If you’re spending a few hours at Heathrow Airport, why not get out of the terminal for a change of scenery? There are stately homes to explore, parks to wander in and rivers to take boat trips on.
One option is to take a taxi or tube to Osterley Park and House, a stunning mansion, originally built in the 16th Century, but remodelled 200 years later. It has a beautiful interior, plus gardens that offer a peaceful place to stroll and sit.
Not far from Osterley is Syon House. The house and its surrounding park make a great place to spend a few relaxed hours. Visit the splendid Great Hall, the dramatic Dining Room and the magnificent Long Gallery. The landscaped gardens were designed by the famous “Capability” Brown and feature a beautiful lake and a breathtaking Great Conservatory.
Head west to Windsor and nearby Eton, a short drive from the airport. Visit the famous castle, walk in Windsor Great Park, or venture to Legoland Windsor. You can cross the River Thames and take a look at the historic Eton College, stroll by the river, take a boat trip and enjoy a hearty pub lunch.
Runnymede is an attractive area of meadow by the River Thames, which also has a significant place in the history of the country. It was here that King John sealed the Magna Carta in 1215. This important document formed the basis of many laws and civil rights in the UK and wider English-speaking world. Attractions at Runnymede include Langham Pond, the John F Kennedy Memorial, Air Forces Memorial, Magna Carta Memorial and the remains of Ankerwyke Priory. You can also see the Ankerwyke yew tree, which is more than 2,000 years old.
Also worth a visit is the suburb of Southall, often referred to as Little India, due to its large South Asian Community. Among its attractions are many shops, stalls, street food vendors, curry houses and a Sunday market.
Twickenham Stadium: Twickenham is often called the home of rugby union, and many great rugby matches have taken place here since it opened in 1909. Visitors can take a tour of this 80,000-seater arena, and visit the World Rugby Museum. As well as hosting international and major club fixtures, Twickenham also stages regular concerts. Acts that have played there in recent years include Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi, Beyonce and The Rolling Stones.
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