While Heathrow itself is a great place for shopping and dining, it’s good to get away from the airport and explore a little further afield if you’re on a stopover there.
If you have the urge to go shopping, one of London’s biggest malls, Westfield London, is within half an hour of the airport, in Shepherd’s Bush. It has flagship stores such as Debenhams, Next, M&S and House of Fraser, plus more than 300 other luxury and high-street retailers. There are also 65 places to eat, plus a cinema. To get to Westfield, take the Heathrow Connect train to Ealing Broadway, and change onto the Central Line to White City.
North of the airport, Southall is a great place to explore and to dine out. The area has a large South Asian community, and as a result there are countless curry houses, many of them offering excellent food at good prices, while if you visit on a Sunday, there’s a lively market. Southall is easily reached by taxi from Heathrow.
Another option is to take a cab to Richmond. It’s a great place to relax and kill a few pleasant hours; you can take a walk by the Thames, go shopping, watch the deer that roam in Richmond Park, stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, and enjoy lunch in a riverside pub.
A great place to go and relax is Osterley Park and House, just a short taxi journey or tube ride from the airport. This stunning mansion, originally built in the 16th Century, but remodelled 200 years later, has a beautiful interior, while outside, the gardens offer a peaceful place to stroll and sit.