Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR) is in the west of London (17 miles or 27 km from central London), one of the world's busiest airports; the busiest in the world in terms of international passenger traffic, the largest airport in the United Kingdom and home of the national carrier, British Airways.
London Heathrow (LHR) is a giant, sprawling airport currently divided into four terminals (T1, T3, T4 and T5). Originally established in the late 1940s, it is London's primary airport, the premier air gateway into the United Kingdom, and is the busiest airport in the world for international passenger traffic and is Europe's foremost hub airport.
Due to its size, increased security requirements and the fact that development had not kept pace with its growth, Heathrow became overcrowded and developed a reputation for long queues, inefficiency and delays. However, since Terminal 5 opened in March 2008, and despite initial problems with the brand new terminal, this situation has improved. Terminal 2, the airport's original terminal, closed in November 2009 for demolition and rebuilding and is expected to reopen in 2014.
There is currently a long, drawn out game of musical terminals being played by the airlines at Heathrow: British Airways is gradually moving all of its flights to Terminals 5 and 3. While British Airways is doing this the other airlines are moving round to better use the space that has been vacated. Eventually the idea is that all of the airline alliances (Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam) will have their 'own' terminal which their members use, thus minimizing the number of connecting passengers who have to change to a different terminal. Terminal 2, the oldest and smallest terminal has now closed to be replaced by a brand new building which will also eventually replace T1. Because of this it is currently imperative to double-check where your flight departs from — for example, at the time of writing, British Airways operates from T3 and T5. Broadly speaking in early 2013 the situation was:
- T1: Most Star Alliance airlines, Aer Lingus services, domestic Virgin Atlantic services and some British Airways flights (inherited from BMI).
- T2: Closed.
- T3: Most Oneworld airlines. Virgin Atlantic, British Airways (Barcelona, Gibraltar, Madrid, Lisbon, Nice, Helsinki, Malaga and Vienna), British Airways flights to Bangkok, Singapore and Australia and all Qantas flights. Some Star Alliance carriers.
- T4: All SkyTeam airlines, some United Airlines flights.
- T5: Most British Airways and Iberia flights.
Make sure you double check which terminal you need to use on the Heathrow Airport website as the situation changes frequently!
The airport is some 17 mi. (27 km) west of central London. A large part of the journey can be made by means of the M4 motorway, which can, however, be quite congested at peak periods. Terminal 5 can be reached directly from the M25. The airport is also near the M40 and M3.
The car rental depots are all concentrated along the northern periphery of the airport, and free shuttle buses are available from all terminals. There can be time delays when arriving at the hire desk with large queues so make every effort to get to the desk before the crowd, perhaps by getting one member of the party with hand luggage to go straight through. You may find at early morning or late evening that the arrivals hall desk is closed and you have to go straight onto the shuttle bus and check out your rental at the depot instead.
Bear in mind if you are intending to drive into the centre of London - you will be liable for the Congestion Charge - which is currently £8 per day and applies on weekdays between 7am-6pm. Automatic number plate recognition cameras are in operation, and your car rental company will track you down and bill you with the £30 fine if you fail to pay - you have been warned!
Parking your car
Different car parks have different procedures. There is no shortage of choice when parking your car at Heathrow but there are many procedures to follow depending on which car park you choose. Some simply get you to turn up and report to a reception area which is easy enough. However some others have different procedures such as using the credit card you used to pre book with to enter the car park or even registration plate recognition.
There is also a massive difference in the prices charged by many car parks in and around Heathrow. For example, you can find individual house owners in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport who are happy to rent you a space outside their house for a week or two and it’s usually very cheap in comparison to the large car park operators; however, this is definitely a case of ‘buyer beware’!
Of course, there is no security at these spaces – you get what you pay for to some extent – plus you often find that you are left to your own devices to get to the airport. This could mean public transport if you’re lucky, but more often than not, it means getting a taxi both there and back. This usually results in negating any of the cost savings you have made in the parking itself.
Public transport to and from London
All the terminals have very good public transport links to and from Central London, with options ranging from local and express busses to the London Underground and rail services. The majority of travelers heading to Central London use public transport. Note that there are different rail stations for the five terminals at Heathrow - be sure you take the right train as not all trains go to the same terminals.
Direct from Terminals 1, 3 & 5, and via a connection from T4. Every 15 minutes. Oyster Cards not valid. The fastest way to Central London from Terminals 1, 3 & 5 is the Heathrow Express  rail service, but it is also by far the most expensive. The Heathrow Express does not operate directly to Terminal 4; you must take a connecting (Heathrow Connect) train to Terminals 1 & 3 and change - cross platform - to the Express.
The train departs from Terminal 5 every 15 minutes, stops at Terminals 1 & 3 and then runs non-stop to London Paddington, Central London, where connections are available to the rest of London’s transport system. Journey time from Terminal 5 to London Paddington is 21 minutes, and from Terminals 1 & 3 it’s 15 minutes. The first train from Heathrow leaves at 05:42 and the last at 23:42.
The trains are air-conditioned, modern, comfortable and are fully accessible with a wheelchair area, disabled toilet and level access to the station platforms. Free Wi-Fi Internet access is available on board. Mobile phone coverage is available throughout the entire route, including in the tunnels under Heathrow. On board TV entertainment plays throughout the journey, offering BBC News bulletins, destination information, comedy clips and trivia. Quiet zones are available where this does not play. There are two classes of accommodation - Express (Standard) Class and First Class. First Class offers a larger seat, more legroom (though there’s plenty in Express Class), tables and complimentary newspapers. The First Class area of the train also stops closer to the station exits.
Fares can be purchased in advance on the Internet, from the station or on board the train and they vary in price depending on where you bought them. An Express Class Adult Single bought online costs £16.50, or £18.00 at the station (£32 Return, online or at station), with a £3 surcharge over the at-station price if you buy on-board (per March 2010). National Railcard discounts are available at Heathrow Express station ticket offices only (with the exception of Disabled Persons Railcard, which can be used on-board). Child fares (5–15 years inclusive) are about half the adult fare. Under 5s travel free. If you book your ticket online you can have it sent to you as an email message to print out or as a mobile phone picture message, both contain a barcode and the conductor scans this on the train.
London Travelcards and Oyster Cards are not valid on the Heathrow Express.
Direct from Terminals 1, 3 & 4, and via a connection from T5. Every 30 minutes. Oyster cards not valid to/from Heathrow. This service uses the same route to London Paddington as the Heathrow Express but is a slower, less frequent train which also serves intermediate local stations in West London. It’s cheaper than the Heathrow Express and it serves Terminal 4 directly, but passengers needing to get to Terminal 5 have to change to a connecting service at Terminals 1 & 3. Heathrow Connect provides a convenient connection to London Underground’s Central Line at Ealing Broadway station. Trains depart Terminal 4 for London Paddington every 30 minutes (every 15 minutes to Terminals 1 & 3 only, for connection to the Heathrow Express), stop at Terminals 1 & 3, Hayes & Harlington, Southall, Hanwell, West Ealing and Ealing Broadway. Journey time from Terminal 4 to London Paddington is 33min and 28min from Terminals 1 & 3. The first train from Heathrow leaves at 05:23 and the last at 00:01.
The trains are air-conditioned, modern and accessible with a wheelchair area and disabled toilet. Although Heathrow and London Paddington stations have step free access, be aware that not all intermediate stations are wheelchair accessible. Audio and visual journey information is provided on board. Mobile phone coverage is available throughout the route, including in the tunnels under Heathrow.
Fares must be purchased before boarding the train (tickets will be checked on board and those found not to be holding a ticket will have to pay a penalty fare) and can be bought at station ticket offices. A Heathrow to London Paddington Adult Single costs £8.50 (£16.50 Open Return). Child fares (5–15 years inclusive) are about half the adult fare. Under 5s travel free.
London Travelcards and Oyster Cards are not valid between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow Airport. Passengers holding a Travelcard or Oyster Card must buy an additional ticket for the journey between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow (£4.90 Adult Single).
Bus link from Terminals 1, 2 & 3 (bus 285) and Terminals 4 & 5 (bus 490) to Feltham railway station. Trains every 20 minutes. Oyster cards are valid. Although a slower route, if you are heading for South London or West London suburbs, Richmond or Windsor, this could prove a useful shortcut. Regular bus services  run from the airport to Feltham station (single fare £1.30 on Oyster) and a frequent east-west rail line runs between Reading and London Waterloo (single fare £5). Depending on the route, some trains take 30 minutes (trains via Richmond), others take 45 minutes (trains via Hounslow and Kew), so it is advised to check the train times carefully if you are rushing to catch a plane. You must buy your train ticket before boarding as this is not an airport express train but a standard suburban rail service. You can use Oyster cards valid for zone 6 to use the train and bus on this route.
The Tube (London Underground)
London Underground’s Piccadilly Line Direct to Central London, up to every 5 minutes (dependent on terminal). Oyster cards are valid. The Piccadilly Line runs direct from all the terminals to the very centre of London, stopping at stations close to many of London’s landmarks, shopping and entertainment areas, as well as the major transport hub at King’s Cross St. Pancras. It stops frequently and is comparatively slow (60 minutes from Terminal 5 to King’s Cross St. Pancras vs 45 minutes using the Heathrow Express and changing to The Tube at Paddington). However, it is an integral part of Transport for London’s network so Travelcards and Oyster Cards are valid, making it a good value option. It’s also a fairly quick option if you want to get to much of West London.
Trains depart Terminals 4 & 5 every 10 minutes and stop at Terminals 1 & 3 before continuing to London, thus making the frequency from Terminals 1 & 3 every 5 minutes. Trains to & from Terminal 5 do not stop at T4 and trains to & from T4 do not stop at T5. Be aware that if you are heading from Central London to Terminals 1 & 3 then it is normally quicker to wait for a train which terminates at T5 as the trains to T4 wait there for up to 7 minutes before continuing to Terminals 1 & 3. T5 trains go directly to Terminals 1 & 3 first, then continue to T5. The Tube closes during the night and first trains leave Heathrow at about 6AM, last trains are about midnight.
Be aware that during peak rush hour periods the Tube becomes extremely overcrowded - particularly in the central zones. Trains originally designated for Heathrow are sometimes rerouted down the Rayners Lane branch or terminate short at Acton Town or Northfields to deal with peak-hour congestion - the driver will normally make an announcement if this is going to happen. Therefore if you are using the Tube to travel to Heathrow during rush hour - bear this in mind and leave Central London in plenty of time. Also, try to join the train as far up the line as possible - King's Cross St Pancras is a good bet - since you will stand a much better chance of finding a seat and somewhere to put your luggage.
As The Tube is a rapid transport system designed with short journeys in mind, the trains are not the most comfortable. However, from Heathrow there will almost always be seats available and luggage space is provided. There is space for wheelchairs and the Heathrow stations are accessible, but as The Tube is an old system originally built in the 19th century, very few stations in Central London are accessible to wheelchairs. Almost all involve negotiating staircases and escalators. Earls Court is an exception and some other stations can be reached by wheelchair users by changing to alternate lines here. More stations are being adapted (King’s Cross St. Pancras is now accessible, for instance) and accessible stations are shown on the Tube Map available on TfL’s website . Audio and visual journey information is provided on board.
The Tube is a closed system and nearly all stations have ticket barriers. Tickets should be bought at the station and the cost of a Zone 1 - 6 (Central London - Heathrow) single is £4.50. Penalty fares are in force for those caught without a valid ticket. Travelcards (day, or period tickets which allow unlimited travel on all of London’s public transport, not just The Tube) are available and will almost certainly provide better value if you plan on using London’s transport system more than a couple of times. The cheapest option for anyone spending much time in London will probably be to get an Oyster Card (a Transport for London travel smart-card), which is always cheaper than paying fares in cash. See the London article and Transport for London’s website  for more information on Oyster Cards and other available fares.
Every 30 minutes direct to London Victoria Coach Station, National Express run a direct coach service from Heathrow Central Bus Station to London Victoria Coach Station every 30min. Journey times are 40-50min and fares are available from £4 if bought on the Internet. Tickets can also be bought from the National Express ticket office at Heathrow Bus station. Some services operate via Terminals 4 & 5, but the service is more limited. Free transfer is available to Terminals 1 & 3 and the Central Bus Station from Terminals 4 & 5 via the Heathrow Express and Connect trains or the shuttle bus services.
All coaches are accessible to wheelchairs.
Services operate approximately 07:00-23:30.
London Travelcards and Oyster Cards are not valid.
N9 Regular late night London Bus Service. During the night, when most of the rail and coach links (and the flights!) have stopped operating, one of the few ways you can get to & from Heathrow is by using the N9 night bus service, which operates to & from Aldwych in Central London via Hammersmith.
The service runs every 20 minutes on weeknights and takes around 1 hour and 10 minutes to Heathrow Central Bus Station and continues to Terminal 5. The service is operated using modern, accessible, low-floor busses with a wheelchair space.
The N9 is a normal Transport for London Night Bus service and so is subject to a flat cash fare of £2.00. All Travelcards and Oyster Cards are valid on London Bus services.
Day time local buses to the areas surrounding Heathrow. In the day time there are no local bus services to Central London (that service is provided by The Tube), but there are plenty of services to areas of West London and outlying towns such as Slough and Maidenhead. Heathrow Airport publish a map  on their website showing the routes available.
Fares vary depending on the operator, but Transport for London services (red buses) are subject to the standard £2.00 flat fare when paying by cash (Travelcards and Oyster Cards are also valid on these buses).
If you really want to go by local bus during the day from central London (perhaps you have a bus pass not valid on trains or coaches), expect a journey time of about three hours, depending on exactly where you start from. If you're intrepid, use the TfL journey planner  to find details, times and (most importantly) where to change buses, which you may end up doing three or four times depending on where you start from and when you travel.
Black Cabs - London’s famous black taxis - are available for hire outside each terminal. Journey time into Central London varies wildly depending on distance, time of day and traffic conditions. It can take anything from 40 minutes to 2 hours. Fares vary similarly, as a rough guide it could cost about £55 to Central London.
Minicabs (private hire cars) must be ordered in advance by phone (or Internet in some cases) and cost less than a black cab.
If you are thinking of taking a taxi into London then consider the Heathrow Express (you can pick up a taxi at Paddington Station to complete your journey). They will probably be faster and cheaper, and almost as easy to use.
Public transport to the rest of the UK
Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in the United Kingdom.
Heathrow does not yet have any direct rail services to anywhere outside of London, meaning that you will have to go into the centre of the city and then come back out again, but making a connection in one of the central London railway stations is fairly easy. Heathrow is directly linked to London Paddington via Heathrow Express & Connect. All of the major railway stations are also on the Tube network, making cross-London connections from Paddington fairly straightforward. Below is a quick summary of the principal connections available.
- Euston: (Tube - Circle Line: Euston Square then walk 200m) For Birmingham (New Street), Manchester, Liverpool, the Lake District, Glasgow and overnight sleepers to Scotland.
- Liverpool Street (Tube - Circle Line) For Cambridge, Stansted Airport, Norwich and the Essex coast.
- Marylebone: (Tube - Bakerloo line) For Birmingham (Snow Hill) - slower than the main route from Euston but can be cheaper.
- Paddington: For Oxford, Bath, Bristol, Penzance, Cardiff, Swansea and the overnight sleeper to Cornwall.
- St Pancras: (Tube - Circle Line) For Luton Airport, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield, high speed services to Kent - and Eurostar services to Paris and Brussels
- King's Cross: (Tube - Circle Line) For Cambridge, York, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, and daytime trains to Inverness, Dundee and Aberdeen.
- Victoria (Tube - Circle Line) For Brighton and Gatwick Airport.
Express coach links (branded RailAir) from Heathrow Central Bus Station operate to Reading, Watford Junction, Feltham and Woking stations to connect with train services. The Reading and Woking coaches serve Terminals 1 & 3 (via the Central Bus Station) & 5 directly, and the Watford Junction coach (Greenline service 724) serves all terminals.
The Feltham RailAir link is actually provided by local bus services rather than express coaches. Service 485 takes you to Hatton Cross for Terminal 4 and then on to the Central Bus Station for Terminals 1 & 3. Service 490 goes to Hatton Cross, then onto Terminal 5.
Through tickets are available to & from Heathrow Airport from any station in the UK, using either The Underground network, Heathrow Express or Connect from Central London or the RailAir coach links. If you want to use the Heathrow Express it’ll probably be cheaper to buy your ticket for it separately. Make sure you specify the method you want to use to reach Heathrow when you buy your rail ticket.
If you plan on travelling on the Great Western line to the South West of England or Southern Wales then another option is to take the local U3 bus from the Central Bus Station to West Drayton railway station. The bus takes around 20 minutes to complete this journey when there is no traffic. From there take a local train to Reading railway station in order to connect to other services. The benefit of this route is that you are buying a normal railway ticket, as opposed to one that has a premium attached for a journey starting or ending at Heathrow.
For information, time and fares for trains to & from Heathrow Airport see the National Rail Enquires website .
National Express operate direct coach services from Heathrow to many cities around the UK, as well as direct links to all of the other London airports. Most coaches serve Terminal 5 as well as the Central Bus Station, some stop at Terminal 4. See the National Express  website for information, times and pricing.
Oxford Bus operate a 24 hour frequent (every 20 minutes during the day) coach shuttle service to & from Oxford called The Airline. Adult fares are £18 single, £23 period return. Further information can be found at the Oxford Bus website .
There are many airport transfer services that provide personal transport services to Heathrow Airport. All transport companies that operate transfer services must be licensed with the relevant local authority. Drivers are issued a badge after undergoing various checks and vehicles are issued licenses confirming that they have passed rigorous safety checks and have the correct insurance in place. Drivers and vehicles are licensed as either Hackney Carriages or Private Hire, each one is covered by different regulations. When booking an airport transfer you should always check that the company has a license from the council. This is particularly important when booking over the internet or over the phone. Booking directly with a taxi company rather than with an online booking agency will usually be more cost effective.
As it's such a difficult to understand and constantly changing place Heathrow has a significant internal transport system so people can get around. All travel within the airport boundary on local bus and Heathrow Express & Connect trains is free. Terminals 1 & 3, as well as the Central Bus Station are all in the 'Central Terminal Area' and are within walking distance, linked by underground tunnels with travelators. The Central Terminal Area is in the middle of the airport between the runways, Terminal 4 is in the south-eastern corner of the airport, beyond the southern runway and Terminal 5 is in the far west of the airport, between the runways. To get from the Central Terminal Area to Terminal 4 you can take the free Heathrow Connect train (every 15min) or a bus. Similarly to get from the Central Terminal Area to Terminal 5 you can take the free Heathrow Express train (every 15min) or a bus. To transfer between Terminal 4 & 5 there is either a direct bus service or you can take the train to the Central Terminal Area and change.
If you are connecting to another flight airside there is a network of free buses that will take you between terminals (if you need to change terminal).
It's always good to have a little extra time when transferring from one flight to another, and this is true especially in a place like Heathrow. On a really busy/foggy day your plane may not be allowed to land at its scheduled time, therefore two or three hours is certainly not "too much" time, especially if your next flight departs from another terminal.
None of the terminals have a viewing gallery that is accessible from landside, but the Heathrow Academy on the Northern Perimeter Road has a viewing deck which gives good views of the northern runway (27R/9L). It is adjacent to the Renaissance Hotel, and the buses within the airport campus (numbers 105, 111, 140 and 235) stop at the deck.
Hatton Cross tube station is also a good spot for viewing the end of the runways, depending on what time of day when aircraft are landing or departing.
Eat and Drink
There are restaurants and fast food outlets in the departure areas of all five terminals, though, like most airports, the food can be overpriced.
- Boots, 06:00-22:00, sell a limited range of pre-packed sandwiches, salads and bottled drinks at a very good price. Located in departures, before security and after security for international flights.
- Costa, 05:30-23:00, serves fresh coffee, tea, hot drinks, sandwiches and pastries. Located before security, in both domestic and international departure areas after security, and in the arrivals hall.
- Wetherspoons, 05:30 until last flight, serves a wide range of hot and cold pub food at a fair price (for London) as well as a large selection of beers and other alcoholic drinks. A traditional cooked English breakfast costs around £6 and will keep you going for most of the day. Family friendly. Located before and after security in the domestic departure area.
- The Bridge Bar, 06:00 until last flight. A modern bar serving a variety of pub food, including cooked breakfast. Located after security in the international departure area.
- Caffe Nero, 05:30 until last flight, serves fresh coffee, tea, hot drinks and Italian style sandwiches and pastries. Located after security in the international departure area.
- Giraffe, 06:00 until last flight, an alternative restaurant with a very up beat atmosphere and style. Serves food from around the world, including cooked breakfasts, curry dishes, pizza, sandwiches, fish and chips, salads, burgers, grilled steak and everything else they've got. Prices aren't too expensive. Located after security in the international departure area.
- Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar, 07:00 - 21:00, serves caviar, smoked salmon and seafood. Located after security in the international departure area.
- Boots, 06:00-22:00, sell a limited range of pre-packed sandwiches, salads and bottled drinks at a very good price. Located in departures, both before and after security, and in the arrivals hall.
- Costa, 24 hours, serves fresh coffee, tea, hot drinks, sandwiches and pastries. Located in departures, before security.
- O'Neills, 06:00 until last flight. An Irish bar, which sells a range of reasonably priced pub meals with your pint of Guinness. Located after security.
- AMT Coffee, 24 hours. A coffee shop which also serves a range of snacks. Located in the arrivals hall.
- Marks & Spencer Simply Food, 06:00 - 22:00, sell a large range of pre-packed, sandwiches, salads, cakes pastries and bottled drinks. Not cheap, but good quality and value, after all - it's not just food! Located in the arrivals hall.
- Garfunkel's, 06:00 - 23:00, serves a range of British and American food including decent breakfasts. Located in departures, before security.
- Eat., 05:00 - 21:00, serve fresh, simple, seasonal sandwiches, soup, salad and cakes, bottled drinks and tea & fresh coffee to eat in or take away. Located after security.
- Brasserie Chez Gérard, 07:00 until last flight, serves a range French food and drink in a casual atmosphere. Located after security.
- Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar, 07:00 - 21:00, serves caviar, smoked salmon and seafood. Located after security.
- Boots, 06:00 - 22:00, sell a limited range of pre-packed sandwiches, salads and bottled drinks at a very good price. Located in departures, both before and after security.
- Costa, 05:30 until last flight, serves fresh coffee, tea, hot drinks, sandwiches and pastries. Located after security.
- AMT Coffee, 07:00 - 22:00. A coffee shop which also serves a range of snacks. Located both before and after security.
- Wetherspoons, 06:00 until last flight, serves a wide range of hot and cold pub food at a fair price (for London) as well as a large selection of beers and other alcoholic drinks. A traditional cooked English breakfast costs around £6 and will keep you going for most of the day. Family friendly. Located before security.
- Pret (After security turn left and walk to the gates at the end.). British chain of sandwich shops. £2+.
- Caffe Nero, 24 hours, serves fresh coffee, tea, hot drinks and Italian style sandwiches and pastries. Located before security.
- Garfunkel's, 06:30 until last flight, serves a range of British and American food including decent breakfasts. Located after security.
- Est Bar Deli, 06:30 until last flight. Coffee, cocktails, wines and beer good quality freshly made sandwiches and salads. A good substitute for the lack of an Eat. in T4, and it sells alcohol too. Located after security.
- Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar, 08:00 - 20:00, serves caviar, smoked salmon and seafood. Located after security.
Heathrow Airport and British Airways are trying to give their new terminal a feeling of quality so you won't find any of your regular, cheap high-street fast food joints in T5. There are a few places where you can grab a bite to eat without breaking the bank though:
- Boots, 06:00 until last flight, sell a limited range of pre-packed sandwiches, salads and bottled drinks at a very good price. Located in departures, both before and after security.
- Costa, 24 hours, serves fresh coffee, tea, hot drinks, sandwiches and pastries. Located in the middle of the arrivals concourse.
- Wetherspoons, 05:30 until last departure, serves a wide range of hot and cold pub food at a fair price (for London) as well as a large selection of beers and other alcoholic drinks. A traditional cooked English breakfast costs around £6 and will keep you going for most of the day. Family friendly. Located after security in T5 and T5B.
- Caffe Nero, 05:30 until last flight, serves fresh coffee, tea, hot drinks and Italian style sandwiches and pastries. Located on the departures level in the north of the check-in area. Has great views of the northern runway.
- Marks & Spencer Simply Food, 05:30 until last flight, sell a large range of pre-packed, sandwiches, salads, cakes pastries and bottled drinks. Not cheap, but good quality and value, after all - it's not just food! Located on the arrivals concourse.
- Giraffe, 05:30 until last flight, an alternative restaurant with a very up beat atmosphere and style. Serves food from around the world, including cooked breakfasts, curry dishes, pizza, sandwiches, fish and chips, salads, burgers, grilled steak and everything else they've got. Prices aren't too expensive. Located after security.
- Eat., 05:30 until last flight, serve fresh, simple, seasonal sandwiches, soup, salad and cakes, bottled drinks and tea & fresh coffee to eat in or take away. Located after security.
- Gordon Ramsay Plane Food, 05:30 until last flight. An airport restaurant from the 3 michelin star celebrity chef based on the Boxwood Cafe. Breakfast menu is available until 11:00. Serves a range of fine food tailored toward to needs of airport customers, example dishes include "Foie gras and chicken liver parfait, celeriac remoulade, toasted country bread" as a starter, "Escalope of veal, lemon, capers and a nut brown butter" main and "Valhrona chocolate fondue with banana, marshmallows and waffle" desert. Casual dress code. Not cheap. Located on the south side of the terminal after security.
- Huxleys, 05:30 until last flight, serves great traditional British food and drink, including afternoon tea. Located after security.
- Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar, 05:30 until last flight, serves caviar, smoked salmon and seafood. Located in T5 and T5B, after security.
Amongst its other attributes as an excellent orienteering course and exercise facility, Heathrow is also something of a haven for shoppers with branches of shops from the British high-street and beyond, including the London icons Harrods and Hamleys.
The entire airport is covered by a Boingo Wireless network. Prices are as normal for any Boingo hotspot (currently a fairly steep £9.95 per day, £5.95 per hour or £14.95 per month). Most airline lounges will offer free wifi and this does sometimes leak out into areas just outside the lounge. BA's BT Openzone provided free hotspot used to be a prime example of this however the airline began applying a password which changes monthly in 2010. If you have a BT Openzone account however you can still make use of the wifi with your account.
Showers are available to travellers in both Terminals 3 and 4.
Multi-faith prayers rooms exist in each Heathrow terminal and the airport has its own Christian, interdenominational chapel located landside.
- Crowne Plaza London Heathrow, Stockley Rd, West Drayton, ☎ . The hotel near Heathrow Airport has a number of facilities including a restaurant, bar and health club.
- Holiday Inn London Heathrow, Sipson Road, West Drayton, ☎ . Near to both London Heathrow Airport and the M4. It also provides airport parking and business facilities.
- Holiday Inn Slough-Windor, Church St, Chalvey SL1 2NH (M4 to Jct6. A335 signed Slough (centre), 1st roundabout take 3rd exit which is Church St: 10 mi (16 km)), ☎ , toll-free: 0800 154 181. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Long stay parking. 3 Star Hotel for airport stopovers, hotel conferences near London or visiting Legoland and Windsor Castle.
- Park Inn Hotel Heathrow, Bath Rd, Middlesex, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Modern hotel with 895 rooms with a shuttle service to Heathrow Airport.
- Yotel, Heathrow Airport, Arrivals Mezzanine Landside, Terminal 4. Booking by the hour for a minimum of 4 hr.
- London is the obvious destination for the traveller trapped in Heathrow. With hundreds of years of history and a cosmopolitan and exhilarating culture, one can never be bored in the Metropolis!