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Things to do in London during a late night to early morning layover

My boyfriend and I arrive at LHR at 10:00pm and our flight back to LAX doesn't depart till 9:55am. Any tips on how and what we can see in London during that time-frame? I know the hours are odd but we want to take advantage of this long layover.

Posted by
967 posts

Interesting! And you won't be too tired to explore?

You have to account for close to 2 hours to get your bags, and take the Tube into London; a bit less if you are taxiing. The Night Tube runs to Heathrow, trains every 10 minutes, so no worries there. And then probably 3 hours to get back and get through security. So your 12 hours are now more like 7.

Between midnight and 3:00, I would head to the zone from Piccadilly Circus to Leicester Square to Covent Garden. Outrageous nightlife, bright lights and lots of people.

I can't think of anything else that would be open inside or visible outside.

Posted by
2 posts

Hello again! We will be arriving on Saturday night at 10:00pm and as for bags, we will just have small carryons because our flights are both British airways and our checked bag will continue on. We don’t necessarily need to go into places, we mainly just want to take in the scenery and get some good pictures.

Posted by
11294 posts

If you really want to, you could check into an airport hotel, then go to the West End (the area described by darrenblois and emma) by taxi or tube, just to say you've been there. It's lively all night (theatres, restaurants, clubs). You'll get some pictures, if that's what you're looking for. But then you have to head back to the hotel so you get some sleep. You want to be at LHR 3 hours before you flight home, so that means an early wake-up.

I understand wanting to "see London" while you're there on a layover. But in this particular situation, it's going to be a lot of trouble for not much reward. Unless you really NEED to say you've seen London, just check into the airport hotel and relax.

Posted by
5311 posts

Duck and Waffle is open all night. It is a restaurant with a view. I’d suggest making a reservation.

Posted by
6113 posts

You aren’t going to get any good pictures as it’s going to be dark most of the time (assuming this trip is in the summertime). At this time of year, it will be completely dark.

Assuming your flight arrives on time, it will be turned midnight by the time you arrive in central London. You will need to leave for the journey back to Paddington and the airport at c 5.30am.

Posted by
2757 posts

If you really want to leave the airport I would suggest going to Windsor, it’s a 15 minute cab ride. You actually do not have a lot of time, you will need to be back at Heathrow by 7:00am. IMO staying at the airport would be best especially since it will be dark you really wouldn’t be able to see much.

Posted by
864 posts

London on a Saturday night has a vibrant late-night seen, primarily bars/clubs. Here is a recently list of things to do late night: You can also check out Time Out London for what's going on while you are in town:

As for the recommendation on Duck & Waffle, I can second that recommendation. It is a great view at night and decent food.

Have fun.

Posted by
1290 posts

"We don’t necessarily need to go into places, we mainly just want to take in the scenery and get some good pictures"

But what if it's raining - hardly an unlikely scenario - would you really want to wander around in the rain all night?