If you have a connecting flight with a layover in London, you want to make sure you make the most of your time. London is a fantastic city with plenty to see and explore, so here are our top tips for everything you can see or do during your layover in London.
Pick a great hotel
If you know you’re going to be in London overnight, make sure you layover in luxury by booking into one of London’s grandest hotels. The Grand Royale London Hyde Park not only benefits from excellent transport links to London’s major airports but it also has luxurious suits and a fantastic restaurant, bar and spa for you to unwind in. Plus, you can take advantage of our Premier Club Rewards – one of the best hotel rewards programs available, which allows you to work toward great deals and offers the more times you stay.
Play it safe and wait out your layover at the airport
Heathrow Airport is enormous, so if you have less than six hours to spare during your layover, you’d be wise to explore the many shops, restaurants cafes and bars available right inside the airport, rather than straying into central London and risking missing your flight. Heathrow, Airport also has a pre-bookable spa and lounge where you can get a relaxing treatment. You could also try out the Beauty Studio and get spruced up and refreshed before the next leg in your journey. The airport terminals are home to a range of high-end shops and big brand names, so there’s bound to be plenty to keep you busy during your layover. The terminal also hosts live events throughout the year, check the airport website before your trip to see if any coincide with your visit.
However, Heathrow isn’t the only great airport in London. Gatwick Airport also has its own gin distillery, and Luton has a fantastic executive lounge that you can relax in for just £24.99. Stanstead and London City Airport also have plenty to keep you entertained during shorter stopovers.
A whirlwind tour of all the sights at Westminster Station
Westminster Station is just a short ride on the underground from Gatwick and Heathrow airports, and it’s a great place to see many of London’s top attractions in one go. If you have time, hop on the tube and visit Big Ben, The London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, all of which are close by to Westminster station. If you have quite a lot of time to spare, you could also head to the London Aquarium, Florence Nightingale Museum and Churchill War Rooms close by.
Catch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace
If you’re layover leaves you having enough time to make it across to Buckingham Palace for 11:30 am during the summer, you should be able to watch the iconic changing of the guard. The ceremony takes place at around 11:30 every day during the warmer months and lasts for 45 minutes. If you plan in advance, you might even be able to get tickets for a tour of Buckingham Palace.
Stock up on souvenirs
Whether you’ve got one hour, a few, or a whole day to spend shopping in the city, London’s shops won’t let you down. Different shopping areas have their individual specialities, as do each of London’s neighbourhoods so plan your trip according to what you’re interested in and how much time you have. If you’re looking for some luxury retail therapy, Bond Street and Mayfair should be top of your list. Regent Street is another beautiful shopping area with fashion stores in the mid-range price spectrum and with some of the oldest and most famous shops in the city. Oxford Street is often referred to as the heart of London’s shopping scene, with more than 300 shops including high-street names, designer outlets and landmark stores.
Take a sightseeing tour
Sometimes, sightseeing is best when guided by a professional – especially if you’re on a tight time scale and want to make sure you don’t get lost searching for your favourite landmarks. Layover tours in London are specifically designed for people with just a few hours in London before they jet off to somewhere else and ensure you get to see as many of the sights as possible in your allotted time. Depending on the type of tour company you choose, you’ll be led around some of the city’s most famous landmarks, cultural and museum highlights or even the finest fooderies the city has to offer. Some tours will also pick you up and drop you off at your designated airport. Make sure you do your research to pick the best layover tour for you.
Embark upon a quest for the perfect fish and chips
Nothing symbolises British cuisine quite like fish and chips. Look up fish and chip outlets in London and embark on a search for the best one during your time in the city. Great food is one of the best indicators of a great place to stay, so once you find your favourite, you know where to head back to on your next visit.
Stroll through the great outdoors
There’s no better way to see London than to wander through its streets and parks, taking in the natural wonders the city has to offer. Regent’s Park is especially famous amongst people in London on a layover has it’s home to many great attractions, including Queen Mary’s infamous rose garden and London Zoo. Hyde Park is another famous garden with plenty to see and do. It’s home to The Dianne Memorial and Serpentine Lake, plus, it links into Kensington Gardens where you can find the statue of Peter Pan and Kensington Palace.
There you have it! Armed with this knowledge, you’ll no doubt be able to take advantage of your next layover in London. Of course, we have to admit…London is better enjoyed over the course of a few days. Why not book into Grand Royale London Hyde Park for a weekend or extended stay?