On 25 March 1946, London Airport was opened – the airport which, in 1966, would be renamed Heathrow Airport after the hamlet “Heath Row”, on which it was built. Today, it is the largest of the six international airports serving Greater London and sees an average of 75.7 million passengers annually.
Unfortunately, when you start looking for guides about London, you are usually presented with list after list of things to do… in the city center. But if you are simply passing through London, making the most of the facilities at Park Grand Heathrow Hotel, or even just staying in Heathrow accommodation before an early flight, a guide on the best fish and chips near Buckingham Palace is not particularly useful. So, here is a guide of the best things to do and see near London Heathrow Airport.
The afternoon tea at Heathrow Hotels is everything you could hope for from an afternoon tea, because there is something for everyone. Keeping it classic, there is the Traditional Afternoon Tea. No frills or fuss, just the traditional spread of scones, sandwiches, cakes and pastries… and tea, of course. But maybe you have saved on your room on account of the London hotel deals available with Park Grand accommodation, and want to splash out on a bit of added elegance? The Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea is just the ticket. By adding a glass of Champagne to the mix, you get a Celebration Afternoon Tea for those special occasions which call for a bit of frill and fuss and if you or your party aren’t quite old enough for Champagne, the Junior Afternoon Tea will do the trick. All these afternoon tea options are available daily from 14:00 to 17:00 and require booking a day in advance.
While work isn’t necessarily something everyone wants to do when visiting a city, it isn’t always an option and as the world moves increasingly towards remote working while also facilitating work-orientated travel again, the possibility of traveling while getting some work done is very appealing to some people. Some people are happy working in a cafe or with white noise around them, in which case grabbing a table and whipping out your laptop at Park Grand Heathrow Restaurant is an option, but other people prefer a slightly more structured work environment, especially if traveling with colleagues rather than alone. If you fall into the latter category, then head to one of the Meeting Rooms Near Heathrow Airport at the Park Grand Heathrow Hotel. The Park Grand can tailor rooms to suit business meetings and conferences, or even a co-working space if you are traveling with your colleagues. This is a custom service, so you can make the perfect environment for your needs. All the event spaces are equipped with audiovisual and technology facilities, such as LCD screens/ plasma screens as well as the key to working away from the office: free Wi-Fi.
World Duty Free
Everyone has been caught with a few hours to kill at the airport before and found themselves spending a pretty penny in Duty Free and London Heathrow is no different. There are thousands of brands and products to choose from. Here are some quintessentially British things you can buy as mementos of your trip:
- Silent Pool gin: This distillery in Albury, England produces a rare citrus gin which comes in a beautiful bottle which can double up as a water-holder or even candle-holder once you have made your way through the lot!
- Jo Malone perfume: Joanne Lesley Malone is a British perfumer who is internationally recognised as a business tycoon and the founder of companies Jo Malone London and Jo Loves.
- Cadbury’s chocolate: Cadbury is a British multinational confectionery company and you can’t go home without some of their classics, like Dairy Milk. It is the second largest confectionery brand in the world after Mars and was founded in Birmingham, UK.
Alternatively, if you have a little more money to spend, you can buy luxury items from the many designer stores in World Duty Free, which include (but is not limited to): Bobbi Brown, Dior, Chane, Hermés, Tom Ford, Givenchy, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent and more.
Iconic British shopping
Once you have stocked up on all the treats at World Duty Free, you can then explore some of the famous British shops that have their own stores in Heathrow Airport. Here are the top three unmissables:
- Harrods: Harrods is a department store which was founded by Charles Henry Harrod in 1849 in the East End of London. Now, it is considered to be one of the most prestigious shops in London and there is a store in Heathrow if you are not able to visit the flagship in Knightsbridge.
- Hamleys: Hamleys is a British toy shop, though its size and scope spreads far further than just a shop and is more of a place where kids dreams come true (and plenty of adults, too!) It is the oldest toy shop in the world and was founded by William Hamley in 1760 – almost 100 years before Harrods even graced the London streets! The Heathrow store is the perfect place to stop by if you know and love little ones – whether they are with you or at home waiting for your return!
- Fortnum & Mason: Since it was founded in 1707, Fortnum & Mason is the go-to shop for luxury gifts, hampers, food and more, which lends itself rather fittingly to an airport. It is primarily a tea shop, but what tea shop is complete without all the delicate accompaniments to a proper afternoon tea? Having enjoyed the Park Grand afternoon tea, you will know exactly which is your preference and can stock up for when you get home.
Food and drink
When all else fails and you are looking for something to do in and around Heathrow Airport, food and dining is always a great call. For the more refined palette, there is Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar, the Fortnum and Mason Bar, The Perfectionists’ Café which was created by British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal as well as EL&N London. If you are looking for a final pub-grub style meal, there is The Prince of Wales, Big Smoke, The Globe and The Oceanic. If you are just after a bite to eat and go, there are plenty of fast food chains and café chains to choose from, too. It’s also always advisable to get your fill while you are still relaxed at the Park Grand Heathrow Restaurant, rather than waiting until you are at the airport. But rest assured that no matter what, you won’t go hungry in Heathrow Airport.