London, the capital of Great Britain, has a number of leisure hot spots, whether one’s taste run to historic or pure entertainment. You could spend days in London seeing the sights but you can still experience London in less time. Often, traverls will have a long layover and need to stay the night in one of the Heathrow airport hotels. If that is your situation, don’t spend that time in the hotel room, go and see some of London.
The following list are some of the places we recommend visiting if you have a little extra time and what to see some attractions near the Heathrow airport.
For history buffs, consider some of the country’s finest museums. The British Museum (16.8 miles from the airport) features a number of exhibits, ranging from art and artifacts. The collections have been amassed since 1753, when it was bequeathed to England. The Museum of London (18 miles from the airport) explores the way of life for countrymen from the life of Saxons all the way up until modern day. Army life from 1066 to the current date is explored in the National Army Museum.
Tower of London
Tower of London (photo by Dave Straven)
The Tower of London, which is 18.5 miles from Heathrow airport, is the more common name for Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress. The historic castle is home to many ghost stories, as well as the Royal Crown Jewels, the White Tower and Traitors’ Gate. Not only known to have been the foundation for Royal disgrace and beheading executions, the Tower of London appeals to citizens and tourists alike.
West End Theatre
London’s West End Theatre has showcased a number of critical and public acclaim winning shows, such as The Lion King and Billy Elliot the Musical and is only 16.2 miles from the airport. With a constant influx of appreciated shows, the West End Theatre provides entertainment for individuals and families alike. For those more inclined to cabaret styles of entertainment, consider Cafe de Paris.
Churches and Cathedrals
The city is home to many churches and cathedrals. Such buildings are not only testament to the city’s history, but its devotion to religion. Top churches and buildings in the city include St. Paul’s, located on the famed Westminster Abby and is only 17.2 miles from the Heathrow airport.
London features a number of bars for those of the legal drinking age. Some have been designed so as to adopt the theme of a speakeasy. Such venues include 69 Colebrook Row (19 miles from the airport) and the Experimental Cocktail Bar (16.2 miles from the airport). Such areas of entertainment often appeal to those who are interested in the Prohibition Era, when gambling and alcoholic beverages were banned in the United States.
Big Ben in London (photo by Rhys Asplundh)
At only 16.1 miles from the Heathrow airport, Big Ben is a great destination or any traveler. One of the greatest tourist stops in the city is Big Ben. This is the nickname given to the large bell clock at the Palace of Westminster.
What trip to a world renowned city would be complete without some shopping? London features some of the greatest retail destinations in the world. Harrod’s is located on Knightsbridge (14.1 miles from the airport), while the majority of the shopping complexes can be found on Oxford Street (15.9 miles from the airport). Oxford Street features a number of shops and retailers, including well-known department store, Selfridges. The entirety of shops on the street totals one and a half miles.
With so much to do and see, travelers of any age and interest will never forget a trip to London.
The Science Museum of LondonDistance from London City Airport: 13.9 miles
Located outside London’s Heathrow Airport there are a number of family friendly attractions to visit with exhibits ranging from photography displays to a history of medicine exhibit. The museum offers interactive opportunities for whole family participation and an IMAX theater with regular showings of science-related films on an epic scale. Many interests and curiosities are available to explore at the museum in educational and fun ways!
Thorpe ParkDistance from London City Airport: 23.5 miles
Is for the thrill-seeking family, meet the need for adventure. An amusement park, Thorpe Park has wild roller coasters, water rides, and less intense rides for children. Thorpe Park also has a unique feature: on-site hotel rooms to rent for the night to extend your visit and be close to the action! Spend the day riding The Swarm, Saw – The Ride, or getting wet on the Storm Surge and relax with the family back in the room.
Chessington World of Adventures ResortDistance from London City Airport: 16.4 miles
Is a family getaway spot with a theme park, zoo, and sea life center. The theme park offers rides, a safari expedition, live shows with favorite children’s characters, and plenty of opportunities for small children to run and explore in their own age appropriate areas. The park is divided into 10 “countries” to navigate through and experience the attractions based on each country. Chessington’s zoo houses many exotic animals to observe and has a children’s farm where visitors are allowed to pet the animals and interact with them directly. The Sea Life Center provides guests with a view of underwater creatures and their environment. Jellyfish, rays, seahorses, and a variety of colorful are on display for visitors to enjoy.
LEGOLAND WindsorDistance from London City Airport: 24.5 miles
Is the site of the LEGOLAND resort, amusement park, and the ultimate LEGO shopping experience. The LEGOLAND amusement park is sectioned off by different themes including: Pirates Landing, Land of the Vikings, Kingdom of the Pharaohs, and many more! Families are free to explore LEGO-themed rides and activities and wonder over the amazing LEGO displays that are stationed throughout the park. A trip to The BIG LEGO shop or any of the other themed LEGO stores found at LEGOLAND is a must for any toy enthusiast!
Buckingham PalaceDistance from London City Airport: 1.7 miles
The embodiment of English royalty, the Palace can be visited for photographic opportunities from the outside but the palace holds regular tours in August and September of every year while the Queen is vacationing in Scotland for visitors to experience the iconic building from the inside. The tour explores 19 state rooms and the Palace gardens. Each state room houses priceless works of art and historical objects significant to Great Britain and the royal family. The tour is informative and self-paced but there is no photography inside the Palace. If visiting at the right time, the ritualistic changing of the guards tradition may be witnessed. Both the building and the grounds promote a sense of history and are exciting to see in person!