One of the most famous airports in the world, Heathrow, has a colossal 67 million people fly to and from its gates every year. It is one of the top 10 airports in the world and, as you can imagine, it is one of the busiest. It has 5 terminals, with number 5 opening in 2006, and there is talk of expansion yet again to be able to accommodate the growing number of travellers each year. To understand how Heathrow became the international airport we know today, we have to go back to the beginning.
In 1930, a piece of land around 150 acres in size was purchased by a British aero engineer and aircraft builder to build a private airport. Fairey’s Great West Aerodrome was the beginnings of Heathrow airport and, in World War II, this area was used by the RAF to construct RAF Heston which included a control tower and runways to accommodate the fighter planes. In 1946, the Air Ministry, who owned the land after the war ended, transformed it into London’s civil airport, where a Lancaster Bomber performed the first flight to Buenos Aires.
From here, Heathrow grew from strength to strength and in 1951, the number of jet setters grew from 63,000 to 796,000; this led to a restructuring of the airport to include a central area, a 122 ft control tower, an office block and the Europa building which was the main terminal. In 1961, the north part of the terminal was closed and the air traffic was flying in and out of the Europa terminal, or Terminal 2, and Oceanic terminal, which is now commonly known as Terminal 3. 1969 saw Terminal 1 grace the runways due to 5 million people flying from Heathrow each year and the introduction of the Tridents, Boeing 707s and VC10s.
The 70’s saw the introduction of the legendary Concorde and the Boeing 747 which were able to reach record-breaking speeds and take on more passengers than ever before. The late 1970’s saw 27 million people travel through Heathrow every year and, with the other 3 terminals under strain, Terminal 4 was opened in 1986. Hotels near Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 were also built around this time to allow travellers ease of access to this terminal as well as being a short distance away from Terminals 1 to 3.
In 2006, Heathrow turned 60 and during its lifetime, it has taken 1.4 billion travellers on 14 million flights to their destinations and home again. The number of passengers continued to rise and this saw Terminal 5 opened for use in 2008. In 2015, Heathrow is known worldwide and today, it takes over 67 million people each year to 90 countries all over the world. Next year, Heathrow will celebrate its 70th anniversary which will most certainly see an increase in passengers, flights and destinations but it may also see another terminal gracing the site.
Travelling, Parking and Staying at Heathrow
There are a vast range of ways that you could get to Heathrow airport including car, bus, tube and train. The airport has a wide range of car parks to accommodate your needs such as a long stay car park for those travelling for two weeks or more; short stay for those fleeting visits, business parking, Meet & Greet car park and service, where your car is ready for you at the drop off point for when you arrive back at the airport, and the Valet Parking service which not only has your car ready and waiting for you on your return, but it will also be spick and span inside and out.
If you decide to travel by train then the Heathrow Express is as regular as clockwork and departs from London Paddington every 15 minutes where it stops at Terminals 1-5. The Piccadilly tube line also has a direct link to the airport terminals. The National Express bus service can pick up and drop off all over the country and travels to and from all five terminals. With an array of ways to get to Heathrow, it is down to your personal preference and how you would prefer to travel.
Travelling from the airport and flying on the same day can be a daunting and tiring task for some people and so some choose to stay in one of many hotels in the vicinity. Not only is this convenient for you to catch your flight but most London Stay deal on their rooms and their parking, which means you can leave your car in the confines of the hotel without having to pay airport charges. There are a wide selection of hotels near Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 which allow ease of access to its Terminal as well as Terminals 1-3, such as the Best Western Plus Park Grand London Heathrow.
This modern and chic hotel prides itself on its ability to offer patrons a comfortable and relaxing stay at an affordable price, and it has put every effort into its aesthetics and furnishings to be able to continue to offer this to every guest. Their bedrooms offer the latest modern amenities including high speed internet, satellite television on a plasma tv as well as an ipod docking station. Each room as an ensuite bathroom which is equipped with a glorious rain shower which is guaranteed to wash all your worries away along with your complimentary toiletries. There is also an onsite gym if you wanted to keep up with your exercise routine and also a bar where you can relax and enjoy a beverage, the Best Western Plus Park Grand London Heathrow hotel really is a wonderful place to relax and unwind before your trip.