Okay, this is quite specific: does London Heathrow airport have any bookstore with a good selection of Moon or Lonely Planet guides (preferably both)?

If so, which terminal and what is the store called?

I have a couple of hours layover at LHR (not enough to go shopping in the city) and would like to pick up the latest edition (yes, traditional paper version) for my destination.

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    Never seen Moon guides anywhere in the UK, including Heathrow - Lonely Planet, Bradt and Rough Guides are the most common here, sometimes Trailblazer Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 8:03

2 Answers 2


There are airside WH Smiths bookshops in both T3 and T4, and smaller WH Smiths (which will have a limited selection of books) airside in T2 and T5. I don't believe there are any other bookshops. (Smiths are not normally a particularly remarkable bookseller, but their larger airport stores aren't too bad.)

From memory, the T4 one carries a wide selection of Rough Guides and Lonely Planets; I'm not familiar with the Moon guides, which I think are less common over here, so can't say if they carry them.

It might be worth writing to them directly and asking. They don't currently do online order with delivery to these shops (pity, there'd be a great market for "have my books ready to pick up on a layover"!), but they may be able to hold a copy for you, or confirm if it's likely to be in stock.

  • Thanks! I'll try to reach them. I'm arriving in T3 (store page) and flying out of T2 (store page). Didn't see email addresses, maybe I'll have to call and ask.
    – Jonik
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 22:29
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    > there'd be a great market for "have my books ready to pick up on a layover" -- this does not work even with much more expensive stuff: I asked whether I could pick up something available at the main Harrods at the airport Harrods and the answer was negative. Some shops just don't want your money. The reserve shopping service is just shopping for you at the airport, nothing more. It should be a lot more.
    – user4188
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 7:53
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    If I remember right, even the smaller WH Smiths in Heathrow (the ones that mostly sell chocolate, water and junk) have a small stand with Lonely Planets for the most common destinations. If I remember right, there's no correlation at all between the books available to buy from a terminal, and the destinations people in that terminal are actually flying to... Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 8:06

If you have time - Terminal 3 is the only terminal you can enter at Heathrow from airside without needing a boarding pass for a departing flight from there. This is mostly to support the paid-for lounges in the Terminal, but handily would work for you.

Assuming you have lots time, on arrival at T3, follow the purple "Flight Connections" and then "Flight Connections Terminal 3". Go through security, if asked for a boarding pass say you're going to the No.1 Traveller lounge (they normally don't). When you're through security, look closely at where you are! You'll need to get back here!

Now, head to the WH Smiths Bookshop in T3. Note, it's a different shop to the normal WH Smiths, which will have some books but not many. Browse their fairly good selection, and get what you want.

Return to Flight Connections, which isn't well signposted (to avoid confusing people), so you need to remember where it was!

Take the bus to Terminal 2, and go through security again

If you couldn't get what you wanted, try the normal WH Smiths in Terminal 2 (some books, mostly food and magazines), or failing that Case (travel bags and accessories, but often has a rack of guidebooks too)

If you don't have lots of time, just go to T2 and try to shop there.

  • There's a pretty decent books-only WH Smith in Terminal 4 too for anyone who happens to be there (Terminal 4 is a pig to get to though so I wouldn't recommend it unless there already) - I didn't look at the guidebooks but they usually have Lonely Planet and Rough Guide for mainstream destinations. Unfortunately they're not smart enough to stock lesser-traveled destinations in the shops in the terminals that fly there :-( some companies just don't want money I guess... Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 8:01
  • Thanks for this. I'm here and I have time, but on this trip I couldn't get to the airside T3 shop, because my next flights are on a separate ticket and I had to reclaim my checked-in bag (didn't want to take risks by first trying to get airside). Indeed, as pointed out, the T2 shop had a small section of guides. No LP or Moon (or anything of use to me): imgur.com/ZI3mjKg
    – Jonik
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 19:36

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