10 Things to Do at London’s Heathrow Airport

How to survive a six-hour layover

A six-hour layover at any airport is a traveler’s nightmare. If your delay or stopover is in Heathrow’s Terminal 4, you are in luck, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.

I recently had the ‘what to do for 6-hours in Heathrow’ dilemma. Here are the top 10 distractions I discovered in Terminal 4.

To do at heathrow airport, departure lounge
Heathrow departure lounge. Photo: Mary Charlebois.

1Become a lounge lizard

Once only for those traveling in First Class, airport lounges are now available to everyone, and the price is a great value.

I tried Plaza Premium Lounge near gate one in Terminal 4 (Plaza Premium is also available in Terminals 2, 3, and 5).

To do at heathrow airport, plaza premium lounge
Plaza Premium lounge. Photo: Mary Charlebois.

For £10 an hour, I had a quiet place to relax away from the madding crowd. There was a complimentary hot food buffet serving a wide selection of soups, salads, entrees, and desserts. There were also vegan dishes. The bar served beer, wine, spirits, and snacks; also, complimentary.

I took a shower in a spotless, private shower room complete with towels and toiletries. Gratis newspapers and magazines in several languages are offered. Wi-Fi is available in all areas, including workstation cubicles. There is a quiet section with recliners if you need a nap. There are flight tracking screens to keep up to date on your flight status.

Was it worth the £30 I spent? Without a doubt. The food and drinks alone would have cost more had I purchased them on the concourse. The shower and nap were priceless.

There are six private lounges in Terminal 4: The House Lounge, Falcon Gold Gulf Air, Malaysia Airlines, Plaza Premium, Qatar Airways, and Sky Team. There are also lounges in terminals 2, 3, and 5.

2 – Eat your way around the world

Airport food isn’t always the most interesting, healthy or fresh. Terminal 4 is the exception to that rule. There are eight restaurants to choose from. Table service is available for a wide variety of cuisine. Italian, Lebanese, French, Vegan, seafood and British classics to name a few. For a complete list of Terminal 4 eateries, click HERE.

Eating at Heathrow
Choices of eating places at London Heathrow are plentiful. Photo: Mary Charlebois.

3 – Indulge in champagne and caviar

Caviar House and Prunier Seafood Bar are ideal for celebrating your journey. Enjoy a glass of bubbly with caviar and toast points or try a selection of their fresh shrimp, oysters, smoked fish, and other gifts from Neptune.

LHR champagne and caviar
Champagne and Caviar at London Heathrow. Photo: Mary Charlebois.

4 – Shop till you fly

Heathrow Terminal 4 is a shopper’s Nirvana. Shops offer everything from high-end luxury to cheap and cheerful. Forty-two retailers line the terminal with world-famous brands like Hugo Boss, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Cartier, Fendi, Gucci, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, and many, many more.

Harrods’ “anything is possible” service is in place at one of the largest retailers in Heathrow. World Duty-Free has exceptional pricing on over 17,000 products, including wine, spirits, watches, fragrance, cosmetics, and sunglasses. World of Whiskies has one of London’s finest selections of whiskeys including Aberlour and a 50-year-old Glenfiddich. For a complete list of Heathrow’s Terminal 4 shops, click HERE.

Heathrow shop
Heathrow shop. Photo: Mary Charlebois.

5 – View Heathrow

You don’t need to be an aerophile to enjoy a visit to View Heathrow and watch the ballet of aircraft and service vehicles. The 270-degree observation deck provides a panoramic view of the south runway.

Heathrow Airport observation deck
Observation Deck London Heathrow. Photo: Mary Charlebois.

Binoculars are available for serious plane spotting. Don’t worry about keeping up with your departure, a touch-screen flight-tracking screen will keep you on schedule.

View Heathrow LHR from the terminal
View Heathrow. Photo: Mary Charlebois.

6 – Work (or play)

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout Heathrow. For faster service a paid version is available. Most gates have work desks available with charging ports. Take a stroll around and find an empty gate for the best chance at a seat and a little quiet.

7 – Try a new you

You can have a mini or complete makeover at World Duty-Free Beauty Services. Five minutes to a half-hour is all it takes. You can indulge in a quick hand massage, skin refresh, new makeup style, or a hipster beard shaping for the gents.

View Heathrow LHR
View Heathrow. Photo: Mary Charlebois.

8 – Read

Reading is the classic way to pass a long airport layover or delay. Load your Kindle or stop by one of the WH Smith bookstores for a paperback, magazine or newspaper.

9 – Walk

Terminal 4’s departure concourse is over a third mile long, that’s about 667 steps. Walk from end-to-end three times, and you’ve done a mile. Walking is one of the best ways to get your circulation going and stave off fatigue.

airplanes LHR
London Heathrow Terminal from the flight line. Photo: © CaptainJetson.com

10 – Chill

Feeling a bit anxious or frustrated? Make a visit to the Multi-Faith Prayer Room for a quiet atmosphere, some deep breathing, and a chance to clear your mind of modern travel’s irritations and fears.

Heathrow spent over £200-million renovating Terminal 4. The comfort, safety, and convenience of passengers have been dealt with beautifully. Whether in Heathrow or Anchorage, you can always find a way to pass layovers or delays. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude. Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination.

For a detailed look at Heathrow’s Terminal 4, click HERE. Heathrow has shuttles to transfer between terminals if you don’t arrive at Terminal 4. To learn about all of Heathrow, click HERE.

Featured Image: Heathrow Airport (LHR) © CaptainJetson.com

p.s. Have you read Mary Charlebois’ award-winning articles about 4 California Wine Country Alternatives to Napa Valley and San Francisco’s Embarcadero – On the Waterfront?

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