Smart, quaint and splendidly green, West London only gets lovelier the farther out you go. If you’re heading to the Heathrow area and looking for adventure, there are plenty of options close by, from some of London’s historical treasures to blockbuster event venues. So whether you’re looking to pass time before jetting out of the capital, or staying at Hilton hotels in Heathrow, here are the best of West London highlights this summer.
Wembley Stadium: Rock Anthems
The iconic white lattice rope that loops across Wembley Stadium can be seen for miles across London – a constant reminder of England’s football highs and woes. But it’s not only a state-of-the-art venue for ‘The Beautiful Game’, Wembley plays host to a regular roster of performances by megawatt stars. Upcoming concerts include K-pop supergroup BTS, and the newly reunited Spice Girls, as well as classic stadium-rockers like Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Bon Jovi and The Who.
Until ticket sales open for Euro 2020, football fans can satisfy their fixation with the award-winning Wembley Stadium Tour, giving participants footloose access to the dressing rooms, players’ tunnel, pitch and royal box.
Twickenham Stadium: Ruck to It
Although typically a winter game, England’s prize venue Twickenham Stadium is hosting an array of matches throughout the summer, including Premiership Rugby Final (1 Jun), as well as the Quilter test match series, ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup – see England will take on Barbarians (2 Jun), Wales (11 Aug), and Ireland (24 Aug). Afterwards, swagger on down to picturesque riverside haunt The White Swan for a plate of chips and a pint of London Pride. Bottoms up!
Richmond Park: Royal Patch of Green
One of London’s eight Royal Parks, and arguably the best, with 2,500 acres of sweeping, grasslands, ancient forests and resident wild deer, Richmond Park is the emerald in West London’s crown. Even if walking isn’t your scene, there’s plenty to amuse, including the Grade II listed Pembroke Lodge tea rooms, azalea-packed Isabella Plantation, hilltop views of a distant St Paul’s, horse-riding, golf, and bike hire to navigate the 12km-long Tamsin Trail.
Serious cyclists can go a pedal turn further and sign up to the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 (3-4 Aug), a 100-mile closed-road circuit starting at the Olympic Park, racing through the city and Richmond Park, and into the hills of Surrey. Or pack a picnic, find a comfy, grassy spot, and enjoy the spectacle as it whooshes past!
Kew Gardens: Art in Nature
The world’s largest and most diverse botanical collection is amazing in its own right, but Kew Gardens is currently dotted with dazzling installations by contemporary glass artist Dale Chihuly in Chihuly: Reflections on nature, which runs until the end of October. Wander through the spectacular gardens and glasshouses to espy his lustrous artworks, or better yet, return after dusk for Chihuly Nights (15 Aug-26 Oct), when all is illuminated and accompanied Nico Muhly-scored music. Skip to the devoted Prosecco bar after.
Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival: smell the roses
Missed out on Chelsea in May? Fret not, the world’s largest flower show, RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (4-7 Jul), has yet to come into bloom. Click quick to get your green fingers on sought-after tickets to this vibrant, botanical bonanza, swarming with immersive floral displays and show gardens – including one designed by the Duchess of Cambridge, no less. Energetic kids and teens will love the hands-on workshops, spanning everything from calligraphy to flower crowns, while the whole family can get down with live tunes, celebrity talks, plant market and food truck fare.
Or, swap potting for pop culture at the Hampton Court Palace Music Festival (6-22 Jun), including big-name acts like Busted, Tears for Fears, and Kylie Minogue, and The Luna Cinema (8-11 Aug) screening smash movie musicals under the stars, from Bohemian Rhapsody to The Greatest Showman.
London Heathrow, much more than an airport
As the largest airport destination in the UK, London Heathrow is a gateway to all London has to offer. Hilton hotels in Heathrow are well located for easy access to terminals and central London. Whatever your reason for visiting the city – whether it’s the beauty of heritage sites, the experience of live music or the thrill of sports, enjoy a stay with Hilton and discover the best of London’s countryside and city attractions.
This content has been created in collaboration with LUXE City Guides
Hampton Court / Molesey, KT8 / +44 20 3166 6000 / 10am-6pm daily / hrp.org.uk
Richmond Park / Richmond, TW10 / 7am-dusk daily / royalparks.org.uk
Kew Gardens / Richmond, TW9 / +44 20 8332 5655 / 10am-7pm Mon-Thu, 10am-8pm Fri-Sun / kew.org
Wembley Stadium / London, HA9 / +44 20 3481 5506 / wembleystadium.com
Twickenham Stadium / Whitton Rd / Twickenham, TW2 / +44 20 3613 2021 / twickenhamstadium.com
The White Swan / Riverside / Twickenham, TW1 / +44 20 8744 2951 / 11am-11pm daily / whiteswantwickenham.co.uk