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15 Hour Layover @ Heathrow - Leave Airport, or No?

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Hello!

My name is Eric, and I'm new to this forum. I'm also new to traveling internationally (excluding Canada and Mexico).

I will be flying into Heathrow Airport en route to Oslo, Norway for a cruise, on June 13th. I will be leaving Los Angeles, California on Wednesday, June 13th at 9:20 PM PDT, and arriving at Heathrow Airport on Thursday, June 14th, 3:55 PM BST (+1 day).

I then have a 15 hour and 25 minute layover, not departing for Norway until Friday, June 15th, at 7:20 AM BST.

So my question is this: is it plausible to leave Heathrow and explore London during my layover? If so, what are my best options to get into London? Train, tube, taxi?

Also, if anyone has any advice on where to eat/visit, to really make the most of my stay in London, I would greatly appreciate it.

Additionally, what should I be prepared for with customs? Will I need a tourist visa, or will my passport suffice?

What will it be like going back INTO Heathrow Airport as an American citizen? Will I go through any type of customs going INTO the airport, or will I just go about business as normal?

I apologize for my naivety, but I am new at International travel.

Thank you much!!

Eric

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