We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Layover in Heathrow - 6 hours

Which London hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Colonia, New Jersey
Level Contributor
2 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Layover in Heathrow - 6 hours

Hello. I will be traveling with my 10 year old daughter from the US to Seville next week. We have a 6 hour layover in Heathrow. We land at 6:20am and our departing flight is 12:20pm. We are arriving on a United flight. What is the best way to take her out of the airport and to see a few things in Central London? I was thinking the Heathrow Connect train but then.... ? I was hoping a hop on / hop off bus but concerned about the time. Suggestions? She is only 10 and doesn't need to see alot but I thought it might be fun to see a few key sites. Thank you!

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London
Level Contributor
19,631 posts
199 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Layover in Heathrow - 6 hours

You barely have time.

If your flight is on time, the fastest you can deplane, and get through immigration, and then on to London is about 90 minutes. However I have been stuck in the immigration line for over two hours--not including the time it took to deplane and walk to immigration.

You'll need to be back at Heathrow for your onward flight 2/3 hours before take-off, to get through security, and get to your gate. (I recommend three, but others are comfortable with less--check your airline's guidelines)

That leaves you with 1 1/2 hours, at best, in London. With a late flight, delays at immigration, or engineering works on the tube, it could be far less.

Have a look at this article, which discusses the ins and outs of Heathrow layovers...


Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
21,220 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Layover in Heathrow - 6 hours

I don't think the HOHO buses start until after 9am and in any case take about 2-3 hours to do a circuit so aren't really suitable. Also HECis too slow (and expensive) as it takes about 30 minutes and only goes every half hour. You then need to get from Paddington to any sites.

If you land on time, have no luggage, are on one ticket and get through Immigration in under an hour you could get the tube to Westminster (about 40-50 minutes), have a look at Big Ben and then either take the no 11 bus to St Paul's or walk across Westminster Bridge and then along the South Bank towar Waterloo Bridge, perhaps stopping somewhere en route for a coffee or breakfast. For the 12.20 you would need to be back at the airport around 11.20 latest to allow time to get through Security and through the gate. BA and some other airlines now need to have scanned your boarding card 35 minutes before departure or you are denied boarding; so you would need to be leaving central London around 10.30 am latest. And that assumes no glitches on any services.

Personally I don't think it's worth the stress and if you are on separate tickets, impossible.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
28,590 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Layover in Heathrow - 6 hours

You need to subtract 5 hours from your scheduled layover time to give you your usable time in central London. So, in your case that would mean just one hour in central London, hardly worth it especially as that hour would be around 8.30-9.30am when virtually nothing is open.

4. Re: Layover in Heathrow - 6 hours

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 25 March 2015, 05:16