Heathrow Airport is allegedly the busiest in the world. It should be a great place to spot aircraft. Unfortunately Heathrow Airport Limited, the private company which operates the airport, doesn't see the revenue stream in plane spotters and so provides almost no facilities for non-passengers to spot aircraft.
Don't let that stop you however! There's a plane spotter in everyone, and this range of blog posts is here to guide you to the best locations to see planes close up. And at Heathrow, the planes are generally big and there's loads of them...
So whether you are a seasoned #AvGeek spotter or a beginner who doesn't know a 777 from a 747, here are the best spotting locations.
The map above shows the locations as points. You can click the points for a little more information and then click the More details link for the full blog post which includes facilities, costs, postcodes and example photos.
For beginners, here's a guide to which spot to choose. It mainly depends on which runway planes are using. And you can tell that by viewing the @HeathrowNoise Twitter stream.
There are 2 runways, both parallel and running exactly east-west.
If you see "landing on the southern runway (27L)" the best spot for landings is Myrtle Avenue.
If you see "landing on the northern runway (27R)" the best spot for landings is A4 Premier Inn.
Those are both in use during Westerly operations (about 70% of the time).
If you see "landing on the northern runway (09L)" the best spot for landings is A4 Thistle Hotel. This happens when the airport is on Easterly operations.
Enjoy your spotting and don't forget your anorak!
If you find these posts useful please consider letting me know. The feedback really helps.
Big thanks to C who sent this in:
"I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your tips on plane spotting at Heathrow. I love planes and airports but have only ever planespotted from inside airports. I was taking my two little boys to pick up my their dad from Heathrow today after he’s been in the US for more than two weeks. So rather than go in the terminal I wanted to take them to see some planes before we collected my hubby. I found your website and it was just the perfect guide for really quickly figuring out which place to go and then all the logistics for getting there. I really appreciated it and we were able to see 3 planes land in the 20 mins or so we were there which was perfect! So anyway thank you so much for writing your articles - it was just a lovely bit of joy on a really emotional day."