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heathrow, can you see the planes on the runway if you aren't flying?

(19 Posts)
manitz Thu 06-Jun-13 09:33:23

ds is starting school in sept. we have thursdays free - am trying to do days out. loves trains, planes, dinosaurs kind of a typical boy, little brother would also enjoy but much younger.

Haven't flown for 11 years so not been to an airport for ages, would like him to see the big planes on the runway but not sure if that's possible. Don't want to get a bus there and find out that you can't.

caz05 Thu 06-Jun-13 13:13:41

I don't think it is as the parameter of the airport has a fence going all the way round which you can't see through. When we have been before to collect relatives I park on the top level of the short say car park so my LO can see the plans but not ideal. We have a local/very small private airport to us which has a cafe and you can take kids there to see plans up close but they are only small ones. Do you have anything like that where you live? We also haves local museum which has some large plans you can climb into and have a look around.

From the BBC - Myrtle Avenue has become a prime destination for aviation enthusiasts since the closure of the only official area in Heathrow for plane spotting

LineRunner Thu 06-Jun-13 13:21:10

This is on the Heathrow Airport web site, if it helps:

Heathrow Academy

None of the terminals has a spectators' viewing area for non-passengers. However, an alternative is provided by the Heathrow Academy (formerly the visitor centre), close to the Bath Road on the northern side of the airport, which has a covered viewing stand.

Renaissance Hotel

For £35 you can enjoy unique elevated runway views from the comfort of the Renaissance Hotel's Club Lounge. Designed with the aircraft enthusiast in mind, this day package includes parking, unlimited coffee, tea and soft drinks in the lounge, and internet access. For more information call +44 (0)20 8897 6363 or ask for your Day Pass at hotel reception.

LineRunner Thu 06-Jun-13 13:21:46

Tbh, You might be better off at a smaller airport.

HeadFairy Thu 06-Jun-13 13:22:52

Love that plane spotting film! I took ds and dd to see the planes at Gatwick a couple of years ago when we were picking up my dad. DD fell asleep, she was only wee, but ds absolutely loved it! A MNer told me the route to walk from the terminal building, so we took a picnic and sat and watched the planes for an hour before getting my dad. The 747s were particularly appreciated by ds grin

ExitPursuedByABear Thu 06-Jun-13 13:25:15

My first school trip when I was 7 was to see the planes taking off at Ringway. I had egg sandwiches.


manitz Thu 06-Jun-13 15:02:20

Thanks everyone. I had an idea we wouldn't be able to do it. I was picturing us having lunch and watching planes taxiing on the runways. My dad took him to a little local airport to watch planes and it was ideal but i thought it would be nice for him to see how big the planes are close up. I think the hotel might be out of my price range but myrtle avenue sounds good. Head fairy, is it still possible to do that at gatwick?

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 06-Jun-13 15:11:15

Look at this site to get REALLY detailed info of where you can go, by airport, how much, what camera to use, etc etc etc...!

HeadFairy Thu 06-Jun-13 15:28:05

Manitz I think it is.... hang on, I'll see if I can find the original thread. Not sure if I posted it in chat or not.

HeadFairy Thu 06-Jun-13 16:45:26

I guess I must have put it in chat, because I can't find it. Basically you go to the South Terminal, and go to the far left corner from the entrance (it used to be by the Virgin check in desks) and at the far corner there is a door with a sign for Concord House. There's a flight of stairs down (no lift, I had dd in a pushchair) and at the ground floor there's a door out, you walk along the building (where all the flight crews have a crafty fag!) and it takes you to the Perimeter Road. You're quite far from the taxi way, but the planes take off right over your head so you get the full thunderous effect.

If you google best places for plane spotting Gatwick a few plane spotting forums pop up with various discussions of alternative spots.

manitz Fri 07-Jun-13 16:30:57

Thank you both for that info. I think the trip will be in a few weeks as we are doing national trust property next thursday then I have a meeting which is a pain.

manitz Fri 07-Jun-13 16:31:32

I meant to say I'll let you know what we end up doing but got distracted by those pesky kids.

Pumpkinsquid Fri 07-Jun-13 23:13:23

There is a couple of newly built hotels on Longford at the end of the runway, one is a premier inn, it might be worth checking if they have a coffeeshop with a view! I will have a think where to go... The Renaissance on bath road has a Starbucks, ring them and see it they have a view!

threepiecesuite Fri 07-Jun-13 23:52:07

I too went to Manchester Airport on a school trip and loved it. Concorde was in and I took a photo. Never mind the planes, I gasped at the chandeliers smile

gerbilsarefun Sun 09-Jun-13 10:23:57

We stayed at the Premier Inn, Heathrow, like Pumpkins said. From the car park we had a great view of T3 (I think) planes, landing and taking off.

Pumpkinsquid Sun 09-Jun-13 22:25:28

Just found out , cafe nero in T5 departures level, is apparently the place to be...havent been to have a look so not 100% sure how much of a view you get but worth a try! T5 is ca facinating place to visit anyway! Have fun!

manitz Mon 10-Jun-13 15:13:55

Thanks. I was thinking a little more about this trip. We have never flown with the kids and it's likely to be a long time before we do, so I guess even if there isn't a great view he might be intereseted in how the airport operates etc. I think we might just go and look at how it all works and if we get to watch planes going round that's great but if not we get to look at where people are going and who is arriving etc...

manitz Wed 26-Jun-13 23:04:49

going tomorrow i think, just looking at bus routes...

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