London Heathrow Spotting Guide

London Heathrow is one of the most popular, if not the most popular airport for planespotting and with 73.4 Mio. passengers in 2014, the busiest airport in Europe. Our members are regular visitors and if you haven’t been there yet, it is high time up! With more spots to explore, we hope that you will also experience this unforgettable mega airport!
Amongst London’s five airports in the agglomeration area, Heathrow is surely the largest and busiest airport being followed by Gatwick, Luton, City, Stansted and Southend. Spotting in Heathrow is pretty easy. With only two runways, usually one for the arrivals and one for the departures you will get what you are after. Getting around and move between spots is not only easy but also cheap! There are free buses and tubes within the travel zone around the airport.

The big boss at LHR is British Airways by having the largest of its main hubs here and calling Heathrow home. Virgin Atlantic ranks seconds and is gaining on to come closer to British Airways’ massive amount of movements as VS has been expanding tremendously in the past years. London Heathrow Airport wouldn’t be the same without its North American carriers Air Canada and American Airlines, United and Virgin Atlantic’s best friend – Delta Air Lines. Most airlines use heavy equipment like the A380, 747 or 777 to serve London and single aisle aircraft are mainly used by the European carriers. But not only these well-known airlines are serving Heathrow, but also some very exotic airliners can be regularly encountered at the world’s second busiest airport! Biman Bangladesh (77W), Royal Brunei (788), Philippine Airlines (A340) or Arik Air (A332/A345 or B73W) are coming along. You will hopefully not miss one of these airlines but LHR has got a great advantage for us spotters – all movements take place during the day as there are flight restrictions during the night.

Written by Julian Mittnacht, Jan Seba, Jeremy Denton and Marlin Lehmann / regular visitors (last updated May 2016)

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Airline Variety
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Weather
Airport Information    Runways 09L/27R 09R/27L
3.902 m (12.802 ft) 3.660 m (12.008 ft)
Terminals Terminal 1 Terminal 2  Terminal 3
This Terminal has permanentely closed on June 30, 2015.

Used to handle BA flights into particular destinations including a few from Spain, France and medium-haul-flights into the Middle East in its last days.

Mainly Star Alliance members and Star Alliance partners e.g. Germanwings. Aer Lingus and a few other non-alliance airlines also operate from here. mainly Oneworld including American, Delta, Virgin Atlantic. A few BA flights are also operated from here, fully depending on the flights destination. Non-alliance partners e.g. Vueling and Emirates are also boarding here.
Terminal 4 Terminal 5 Information
All SkyTeam members and following airlines do use T4: Malaysia Airlines, SriLankan, Etihad Airways, Air India, Air Algerie, Air Astana, Jet Airways, AZAL, Gulf Air, Royal Brunei and many more. British Airways* and Iberia only (However, some BA flights are operating from different terminals, depending on their destination) To find out which airlines are departing from which terminal, check this link.
Spotting Information Ladder Since very recently, spotting at Heathrow Airport has become more difficult without stairs. At some spots, a ladder is now necessary, the London Police however will possibly ask you to leave as ladders at the fence may pose a safety risk to them. There have been occurrences in the past weeks which is why the authorities were having some double fence applied to the perimeter fences at some parts of the airport. Check the particular MISC box of each spot.
Car Not required. It is pretty easy in London to use the free buses within Heathrow’s travel zone.
Visit this website for more information.
Restrooms At some spots, restrooms are nearby. Please check the particular ‘Misc’ box at each spot for further details.
Drinks/Food Gas stations and other facilities are next to almost every spot. There are also a couple of grocery stores around Heathrow to buy your provisions for the day.
Hotels There are plenty of hotels around London Heathrow:

  • Hilton Garden Inn (former Jurys Inn) is close to Hatton Cross (RWY27L) and has one of the best values for money around LHR
  • Renaissance Hotel offers stunning views onto 09L/27R and limited parts of the terminals.
  • Ibis is another good hotel with low prices and in walking distance for 27R locations.
  • The Heathrow Lodge is a budget hotel, which is ideally located if RWY 09 is in use.
  • More Hotels along the Bath Road.
Season There is no peek season in Heathrow and offers almost the same flight schedule both winter and summer. The UK’s weather is not reliably predictable in advance. Last-Minute trips to London are possible as the flights are pretty cheap from almost every major airport in Europe. The light conditions in the winter are perfect due to the low position of the sun and it runs parallel to the runways for the whole day.
Runway Usage  09L/27R Used in all directions, except 09L departures
09R/27L Used in all directions, except 09R arrivals
At Heathrow, one runway is usually open for the arrivals whilst the other is used for the departures. At 3pm these operations will be switched. The runway, that was used for the arrivals is now open for the departures and vice versa.
This operation switch will not take place when the wind is blowing from the east (so-called Easterlies). In case of Easterlies, 09L is used for arrivals whilst 09R is used for the departures for the entire time of 09-runway operation!
Landing runway Alternation Programme 2015 by LHR.
During times with less movements, for example on weekends, it is possible that airlines will be using the runway which is the closest to their terminal/gate. For example: Sri Lankan is deplaning and boarding passengers at Terminal 4 and does therefore always prefer a 27L arrival to avoid a long taxiway rides from the northern runway.During peek times, both runways are used as landing runways. This may happen in the morning hours.
We have also noticed that some A380 flights don’t use the main runway for arrivals because of the heavy turbulence they do generate. 
Due to the location of the parking stands, British Airways A380 flights usually land on 09L/27R.

Spot #1 – Myrtle Ave – 27L arrivals
WHERE Let’s start with the most popular spot in LHR. When travelling on public transport, use Piccadilly line and exit at Hatton Cross. When you leave the station building in direction of the Great South-West Rd, cross the street to the other side of the street (if you don’t do here, you won’t have the possibility to do so a few yards further). Walk southeastwards for about 0.3 miles. You will pass the BP gas station on this route. Walking from the station to the Hatton meadow will take you approx. 7 minutes when walking at a normal speed.
WHAT All 27L arrivals here. You are very close to the approach line so go to the other end from of the meadow to get an adequate angle.
TIME In winter, this position can be used all day, while it is suitable from 9AM to 4 PM in summer.
MISC. There is a BP gas station in easy walking distance for this spot. Hatton Cross station also offers aplenty facilities. Trees spending some shadow in the summer. You can also travel here by public transport: The Piccadilly line stops at Hatton Cross serving routes to London City (direction Cockfosters or Amos Grove) and to Heathrow Terminal 1,2,3 and 5. Please note: Passengers for Terminal 4 have to change the platform at Hatton Cross or previous stations.Bus lines from Hatton Cross station: Stop B: 423 (Hounslow), 482 (Southall Town Hall), Stop E: 90, 203, 285, H25, H26, X26, Stop Hatton Cross station: 203 to Elmsleigh Bus station
FOCAL LENGTH 100 mm for an A320, 50 mm for a 777-300


Spot #2 – A30 – 09R departures
WHERE To reach this spot, just follow the A30 (Grand South-West Rd) for approximate 10 Minutes starting at Hatton Cross. Pass Spot number 1 and a small office building before you will encounter a small meadow next to the road. Walking from Hatton Cross station to this location will take you not more than 13 mins, when walking at a normal speed. Walking from Heathrow’s Terminal 4 tube station is rather unadvisable due to a prohibition of crossing the streets by pedestrians at some parts.
WHAT This is the only spot for 09R departures as the Terminal 4 buildings will obstruct your view when walking more westwards. Lighter aircrafts may already be higher at this position. Heavy aircrafts are no problem here!
TIME In winter, this position can be used all day, while it is suitable from 9AM to 4 PM in summer.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, bring everything along what you may need.
FOCAL LENGTH 300 mm for a 737, 150 mm for a 747-400
Spot #3 – Southern Perimeter Rd – 27L departures
WHERE To reach this spot, take one of the buses at the Hatton Cross station to get to the Stanwell, adj Bedfont Road, station. After leaving the bus (the bus station is next to a gas station), just follow the road parallel to the longford river until you reach the ‘Rising Sun Pub’, which is a known spot for local spotters. But don’t stay here and cross the ‘Longford River’ to reach the southern perimeter road. There just walk a couple of meters westwards where you will find a small meadow.
WHAT Stay along the road to get the aircraft departing on 27L. You see them rotating very late as there are some constructions obstructing your view. There are some disturbing light poles of the road which complicate the photography too.
TIME In winter, this position can be used all day, while it is suitable from 9AM to 4 PM in summer.
MISC. A gas station (Esso) is just next to your. The Rising Sun pub is also nearby. You can also take bus line 490 to Heathrow Terminal 5 (every 6 minutes) at dismount at Heathrow Cargo Area (7 stops from Hatton). Walk southwards from Stirling Road and cross the Southern Perimeter Road to get to the other side of the road. Turn right and follow the Southern Perimeter Road in its west direction for about 0.6 miles. This will take you about 26 minutes from Hatton Cross.
FOCAL LENGTH 200 mm for an A320, 100 mm for an A380


Spot #4 – Bedfront Football Club – 27L arrivals
WHERE Located at the Myrtle Ave and Hatton Rd crossing is the Bedfront Football Club. The spot is located on the north-east side of the football pitch right next to a small trench and you are shooting across a large field, so you don’t have any obstructions. Getting here is pretty simple and basically the same as for Spot 1 Myrtle Ave. Just grab a bus or a tube to Hatton Cross, cross the A30 road and then the quickest way is to take the Hatton Rd from there.
WHAT This is the best location for RWY 27L arrivals. It is a bit further away than Myrtle Ave, so you get a better angle for your shots and thus also more shots per aircraft.
TIME In winter, this position can be used all day, while it is suitable from 9AM to 4 PM in summer.
MISC. Remember that you are on private property here and it may happen that members of the club ask you to leave. If so, just use the spot on a field next to the football ground (tagged on the map). Also make absolutely sure that you don’t leave any trash behind. There is a pub across the street, where you can get something to eat or drink.
FOCAL LENGTH B773 is just below 100mm and an A320 is a bit over 180mm.

Spot #5 – Eastern Perimeter Rd – 27R arrivals
WHERE The spot is located at the Eastern Perimeter Rd right next to a crash gate. There is a small grass area next to the fence where you can stand (or sit in summer). The spot is a bit further away from all the bus stops, but the ideal one to get off would be Eastchurch Road if you are coming from the north. When coming from Hatton Cross or spots nearby, you can also embark bus line (Stop C) 555, 90, 285 or 423 and dismount at Envoy Ave (1 min journey). You can also walk this short distance if there is now bus leaving in the next minutes. Walk Envoy Ave to its end until it snaps off to the left. After having turned left, continue another 0.2 miles on Eastern Perimeter Rd.
WHAT The location is good for 27R arrivals and offers a slightly better angle and more time to shoot than Spot 6.
TIME In winter, this position can be used all day, while it is suitable from 9AM to 4 PM in summer.
MISC. There is nothing close to this spot. You need a long lens objective.

Airport security may ask you to stay not to close to the crash gate and the perimeter fence.

FOCAL LENGTH Around 110mm for an A346 and 220mm for an A320.
Spot #6 – Eastchurch Road/Elgin Crescent – 27R arrivals
WHERE This is an alternative to spot #5. You are much closer to the action and the angle is different. Select one of the free buses between Terminal 1-2-3 and Hatton Cross to reach this location. Exit at the Eastchurch Road stop when coming from the terminals. When you are travelling from Hatton Cross tube station use bus lines 555, 90, 285, 423 and dismount at Northrop Rd (Stop L). Walk back to the roundabout (about 0.2 miles).
WHAT Great place for the 27R arrivals. Be aware of the light poles along the road! Light poles will not disturb your view when spotting from Elgin Crescent.
TIME In winter, this position can be used all day, while it is suitable from 9AM to 4 PM in summer.
MISC. Closest facilities are in Bath Road like McDonald’s and plenty of hotels. Bus stops are about 0.1/0.2 miles from here. Due to the recent redesign of the snowbase and the crash gate area there is not much space left to stay.

Airport security may ask you to stay not to close to the crash gate and the perimeter fence.

FOCAL LENGTH 100 mm for an A320, 50 mm for a 777-300
Spot #7 – Northern Perimeter Rd – 27R arrivals
WHERE Select one of the free buses between Terminal 1-2-3-5 and Hatton Cross to reach this location. Exit at Hatton Road North (Stop K) when coming from the terminals. When you are travelling from Hatton Cross tube station. use bus lines 90, 285, 423 and dismount at Northrop Rd (Stop L). Cross the street and walk to the meadow which is immediately located the other way. The meadow is between two parking decks/bays.
WHAT Great place for the 27R arrivals. There are some light poles which may disturb your view at some parts but we can still absolutely recommend this location.
TIME This is a good spot for the early morning and late afternoon hours during the summer only.
MISC. Closest facilities are in the Bath Road like McDonald’s and plenty of hotels. You should bring everything along by yourself.
FOCAL LENGTH XXX
Spot #8 – Line-up – 27R
WHERE This location is right next to the Northern Perimeter Rd and Hatton Rd North crossing. If you walk further westwards down the Northern Perimeter Road along there fence there are more photo opportunities. Take a bus to Hatton Rd North or simply walk here if you are staying in one of the many hotels along Bath Rd. Shooting through the fence is difficult here, as the authorities have added a plank to the fence in shoulder height, so you need to be close 6 ft tall to be able to shoot over this plank. If you have trouble finding a spot, walk down the fence, there are some places where the plank is a bit lower.
WHAT Lineups on RWY 27R are the main reason to use this location. That means it is very limited in use as that only makes sense on a cloudy day or in the late summer evenings. Plus the RWY 27R needs to be used for departures, see alternating RWY configuration under RWY usage.
The three example pictures show aircraft taxiing on the taxiway behind the RWY. Like the lineups this can only be done on a cloudy day or in the evening (and probably in the early morning).
TIME Line-ups can be done from around 6 PM in summer.
   
MISC. Closest facilities are in the Bath Road like McDonald’s and plenty of hotels.

UPDATE 23MAY2016: We have received an email from one of our readers who informed us about the following novelty:

Since the installation of double fences along the perimeter fence, spotting through the fence has become impossible. We have striked through the spot only.

   
FOCAL LENGTH Around 100mm for a B744 on the Taxiway. For lineup it depends on your exact location and the cropping you prefer.
   
Spot #9 – Grass Embankment – 09L arrivals
WHERE Right next to the bridge above the A3044, there is a grass embankment, which can be used as a location to stand. Getting here is a bit trickier though, the best solution is probably to walk from Terminal 5, so just take a bus there, get off and walk to the northern side of the terminal. Stick to the sidewalk there, which leads you along the fence and to a queue of taxi drivers. From there you have to walk right at the street curbstone, so be very careful and always look out for the traffic. Get to the round-about, cross it and the bridge after it as well. Then just jump over the crash barrier to your right and you are there.
WHAT This is the location for arrivals on RWY 09L.
TIME In winter you can use this location all day, in summer it should be used from 09:30 AM to 4 PM.
MISC. There is nothing close to this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH Around 100mm for a B744 and 190mm for an A320.


Spot #10 – BA Terminal 5 – 09L arrivals
WHERE This spot is situated outside of Heathrow´s Terminal 5 departure level. Where all taxis drop people, you have a big parking area where you can photograph. When coming from the city centre or from Hatton Cross, take the Piccadilly line to Heathrow Terminal 5 and exit the train at its final stop. The Piccadilly trains terminate here. Walk from the station to the departure level and leave the building at any exit. Make sure that you now walk northbound to runway 09L. It is difficult to describe the exact position of Spot 10, please check the map for further details.
WHAT All arrivals into 09L as well as a few taxying aircraft into Terminal 5. You can also use this location for heavy aircrafts which are departing from runway 27L.
TIME You can use this spot from 9AM to 4PM in summer month and all day long when travelling in the winter.
MISC. Drinks and food can be bought inside Terminal 5. There are also aplenty of lavatories in T5. Piccadilly trains are running every 10 minutes. Please note that the example photos of taxying aircraft were taken over the way. Police sometimes checks this area and may ask you to leave this location at it is located on a narrow pavement next to the terminal access road. However, spotting from Spot 10 marked on the map is legal.
FOCAL LENGTH 100mm to 300mm
Spot #11 – Heathrow Lodge Hotel – 09L arrivals
WHERE Use bus line 423 which runs between Hatton Cross and Heathrow Terminal 5 and get off at Heathrow Close (Stop K). Pass the Heathrow Lodge Hotel and From there, walk for about less than 10 minutes westwards. It’s pretty tricky to find the spot. It’s behind houses, trees and a high grass during summer. The spot is located next to a river.
WHAT You get all landings on runway 09L
TIME You cas use this spot in early morning hours and late afternoon during summer only.
MISC. Nothing close to the spot, except at the Heathrow Lodge Hotel.
FOCAL LENGTH 50mm-200mm
Spot #12 – Thistle Hotel – 09L arrivals & 27R departures
WHERE The Thistle Hotel is located on Bath Road and you can easily get there by bus from T5 or Hatton Cross with line 423. When coming from Hatton Cross, take bus line 423 at Hatton Cross (Stop E) to Heathrow Terminal 5 and exit the bus at Heathrow Park Thistle Hotel (Stop J). When travelling from T5, take bus 423 to Hounslow Bus Station. Take a seat at the hotel’s ‘First Edition’ restaurant & bar terrace.
WHAT All landings on runway 09L as well as heavy 27R departures are perfectly visible.
TIME Early morning hours and late afternoon during summer only.
MISC. Drinks and foods are available at the bar or the restaurant.
FOCAL LENGTH 80mm to 300mm
Spot #13 – Footbridge Hatton Cross Station – 27L arrivals
WHERE This location is easy to find as it is directly at the Hatton Cross station. When having arrived by bus or by tube you will immediately see the skywalk when you leave the bus or the station building. This skywalk bridges the Hatton Road as it is diffucult and dangerous to cross Hatton Rd as a pedestrian.
WHAT All arrivals into runway 27L
TIME This is a good spot for the early morning and late afternoon hours during the summer only.
MISC. A lavatory and a snack shop is inside the station. You can also walk to the BP gas station which is in easy walking distance. This BP garage is marked in the map above. It is located south of Hatton Cross. No lightpoles will block your view as your are on a higher level. Travelling here by public transport is more than easy.
FOCAL LENGTH Boeing 777-300: 70mm; A319: 155mm; B788: 90mm

Spot #14 – 27L Departures from BA Terminal 5
WHERE This spot is situated outside of Heathrow´s Terminal 5 departure level. When coming from the city centre or from Hatton Cross, take the Piccadilly line to Heathrow Terminal 5 and exit the train at its final stop. The Piccadilly trains terminate here. Walk from the station to the departure level and leave the building at any exit. Make sure that you now walk southbound to runway 09L. It is difficult to describe the exact position of Spot 14, please check the map for further details.
WHAT All landings on runway 09R as well as heavy 27L departures are perfectly visible. This spot is a good bet for 09R-arrivals in the morning in summer month. The sun shines perfectly onto the airplane.
TIME Early morning hours and late afternoon during summer only.
MISC. Drinks and foods are available inside Terminal 5, lavatories are also to be found inside of the terminal building.
FOCAL LENGTH 80mm to 300mm
Spot #15 – Terminal 5 Car Park – 09L Line-Up’s
WHERE The position of this spot is difficult of explanation as it is located directly one level below the approach road of the terminal. When you enter the terminal building proceed to any of the stairways. After proceeding one level lower, exit the building to the west and walk to the southernmost point of the car park. Holes are at some parts of the grid fence through which you can easily photograph.
WHAT Line-up’s onto runway 09L are visible as well as some taxyings from through Terminal 5. Please note queueing airplanes sometimes block the view onto the runway and the Auxiliary Power Unit of the planes cause massive heat haze on some photos. Queueing airplanes can also be photographed very well.
TIME Early morning hours and late afternoon during summer only.
MISC. Drinks and foods are available inside Terminal 5, lavatories are also to be found inside of the terminal building.
FOCAL LENGTH 80mm – 300mm
Spot #16 – Line-Up’s 27R
WHERE Spot 16 is directly underneath the approach line of runway 27R. When coming from Hatton Cross, take bus 90, 285 or 423 and disembark at Northrop Road. This journey is within the Heathrow Free Travel Zone. You can now place all along the fence. Please not that there are privacy shields mounted onto the fence but you are still able to take photos through the fence as you can look over those shields. There is also a gate near the bus stop through which you can take photos without fence.
WHAT Line-up’s onto runway 27R only
TIME Early morning hours in summer months.
MISC. The police checks this area quite often and may ask you to leave this position as it is possible that it is illegal to photograph from here. Airplanes, performing and intersection take-off cannot be perfectly photograph, however you can still see them.

UPDATE 23MAY2016: We have received an email from one of our readers who informed us about the following novelty:

Since the installation of double fences along the perimeter fence, spotting through the fence has become impossible. We have striked through the spot only.

FOCAL LENGTH 80mm – 300mm
Spot #17 – Renaissance Hotel – Northern runway
WHERE The Renaissance Hotel is a five-star-hotel located on Bath Road north of the airport. Terminal 1,2 and 3 are just minutes away from here. This hotel is located very convenient: Mondial Way Bus Stop (Stop BL towards Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 and 5 and BK towards Hatton Cross and Uxbridge/Harrow) is right on the doorstep which is served by bus line 81, 105, 111, 140, 222, 285, 423 and N9.

Bus routes
Stop BL towards Heathrow Stop BK towards Hatton Cross
81 to Slough 81 to Hounslow Bus Station
105 to Heathrow Central 105 to Greenford Station
111 to Heathrow Central 111 to Kingston
140 to Heathrow Central 140 to Harrow Weald
222 to Uxbridge 222 to Hounslow Bus Station
285 to Heathrow Central 285 to Kingston
423 to Heathrow Terminal 5 423 to Hounslow Bus Station

Bus lines in italic face do not stop at Hatton Cross.

WHAT All runway movements of 09L/27R. The rooms also offer a splendid view onto the north side of the terminals, you can also photograph taxyings to the take-off runway from here. When 09s are in use, there will be no departures from the northern runway.
TIME Early morning hours and late afternoon during summer only.
MISC. This spotting location is for hotel guests only! You should better leave a notice in your booking that you wish to have a room which is aligned to the airport and located in the upper storeys and not to Bath Road. If you still get a room without a view to the airport, spotting from the corridor window at the easternmost part is possible also (but limited angles). If you have access to the Club Lounge which is located in the top floor, you can also take photographs from here, it offers a splendid view, even better than from the rooms as you have a view onto the line-up threshold also.Noise created by aircraft at night may cause disturbance to your sleep in this hotel, but due to Heathrow’s night ban, the airport interrupts the most operations from 11pm to 4.30am.The windows cannot be opened fully as at all airport hotels, but proper photographs are still possible. The window glass is clear and not tinted.
FOCAL LENGTH 80mm – 300mm
Spot #18 – Southern Perimeter Road
WHERE There is another good position for 27L arrivals located a little bit more southwards than Hatton Cross. When you start at Hatton Cross, do not cross the street as you would walk towards Myrtle Ave but walk from the bus stops towards the big parking bay west of the station. Southern Perimeter Road and the Great South-West Road are seperated by a fence, so you won’t be able to change onto Southern Perimeter Road when walking on Great South West Road except you climb over the fence, which is indeed possible at some parts. Walking from Hatton Cross Underground Station to this spot will take you about 14 minutes and is a distance of 0.6 miles. You can obtain information about the exact walking route in the map. The correct route is marked in the map starting at Hatton Cross Bus Station.
WHAT Arrivals into 27L and heavy departures from 09R.
TIME In winter, this position can be used all day, while it is suitable from 9AM to 4 PM in summer.
MISC. Thanks to Peter James Cook for handing in the pictures. There is nothing nearby this spotting location. Walking to Terminal 4 will take you about 15 minutes, walking to the BP Hatton Cross Connect about 17 minutes.
FOCAL LENGTH 80mm – 300mm
Spot #19 – Terminal 4 Hilton Hotel
WHERE The raised grass mound 2 minuets from the Hilton Hotel and Terminal 4 offers interesting views for those who are tired of Myrtle Avenue and want to see landings on to 27L with a cool backdrop and a pleasant place to sit. From Hatton Cross use bus lines 482, 490 or 555 and get off at Sheffield Way. By train or underground exit at Terminal 4. From the bus station you just have to cross the main street but be careful! No parking at the stop.
WHAT Heavy arrivals into 27L and heavy departures from 09R.
TIME It can get quite hazy on summer days so we recommend visiting only during the winter or summer mornings from roughly 09:00 – 11:00.
MISC. Thanks to Monty Rumbold for handing in the infos.
There is nothing nearby this spotting location. Hilton Hoel has some restrooms
FOCAL LENGTH 300mm – 500mm (samples were taken in the summer)

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21 thoughts on “London Heathrow Spotting Guide

  1. jan-willem

    hi ill be visiting our next wednesday, hope no troubles yet with security etc due last terror stacks in manchester ?

    1. JulianJulian

      Hi, for 08R arrivals you can stand here on a field: 51.143569, -0.214677
      For 26L try it at the perimeter road.

      -Julian

    1. Joris Witsen

      Hi,

      I can’t answer this question, but on another note: some weeks ago, I noticed that there are now signs, prohibiting pedestrians to use the sidewalk from Terminal 5 along the taxistand (to reach spot 9 by foot). I don’t know if this was just some temporary measure, for instance because of maintenance works. But it could be that they are discouraging the use of spot 9 in different ways now.

  2. ronni bonato

    salve.ottimo sito per fotografia a Heatrow.io sarò li sabato 15 ottobre.se gli arrivi sono sulla 09 ho letto che c’è un hotel con terrazza gratis.confermate?
    grazie 🙂

    Ronny

  3. Ronny

    From saturday july 9 until monday july 11, my son and I went planespotting for the first time in the U.K. at LHR.
    We used your website as our guide. We visited the famous spot #1 and also spot #5 and #6.
    The spotting location at the roundabout looks very different now, much less grass.
    At spot #5 and #6, we were politely asked by “Heathrow security” to keep 3 meters distance from the fence.
    We moved a little forward and we were allowed to stay on both places.
    We had a fantastic time, spotting at LHR. Thank you for your information on this website. We will come again!
    Kind regards, Ronny.

  4. Fay

    Re. Dimitri’s question about spot 6, it’s not ‘closed’ as such, but as it is close to the fence and the new Snow Base, you are very likely to get moved on by security or the Metropolitan Police, as they’re strictly enforcing the rule that any people or vehicles have to be at least 3 metres from the fence because of heightened security fears.
    So, the spot is still physically accessible as it’s right next to the road but you will in all probability get told to move away.

  5. Dimitri Steendijk

    Hi all, going to LHR next weekend for a spottingstrip, been to LHR many times so I know the spots where to go for pictures, however is it correct that spot 6 is no longer availible? as I remember correct the snowbase was extended last year already (been there twice last year), at that time spotting was no problem over there.

    1. JulianJulian

      Hi Dimitri, we just got this informations from a local spotter and none of our team members was actually there to prove it.
      But personally I am sceptical that this spot is no longer available so just give it a try and let us know!
      -Julian

  6. Max

    Hi Everyone

    I’m fairly new to plane spotting and have only been to Myrtle ave but i’m going to LHR on the 5th to see the Finnair A350 but it is going to be landing on 9L/R and what i want to know is wheres a good place to spot from when there landing on 9R and how easy is it to go to Spot No.9 by car

    Or another option is watching them take off so is there a good spot where i can get a side on view of them taking off from 9R

    1. Heathrow Aviation

      Hi, the AY A350 will (most definitely) land on RWY 09L if the winds are from the east. RWY 09L is used all day for arrivals and 09R is used for departures.

      I personally recommend spot 12 as the hotel’s terrace is free and there is a restaurant and cafe.

      I hope this helps 🙂

  7. Jez

    I stayed at the Rennaissance Hotel for two nights & found it to be the perfect location for ‘spotting’. I had a grandstand view of landings on 27R – brilliant. All other movements were visable from my window & with the help of a flight tracking app all were identified too. There is a desk & chair sideways on to the window which was ideal for my laptop & notebooks, there is also an easy chair right in the window which makes for comfortable & very civilised spotting! The room was equipped with a tea/coffee making facilities. Photography needs no more than a 200m lens in my opinion (the windows were very clean on my visit). I paid £104 per night for a runway view room which included breakfast.

  8. Marek

    To avoid confusion spot #1 should be named “Myrtle Ave”, not “Hatton Cross” – the footbridge near Hatton Cross, Hatton Cross station itself and the car park nearby are also quite popular spotting locations.

  9. Ricardo Hebmuller

    I was in London for the first time last week, and I could spent three half days spotting at LHR: Oct 31st at spot # 1 (Myrtle – 27L) and Nov 4th and 6th at spot # 6 (27R). It was like a dream that became true, and everything got much easier thanks to your valuable tips. So I would like to thank you very much for your effort in order to help aviation spotters worldwide. You really accomplished a terrific job. Best regards from Brazil, Ricardo.

  10. Jan

    Hello Dave,

    With northern winds you can’t really count on anything. Its just a forecast and a slight change 20° to the east or west andthat would make the difference for them using 09 or 27. But in general with the forecast you can expect 27 landings, at least on Wednesday and Thursday.
    But even if they used 09 for arrivals tomorrow, just go to spot Spot 9 and you’re fine as well. 🙂
    Just grab the free Shuttle Bus to Terminal 5 from the Ibis/Hatton Road North and walk to the spot. If you dont know the area too well, better take a map or print-out with you (or use your GPS if you have that).
    The good thing about LHR is: There is a good location no matter which direction they use.
    I think takeoff shots are a lot trickier with 09 in use, so I’d stick with the arrivals for that.

  11. David Elsworth

    Sorry to trouble you, I will be at Heathrow this Tue/Wed/Thu for a/c photography.

    I usually hope to see landings on 27R & 27L (27R till 15.00 & then 27L this week)

    What purturbs me is the Weather Forecast Wind directions and force. Today has been 09L & 09R landings.

    Tommorrow the wind is forecast from the North 8 mph so I expect things to be as today

    On Wednesday its N/W and Thursday N/SW so I am hoping landings will revert back to 27R & 27L .

    From your previous knowledge is this likely to be correct ??

    I am on foot and based at the Bath Road Ibis.

    On previous visits with 09L 09R landings I have stuck to the Eastern end hoping for take off photos – but not with any great sucess

    Hoping someone can help (or knows someone can help !)

    Dave Elsworth

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