fraspotter
Posts: 1974
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 8:12 pm

Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:29 am

I am planning a trip to London in April for 4 days and was hopping to do some plane spotting while there. I was originally planning on going to Heathrow, but asked around the a.net forums and learned that many of the spotting locations at LHR are either under construction or closed permanently. I than started to think. Is Gatwick any better? Do they have an observation deck? Are there more spotting locations open at Gatwick than at Heathrow? And overall, would it be worth it to skip LHR and go to Gatwick?
I look forward to your input...
"Taking off is optional. It’s landing that’s mandatory."
 
A319XFW
Posts: 1519
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:41 am

RE: Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:36 am

Not that I've spotted at LHR, but what about on the north side around all the hire car places?
As they are close to the runway and every time I pick up/drop off a car there you get to see some big birds taking off close up.
There's got to be a car park there which isn't closed off by gates etc?
 
fraspotter
Posts: 1974
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 8:12 pm

RE: Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:43 am

Quoting A319XFW (Reply 1):
but what about on the north side around all the hire car places?

I already started a topic on where to go around LHR and got a full 2 pages of replies, but I was maybe hoping on a place actually in the airport. Kind of like the observation deck at FRA up until the time they closed it. Are there any places like that at Gatwick? Gas can get quite expensive if you drive around all day looking for different locations AROUND the airport. I was hoping on more of a centralized location, but I guess that might be too much to ask of with all the security these days...  Yeah sure
"Taking off is optional. It’s landing that’s mandatory."
 
jacobin777
Posts: 12262
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 6:29 pm

RE: Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:14 am

I've never spotted @ LGW...but I've spotted @ LHR a few times..its fun....April is still a bit cold though..........May/June is when the weather starts picking up!

here's some photos I took from LHR.....


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Jacobin777
MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Jacobin777

"Up the Irons!"
 
Glom
Posts: 2051
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:38 am

RE: Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:15 am

I think LGW is a bit better. You can go onto the roof of the South Terminal carpack and have a good view of the runway.
 
GSM763
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 3:35 am

RE: Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:18 am

Has the viewing gallery ar LGW shut? it was open last time I was there but then again that was 2 years ago.
 
airchabum
Posts: 754
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2001 8:21 am

RE: Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:19 am

Hi FRAspotter

Basically there are NO official spectator facilities at either airport. There is the Visitor Centre on the north side of LHR but it's useless for photography. There are a few spots around the airports where you can get decent photos - personally I prefer LHR if the westerly runways are in use (spot from Myrtle Ave etc) and LGW if easterlies are use (spot from field/gate at end of 08R). The variety of traffic is huge at each airport so it's definitely worth visiting both.

Cheers
Biggidy biggidy bong
 
Simong
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 2:42 pm

RE: Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:33 am

Hi There,
Not sure where you are staying or if you already have accomodation but here is some spotting info for LHR. The Renaissance Hotel on Bath Road is fantastic for aircraft spotting. The A/C are either taking off or landing right in front of you. They offer a special Aircraft Spotters rate which includes breakfast, a room on the higher floor facing the runway, access to the business lounge which also overlooks the runway and serves complimentary snacks and soft drinks. To get the special rate you need to book via the hotel directly.

Cheers
Simon
BA all the way !!!
 
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Vasu
Posts: 2946
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:34 am

RE: Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:22 am

Quoting GSM763 (Reply 5):
Has the viewing gallery ar LGW shut? it was open last time I was there but then again that was 2 years ago.

As far as I was concerned it's gone... but a few months ago I remember a post on here claiming there are signs in the South Terminal for a viewing area or something... can anyone shed any light on the matter...?
 
GDMCA
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 11:14 pm

RE: Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:40 am

Pretty sure its closed and it pi$$es me off that they still got the sign up for it and get my hopes up whenever Im at my favourite airport.
 
vv701
Posts: 5780
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:49 am

Spotting and photography is probably easier at LHR than LGW since the observation deck at LGW was closed.
 
FutureFO
Posts: 2811
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 10:58 pm

RE: Gatwick Or Heathrow Better For Spotting?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:29 am

I much prefer LHR for spotting than LGW. I generally go over to Hatton X tube sation and walk to the open park there. Great overfly views on beautiful days, and even a nice picnic area to sit or stand and get great pictures.



Sean from MCO and SDF
I Don't know where I am anymore