Stopovers are a great way to visit a new city for a day without adding any extra cost to your flight. If you are flying through London, why not give yourself an 8-12 hour window so that you can sightsee in this beautiful city on your way?
How Much Time Will I Need?
As long as you have at least six hours, you should be able to clear customs and get to the city with enough time to get back to catch your flight. This should give you enough time to get into town and visit some of the major attractions such as Big Ben, Covent Garden and Buckingham Palace before heading back to the airport. However, 8-12 hours is better so that you will not be rushed.
There are plenty of options for public transit that will take you right into the heart of London including bus connections and the London Underground. Some stopover flights arrive and depart from different airports, so you might need to use some of this time to get from Gatwick to Heathrow to catch your next flight.
Luckily, there are quite a few options for getting around from Gatwick to Heathrow and to the city from the airports. There is a direct public bus connection provided by National Express which will take you from the North or South Terminal at Gatwick to Heathrow Central Bus Station.
Things to Do in London on a Stopover
Once you have figured out your transport options for getting from Gatwick to Heathrow and into the city, here are some ideas for what to do:
Take a Tour
London is such a large city and there is so much to see, so jumping on an open-top double-decker tour bus can be a great way to see the maximum sights in the minimum amount of time. There are also many more specific tours depending on your interest, such as art tours of the London galleries or history tours of London’s old architecture.
This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in London, so it is a must-see if you are on a short layover. It is easy to get to on the London Underground and if you time your visit right you might just get to see the famous changing of the guard ceremony.
Big Ben and Westminster Abbey
These are two of London’s most popular attractions and they are only a few minutes away from each other making them very convenient to visit on a short layover. Get off the London Underground at Westminster station and explore these two monumental British landmarks.
If you are flying out of Heathrow, another option rather than going into downtown London is to spend your layover in Windsor instead. This is a lovely historical town only a few miles away from Heathrow Airport. It is famous for the Windsor Castle but there are also many other things to enjoy here such as the Legoland theme park and the Savill Gardens.
If you are on a layover in London, don’t waste all of your time sitting in the airport! It is easier than you think to get from Gatwick to Heathrow and into the city to explore. Your little glimpse of London will leave you eager to come back for more