Immigrations formalities in Heathrow Airport

Immigration Enquiries at Heathrow AirportIn essence immigration checks are carried out by the UK’s Border Force at all entry points into the UK, these include airports, sea ports and international railway stations.

The procedure is fairly standard, anyone arriving into the UK would be required to provide their passport and other travel related documents such as visas to the border agent who would in turn look into the documents in order to verify and permit entry.

Listed below are the formalities and steps involved in customs and immigrations clearance at Heathrow Airport:

Passport control is the first mandatory stop for all passengers arriving at Heathrow Airport.  Two queues at the passport control involve one for European Union, European Economic area, British and Swiss nationals, and a second one for citizens of all the other countries. Passengers are screened for passport or travel document and any necessary supporting documents by Border Force officers. The procedure is usually carried out by scanners that also check the authenticity of other supporting documents.

E-passport gates:

For holders of e-passport, there are separate gates that open post face recognition check against the chip contained in the passport.

Baggage Reclaim:

Passport control is followed by baggage reclaim that also houses free baggage carts in case of heavy luggage.


UK customs is located after baggage reclaim, prior to public arrivals area. The custom points are distinct in Red, Blue and Green. Direct exit is possible in case of no declarations. Passengers from European Union, in absence of declarations can use the blue exit. They are subjected to Red customs point in case of goods to be declared.

For journeys that began in non European Union nation involve exit through Red customs point in case of goods to be declared. In absence, exit is by Green customs point.

Entry or exit from the European Union with an amount exceeding €10,000 calls for its declaration to the customs.

Passengers on transit journeys are subjected to baggage tagging. However, items in hand baggage that are liable for duty must still be declared.

Owing to passenger movements in large numbers, clearing the customs and immigrations in Heathrow may get time consuming at times. Post clearance, passengers are assured of a comfortable transfer in Heathrow Airport Taxis. The services can be pre booked to avoid waiting queues and drivers also assist in luggage handling. Different categories of vehicles are available that are spacious to accommodate varying passenger numbers and luggage.

Summer Visit to Buckingham Palace and Nearby Attractions

Buckingham PalaceA tour to London would be incomplete without a visit to Buckingham palace. It is the seat of the British Royal Monarchy and is also the venue for the business of all matters of the royal state. Magnificently scaled, it stands with extravagant rooms that house some of the finest pieces of furniture from across the world.

The palace is made of 775 rooms, most of which act as venues to host dignitaries. The queen holds meetings and receives dignitaries in the 19 state rooms. Grandest of the state rooms is the White Drawing Room that is used as a waiting room by the Royal family. Addresses during important events are received by The Queen in the Throne Room, while concerts are held in the Ballroom that is also largest multipurpose room in the palace.

The Royal flag flies a top the palace to denote Her Majesty’s presence, while the Union flag denotes her absence. Visitors are offered entry into the palace during the months of summer when the Queen makes her annual visit to Scotland. Usually the visit is to the state rooms that house some of the unique treasures from the Royal Collection, including   finest art and furniture in the world. For the current year, the Royal Residence is proposed to open its gates from 23rd July to 2nd October to showcase 90 years of Style from the Queen’s Wardrobe.

Attractions Near Buckingham Palace:

Kensington Palace

Located at an approximate distance of 2.3 miles from Buckingham Palace is the 17th Century Kensington Palace. It has been home to several reigning monarchs. Public access to this Royal residence was initiated by Queen Victoria. Currently it is the official residence of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton. The King’s Grand Staircase, The Presence Chamber, The Cuppola Room, The King’s Gallery and The Sunken Garden are some of the striking features of this palace.

Hyde Park and Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

One of the greatest city parks, Hyde Park lies at a near distance of about 1.2 miles from Buckingham Palace. Spread over an area of 142 hectares, it includes a large lake, ornamental flower gardens and many monuments, notable ones being Serpentine Bridge and Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.

Diana Memorial Fountain is a large oval stone fountain that lies to the south of Serpentine Bridge. Designed by Kathryn Gustafson as a symbol of Princess’ love for children, it is with three bridges leading to the heart of fountain. Wheel chair access is allowed in this memorial.

Summer months June to August brings maximum tourist inflow to London. Located in heart of the city, Buckingham Palace and its nearby attractions are most sought after areas by tourists. A comprehensive tour covering all the royal attractions can be covered comfortably in Central London Minicabs. Available vehicles are dispatched based on passenger numbers that also include an option to choose infant/child seat at nominal cost.

London Events in April 2016

April is the time for London to bid adieu to the chilly weather of winter and welcome in the bloom of the onset of spring, temperature begins to rise and that in turn draws people outdoors to enjoy the sunshine.

The month of April also gives a chance for tourists to make the most out of their stay in London. The improved weather also favours the green spaces in various London parks, thus making them a pleasure to visit. Outside Central London, ducklings and chicks are an ever present attraction at the London Wetland Centre in Barnes.

Notable events lined in April:

The London Marathon

The London Marathon is regarded as largest annual fundraising event. Every year approximately 36,000 athletes cover a distance of 26.2 miles through London streets covering notable landmarks including The London Eye, Tower of London before the finish line in front of Buckingham Palace.  Large crowds throng the sidelines to support and cheer the participants.

St. George’s Day

St. George’s Day marks the death anniversary of the patron saint of England.  Observed on 23rd April 2016, celebrations commence in Trafalgar Square that gets dressed in tones of red and white on the preceding Saturday, 20th April 2016. Food stalls are planned to be staged, with primary focus on authentic English food, as well as live demonstrations by celebrity chefs.

St. George’s Day this year also coincides with 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare’s. Shakespeare’s globe has planned activities to commemorate this day.

Vaisakhi Celebrations

Regarded as the most auspicious day in Sikh Calendar, Vaisakhi denotes the time of historical harvest. This day is usually celebrated with continued reading of Sikh scripture for three days, recitation of sacred hymns and prayers for the well being of human race.

To mark this day, activities are planned at the city hall that includes turban tying displays, folk dances and more. Community stalls are also proposed to e put up on More London Riverside, serving vegetarian food prepared by the Sikh community.