Heathrow: just a 50-minute tube ride from The Piccadilly London Hotel. The world’s second busiest airport is almost a city in itself and it dominates the borough of Hillingdon.
You may be forgiven for assuming the area around Heathrow has little to offer in the way of entertainment, but within just seven miles of the airport are countless attractions and opportunities for days out. To stand in the gallery of the airport’s T5 gives you some idea of that which waits to be discovered: Windsor castle to the west, Wembley and the London Eye to the east.
So, step forth from the cathedral of flight to discover a myriad of attractions. Follow our guide to the top fun things to do around Heathrow. Then, of course, end the day with a beauty treatment at the Piccadilly West End Hotel Spa.
Windsor and Eton – 6.8 miles (17 min)
The twin towns of Windsor and Eton lie either side of the River Thames and are joined by the Windsor Bridge. Eton is home to the independent boarding school Eton College. It was founded by Henry VI in 1440 as a ‘sister’ school to Cambridge University. Some of its most famous alumni include Hugh Laurie, Prince Harry and Damian Lewis. Windsor is of course best known as the seat of the British monarchy. The castle was built in 1075 and is the largest and oldest continually occupied castle in the world.
Hampton Court – 6.4 miles (26 min)
Here is another Royal residence located on the banks of the Thames further downstream in the borough of Richmond. Hampton Court was built in 1515 for Henry VIII’s right-hand man Thomas Wolsey. Wolsey had it taken off him when the two fell out and the King then added further buildings to make it his own residence. King George II was the last monarch to live in the palace.
Thorpe Park – 6.8 miles (14 min)
Thorpe Park is a large theme park found just off the M25 between junctions 11 and 13. Regular trains run between London Waterloo and Staines and you can use a speedy bus service to get from Staines station to the park. With over 30 awe-inspiring rides and plenty of attractions, events and eateries Thorpe Park is worth considering for a day out. Rides include the whopping Tidal Wave (you WILL get wet) and the far tamer Angry Birds land.
Wentworth golf course – 7.7 miles (17 min)
Wentworth gold club is a privately-owned club and health resort within putting distance of Windsor Castle. The club sports a club house, tennis and health club, bars and restaurants. Built in 1805 but converted into the club in 1922 Wentworth is today most famous for its hosting of the yearly PGA Championship tournament.
The Heathrow Academy – 1.6 miles (6 min)
The Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy was begun in 2004 in the wake of staff shortages within the confines of Heathrow airport. 5,000 local residents – more often than not school leavers – have passed through the doors of the Academy and walked into employment or sought further personal development.
Osterley Park and House – 4.1 miles (15 Min)
Osterley Park is one of the largest parks in Greater London. The mansion house is owned and managed by the National Trust. The easiest route to the park is via the Great West Road (or A4) which runs east of Heathrow. If travelling by car, roughly two miles east of Henlys Roundabout will find the old Gillette factory, here you turn left and follow the brown signs to the park.
Strawberry Hill House – 5.5miles (22 min)
Built by Horace Walpole in the 18th Century Strawberry Hill House is an excellent example of Gothic architecture. It pre-dates the gothic craze of the 19th Century that saw the stories of Dracula and Frankenstein put down on paper. Built as Walpole’s summer residence, the castle (or villa) was soon opened to visitors but children were not allowed. Nowadays the house is opened to everyone.
Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare – 5.1 miles (21 Min)
Built by the actor David Garrick in 1756 to honour the playwright William Shakespeare, the Temple lies on the north bank of the Thames in Sunbury. Garrick performed Shakespeare’s plays throughout his career. It is the only shrine to the Bard (Shakespeare’s grave is thought to be in his parish church of Stratford on Avon). The Temple is open to the public and stands as a museum to Garrick.
Marble Hill House – 6.6 miles (27 Min)
Owned by English Heritage, Marble Hill house is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture. Built between 1724 and 1729 for the mistress of King George II it sits in 66 acres of riverside meadowland just to the east of Twickenham. The house is open to the public, but by guided tours only.
What to do near Heathrow airport?
Within easy reach of Heathrow airport you will find the theme parks of Chessington and Thorpe Park; for the walkers among us Windsor Great Park is a must, so too Runnymede from where King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215.
What to see near Heathrow airport?
For walkabout and visiting attractions look no further than Kew Gardens, Ham House and the London Motor Museum. Check out some special offers for London Hotels and spend more than a day in the area.
What to do around Heathrow?
Heathrow may dominate the surrounding boroughs of Hounslow and Hillingdon but there is plenty to do within just a few miles of the airport. Transport links are excellent and bus and train connections allow visitors to savour the delights of nearby attractions.
What’s near Heathrow airport?
As well as visiting Kew Gardens and Ascot why not take a moment to look at what afternoon tea London offers there are in the Greater London area. Plane-spotting doesn’t have to be on the agenda!