marks and Spencer and Superdrug, but the town is also the home of Windsor Castle, one of the many current residences of the Queen of England.
Food and Drink Near Heathrow
Experiencing the vast variety of new food and drink on offer is one of the many perks of travel. As London is such a diverse city, there will naturally be many menu options for visitors to enjoy, from traditional pub classics like fish and chips to more exotic cuisine like curry, tapas, and sushi. There are a number of excellent restaurants within Heathrow that cater to all customers’ tastes. Here are a few of our favorites:
A popular chain restaurant, Carluccio’s greets visitors with the enticing sights and smells of their famous baked meringues and pastries, while also offering a selection of Italian favorites, including pizza and pasta.
- Caviar House & Prunier
A producer of the world’s finest Balik smoked salmon and aforementioned Prunier caviar, this quality restaurant is recognized as one of the market leaders worldwide for its serving selection.
- Bridge Bar & Lounge
A traditional British pub with a welcoming atmosphere, the Bridge Bar & Lounge serves classic fare such as fish and chips, pie and mash, and roast dinners, all with a great selection of beers on tap. A group favorite.
- Steak & Lobster
Another popular chain restaurant, Steak & Lobster is renowned for serving the two dishes that make up its name. But their fine selection is not just limited to meat; they also serve some great seasonal salads, as well as a range of excellent desserts.
Madhu is a staple of the local area. A long-standing Indian restaurant, Madhu’s falls well under the fine dining category with its sumptuous selection of spiced curries, and also caters for weddings, private parties, and corporate events.
- Bombay Wok
A blend of fusion cuisine, Bombay Wok takes classic Indian food and cooks it in a Chinese fashion. Delicious and Oriental.