There is another great place to spot--Myrtle Avenue (at the end of which is a grass clearing, where many spotters gather). You get off at Hatton Cross tube station, cross the perimeter road just south of it to Hatton Road, and walk westward along Hatton Road until you see the Myrtle Avenue sign. Walk north (it's only a brief walk) into the grass clearing.
Myrtle Avenue is among the best spots for photography, since there are no buildings, windows or trees in the way. In fact, it's right under the approach to LHR
runway 27L, so you see approaching planes very close up. Sometimes, takeoffs occur over Myrtle Avenue, but it's mostly approaches. The aircraft are so close you can read the registration numbers with the naked eye. Plus, police NEVER hassle you at Myrtle Avenue!
Also, there is the roundabout for East Church Road and eastern perimeter road, just north of the aircraft crossing (between BA
hangars). Many gather there for runway 27R approaches. Sometimes aircraft take off in that direction, but mostly, you see approaches. Again a great close-up location for photography. Also, the registrations are visible on the aircraft using only the naked eye. I've tried there, and have not been hassled by any police.
The Visitor Centre may be OK
for watching planes from, but it's TERRIBLE for photography because of the tinted windows upstairs. It's more for those who bring their families, or who specialise in taking down registration numbers (need a binocular/telescope to see the numbers). The parking lot is a little better for photography, but you need magnification to see details on the planes, and there is a fence blocking the 27R views once the planes touch down. However, if you like seeing the history of LHR
, and even want to "fly" a 777 simulator, the visitor centre is the place! They also have their own shop upstairs selling a large variety of models, books, photos, etc. to enthusiasts, along with a cafe for simple lunches and drinks. Also, there are lots of kids' activities/attractions on both floors.
Hope this helps!
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)