Heathrow Airport: A Complete Guide to LHR

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Heathrow Airport A Complete Guide to LHR

Nobody wants to ‘visit’ an airport. We pretty much only spend time in them as a necessity- no airport means no holidays, and no international travel! Lots of us don’t even like the airport part of our trip anyway; it just means stress, worry and long walks with big crowds and heavy luggage. So why do we need an airport guide? Well, if you are prepared and know what you’re doing, the airport doesn’t have to be a negative part of your next trip.

This may seem counterintuitive, as London Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world, and in recent years it really seems like it’s getting worse. So even more reason to arrive prepared and in the know. 

Some of us may be in LHR for a connection, some may have had a flight delayed or cancelled. Some may even have chosen to spend the night in a London Heathrow Hotel. Whatever your reason, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can improve your time in the terminals. 

Some LHR Facts

To start us off, let’s get to know the place a little better…

  • There are 84 airlines operating out of LHR
  • These airlines travel to over 200 destinations around the globe
  • Pre-COVID well over 1,000 flights per day took off or landed… 
  • …with over 475,000 flights per year!
  • The airport covers an area of 1,277 hectares, but only holds 2 runways
  • A little over 80 million passengers flew in 2018
  • 67% of that number flew for leisure

Getting Around

As you can see from the above facts and figures, Heathrow is big and busy! It is in fact so big that it has its own public transport network. Obviously being close to London city, the transport links are great when arriving at, or leaving the airport. You can get pretty much anywhere in the country whether it’s via rail, coach, car or on foot- the connections are great. Arriving from your hotels near Lancaster Gate, like the Park Grand Hotel London in the city centre is easier than ever as the train from Paddington Station only requires one change!   

But where does that leave you when you get dropped off by your parents at the wrong terminal, or you arrive on the train in T2 and T3, but your flight leaves from T5. Well fear not, the internal transport network has you covered. LHR is actually connected by London’s massive underground rail network, and travel within the confines of the airport itself is totally free. Just hop on the tube and head to your terminal!

Places to Eat 

Places to Eat

Obviously feeding 80 million passengers is no mean feat, but Heathrow has it covered. There is a huge choice of restaurants, from bakeries and quick snacks to sit down restaurants and fancy dining. Here is a quick breakdown of the best on offer in each terminal:

Terminal 2

  • La Salle Restaurant and Bar: escape the madness of the airport and head to Paris for a French bistro vibe and some great food.
  • The Gorgeous Kitchen: Modern British cuisine with a 15 minute menu for those is a rush. They even have a juice bar!
  • Heston’s Perfectionist Cafe: Operated as part of the Heston’s restaurant chains, you can grab some of the nation’s favourite food, and fast! 

Terminal 3

  • Caviar House Oyster Bar: Just because you are at the airport, doesn’t mean you can’t be bougie and dine in style. Fresh oysters, seafood and crisp champagne will really kick start your holiday! 
  • Spuntino: This Italian/ American joint will fill you up and put a smile on your face before your flight. With sourdough pizza, banging burgers and sweet desserts you can’t really ask for much more! 
  • Wagamama: Wagamama’s needs no introduction in the UK. They spread like wildfire, and are always popular. Quick, fresh and delicious Asian food. Perfect. 

Terminal 4

  • The Prince Of Wales: This pub style restaurant offers all the family favourites at great prices, grab a burger and a beer and save your cash for the holiday bars! 
  • The Commission: Fresh, seasonal ingredients and great cocktails. Fuel your body for the start of your holiday.
  • Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar: Yes another fancy dining establishment! Pop the cork and taste the fresh seafood in style. 

Terminal 5

  • Gordon Ramsay Plane Food: Yet another famous chef with amazing offerings at LHR’s newest terminal. A combination of European and Asian foods will excite and delight your group!  
  • Fortnum & Mason Bar: The legendary establishment’s version of airport food. Grab an incredible breakfast or a delicious meal and feel fully satiated! 

You can also grab coffee and snacks to go at the usual suspects; Cafe Nero, Pret A Manger & Costa found in all the terminals. 

The Lounges

If you’re going to be sticking around for a long time due to delays, cancellations or just some seriously good time management, then it can often be difficult to find a comfortable place to relax. This is where airport lounges come into play. Did you know you can pay for the entry to pretty much any lounge? It’s a game changer, trust me. 

For the most part they offer Wifi, a very comfy place to relax, free snacks and drinks and there are sometimes even showers! You can get your hair cut, get a massage, hit the spa- the list goes on. Just check out the options available in your terminal.

Shopping

Shopping

One of the things you are pretty much forced to do in an airport is peruse the shops. Well at least at Heathrow the shops are actually pretty amazing. Aside from the obvious duty free and those weird shops selling magazines that seem to be tailored exclusively to airline passengers, you will also find an incredible selection of international brands. 

From fashion to technology, you’ll find it all. Gucci, Prada, YSL and brands like Rolex and Tiffany & Co. all operate across the terminals. You won’t struggle to keep yourself occupied, trust me!  

So there you have a quick breakdown of what there is to eat and do during your time in Heathrow Airport. Remember to leave your Park Grand Accommodation in the city with plenty of time, it’s a busy place. Try not to let the stress of travel derail your trip before it even starts, enjoy yourself, get some food and drink and let yourself get in the holiday zone!  

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