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Northern Perimeter Road (West)
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Heathrow is one of the main gateways to the world-famous city of London and the amazing sights of southern England. Whether you're heading here to see the sights of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, or visiting on business, a rental car will allow you to do everything you need or want to.
If you’re thinking of hiring a car at London’s biggest airport, you’ll find we’ve got a very convenient location in the heart of the complex, just off Northern Perimeter Road. Our Heathrow pick-up desk is open 24 hours a day, every day, and is easy to access for both arriving and departing passengers.
And don’t forget that you’ll have no hidden extras to pay because we’ve already included theft and damage cover. We won’t even charge a fee for using your credit card.
The incredible city of London is right on Heathrow’s doorstep - but don’t let that overshadow the other fantastic attractions nearby. In fact, you’ll find Heathrow is well placed to explore a wide area of classic English countryside and sights in all directions.
You’ll be in a good position to drive straight out of the airport complex. That’s because the A4 highway runs right past our pick-up location. For many years this was the main route from London to the western cities like Bath and Bristol. It is still often called ‘The Great West Road’.
Even better, the M4 expressway is just a little further beyond the A4. You’ll see that it runs west parallel to the A4 – but with a much greater traffic capacity. So if you need to get to Windsor, Reading and the west of England, it could be your perfect route. Or you can take the M4 east for a quick way to London.
Running just beyond the western end of Heathrow’s runways is the main London beltway, the M25. Join that and you’ll be able to head off in any direction. A short distance north along the M25, the M40 turns off towards Oxford. A short way south along the M25, you’ll find the M3, which leads southwest to Winchester and the south coast.
At busy times, you may find that the older, winding A roads, like the A4 and A30, can be just as quick as the motorways. Whichever route you choose, remember that southern England’s road network has evolved over thousands of years. Don’t expect it to be a logical grid pattern of routes - but do expect it to be interesting and often picturesque.
Heathrow stands just 14 miles to the west of one of the world’s great cities and is surrounded by the historic attractions of the rest of southern England.
The London highlights
London is one of Europe’s most celebrated capitals, packed with world-famous landmarks. You’ll find most of them are within a compact central area that’s easy to reach – and easy to get around.
Outside Buckingham Palace, you can watch the precision marching of the Changing of the Guard ceremony and maybe even see the Queen or one of the Royals driving through the gates. Nearby you’ll find the entrance to Downing Street to see the house where the British Prime Minister lives and works. Not far away is the iconic tower of Big Ben with Britain’s most famous clock overlooking the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament.
Of course, London has a lot more to offer than the major tourist sights. You’ll also find world-class shopping, with the big stores along Oxford Street, luxury shops on Bond Street and Regent Street, and crazy fashion boutiques and inspiring street markets all over the city.
The world’s biggest castle
A short drive to the west, just beyond Heathrow, is the extraordinary Windsor Castle, the world’s largest and oldest occupied fortress. The Queen often stays here but large areas of the castle and its vast grounds called the ‘Great Park’, are still open to the public.
A short walk from Windsor, across a bridge over the River Thames, is the pretty old village of Eton. Among the ancient houses and shops, you’ll find the famous public school and the students in their traditional uniforms.
Travel a little further to discover some very different attractions: Legoland is a family-friendly park designed around the popular children’s building bricks and Thorpe Park offers thrilling white-knuckle rides.
The dreaming spires
Head up the M25 and M40 to find a scenic, hilly area known as the Chilterns. You can discover picturesque leafy villages here or take the motorway further north to visit the ‘dreaming spires’ of Oxford. Many of the university buildings in the city center and along the banks of the Thames date back to medieval times. Take a punt along the river or stroll the cobbled alleys dodging students wobbling on bicycles and clutching piles of books.
The secret of the stones and Alfred’s town
Two hours’ drive west of London, the 5,000 years old stone circle of Stonehenge stands on the grassy plains of Wiltshire. There’s an impressive new visitor center, making a visit to the mysterious stones an inspiring and thought-provoking adventure.
The ancient town of Winchester lies just 50 miles from Heathrow down the M3 motorway. Among quiet alleys and narrow streets, you’ll find half-timbered houses and buzzing traditional pubs, as well as one of Europe’s biggest gothic cathedrals. Look out for the ancient buildings of Winchester College, one of England’s oldest schools, and the statue of King Alfred the Great in the main street, commemorating his rebuilding of the town center over 1,200 years ago.