Almost 200,000 passengers pass through Europe’s busiest airport every day, making London Heathrow the biggest gateway into the UK.
Amongst them will be holidaymakers, business travellers and individuals returning home after a period away, but there will also be a significant number who simply find themselves in the area on a long layover.
For those with limited time to spare, but an enthusiasm to see the sights, we have found five places well worth a visit, and all within driving distance of London Heathrow Airport.
1. Windsor Castle
For the last millennium Windsor Castle – the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world - has played home to Britain’s monarchs, and remains one of several official residences of Her Majesty The Queen.
Visitors are advised to put aside two to three hours to tour the grounds and stately rooms, which include a number of galleries, the Royal Apartments and The Precinct. Remember to look out for the Queen’s personal standard, which if flying from the round tower, signals Elizabeth II is home.
2. Legoland Windsor Resort
Building on the success of the popular children’s toy brick game, Legoland Windsor has become the second-most visited theme park in all of the UK.
Not only can you view some quite incredible fetes of engineering in Miniland, where landmark buildings from around the world have been recreated in miniature, there are also more than 55 interactive rides, live shows and 150 acres of parkland to explore.
This water meadow located on the River Thames is not only a rather beautiful spot to wile away an afternoon, but holds a rather important place in history too. It was here on the riverbank in 1215 that King John sealed the Magna Carta, a royal charter that has paved the way to modern day democracy. A charming tearoom provides some decent grub too.
4. Twickenham Stadium
It is hard to believe that it started out as little more than a cabbage patch, as today Twickenham Stadium’s grounds regularly host around 82,000 spectators as the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world.
Not only is it home to England rugby union but as the second-largest stadium in the UK after Wembley, it also hosts some of the biggest names in music too.
For theatres, shopping and some of the world’s most famous monuments, head into London, but be minded that to do the capital justice you will need a few days rather than a few hours here.