You have a stop over in London and you want to explore – the only problem is that your layover is somewhere between 9-12 hours. You may be thinking, is it even worth leaving Heathrow? My answer, YES (especially if you’ve never been to London before)! So here’s how you can make the most out of your Heathrow layover.
Take the tube
There’s no better introduction to London than hopping on the tube from Heathrow into the city! Unlike many other transportation systems throughout the world, the tube is easy to understand and get around. You can find pricing and more information about day passes and getting an Oyster card here.
Sit in a cozy cafe
Walk down practically any street in London and you’ll find a cute cafe you can step into. Sit down for a warm cup of coffee on a chilly day while you plan the rest of your short time in London! If you’re by yourself, this is a great opportunity to connect to wifi and download maps on maps.me so you have no trouble getting around and don’t waste any of your precious time.
What I once thought must be the well-known London Bridge is actually Tower Bridge. If you’ve seen any pictures or clips of London before, you’re sure to have seen this bridge. Walk across and get a few snaps while you’re at it!
Get that iconic phone booth picture
This is kinda a must-do when you’re in London. As cheesy as it is, I’d recommend doing it! Don’t fret about where to find a phone booth because there are heaps of them around every corner.
Changing of the guards / Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is another one of those touristy spots you’ll want to hit if you have a quick layover. Depending on the day you’re there you may be able to catch the changing of the guards! The entire event takes around 45 minutes so if you’re tight on time you may have to skip out on it. You can find more information here!
Neal’s Yard – Covent Garden
Because London is so large, you won’t have enough time to see it all during a short layover. It’s best if you find a specific spot where you can wander around for a bit and maybe even do some shopping. Covent Garden is a nice spot to spend an hour or two walking through the streets, especially Neal’s Yard which is a vibrant and colourful alleyway.
Head back to Heathrow
By now your 12 hours in London should‘ve elapsed and you‘ll be headed back to the airport! Jump on the tube and you‘ll be there in no time.