Going to London and not seeing through London eye is the biggest mistake a tourist can make. It is not only the eye but heart and soul of London. One should avoid visiting it when the weather is cloudy. Otherwise great sightseeing tool. One can recognize it from far far away. Wrestling to get onto it for a nice spin is worth the wait in the line. Tickets vary but are quite affordable. But the best part is this landmark is just HUGE. In fact one can tell easily its the busiest place in London as well. A must visit place in London. Many would say that it is expensive but I believe it is something one has to experience at least once.
The full name, since January 2011, is "EDF Energy London Eye". EDF Energy is Britain’s largest producer of low carbon electricity and EDF is Électricité de France S.A. the world’s largest utility company. Headquartered in Paris!
Oh my God, the London Eye belongs now to the French! Do they know that at Buckingham?
Is this the Tour Eiffel of London? It seems indeed with nearly 4 millions visitors per year. But it is more expensive (19.20 £ - 2013) than the Tour Eiffel (lift to top at 324 meters costs 14,50 €. - 2013).
Actually this is another Ferris wheel of which examples exist elsewhere. This one is bigger, 135m high, than the others at least in Europe. It has been surpassed by the 160 m "Star of Nanchang" in 2006, and then the 165 m "Singapore Flyer" in 2008.
When I looked at the wheel from the river Thames I was surprised it moved so slowly, a full turn in 30 minutes, and I wondered if I would like to be confined with 25 other persons in a capsule during such long period.
But fortunately I read that it is possible with the "Champagne Experience" to "Enjoy a glass of Pommery Brut Royal champagne served by your host while you take in amazing views of the capital" at a cost (2013) of 35.04 £ (why 0.04 ?) a second glass to chase away claustrophobia at only 10.02 £. The price includes priority boarding and most important a red rose Champagne is at no extra cost!
How did I miss all that?
The London Eye is one of the city’s more immediately recognizable landmarks, despite the fact that it is not much different from similar attractions in other cities, such as Vienna. The Eye was built in 1999 and was the tallest Ferris wheel when constructed, although it has now been bypassed by ones in Nanchang and Singapore. It is still the tallest wheel in Europe. It is now one of the most popular attractions in the entire city. Unlike smaller Ferris wheels, the pods on the London Eye allow up to 25 people to congregate at a time, making the experience slightly less personal, but also allowing (because of the size of the pod) for more movement and a greater ability to contemplate various sections of the skyline. The London Eye has a particularly important role in New Year’s celebrations.
Tickets for the LONDON EYE experience range from around £17 for standard ticket to as much as £35 for a fast track ticket, so make sure that you choose a day that is not cloudy and hopefully you will have a superb panoramic view. It opens at 10 am and closes early at 3pm in the winter and can stay open much later at other times of the year. Private capsules can also be arranged--- at a price, of course!!! AND of course there are the normal gift shop and cafe. I was there in December and even then there were long queues waiting for there turn on the big wheel.
One interesting fact is that the wheel weighs 2100 tonnes, the same as over 1200 black cabs, and the structure is 135 metres high and has a diameter of 120 metres, the biggest in Europe. It also boasts being the most visited paying attractions in Britain with 3,500,000 visitors a year. There are 32 capsules, each accommodating 25 passengers and each one representing one of the London Boroughs. Each revolution takes 30 minutes and passengers walk on/off as it slowly rotates. It gives you a 360 degree view and you can see up to 40 kms away
Another good view from the River Thames, was the popular London Eye, a giant observation wheel built as part of London's millennium celebrations.
Did either of us want to go on this observation wheel to see views over London....NO, we both thought it was way to expensive!
The wheel moves so slowly, that a complete turn takes about 30 minutes and you get on and off while it is moving, just like a Gondola ride.
It states, on a clear day you can see as far as 40 km (25 miles).
The cheapest price I could find was...
Adult (16 Plus) £19.98
Child (4-15 years) £11.82
Child (Under 4) FREE
Family of Four* 57.24
January - March 10.00am - 8.30pm
April - June 10.00am - 9.00pm
1st – 26th July 10.00am – 9.30pm
29th August – 9th September 10.00am – 9.30pm
September - December 10.00am - 8.30pm
1-7 January 10.00am - 8.00pm
We booked our tickets for the London Eye a number of months before even arriving in England, and this was well worth it as exchanging the on line paperwork was done without any line ups. We were met at the booking area by some pleasent meeters and greeters to assist in being given a package of goodies including booklets on what you can see from the Eye. From there we were across to the loading area for the London eye all within a few moments of arriving after the children used the excellent washrooms bearing in mind this facility was not going to be available once in the "pod".
The lines for those who only bought their tickets on the day were horrific, but we having pre booked had minimal waits of maybe ten minutes.
The only downside of advance booking is of course you cannot predict the weather on the day you book. We travelled to it on the third week of August 2011 and as can be seen from the photo's it was a typical English summers day, overcast with rain. However it took little away from the trip and it was just the horizon some 40km away that became somewhat obscured.
All in all well worth the visit. We were staying outside of the City out near the Docklands to keep hotel costs down so found that to get to the London eye, there is probably no easier way than using the Thames Clipper fast ferries from Greenwich all the way to the London eye pier was the best method of travelling.This enabled us to see much of the city including the Tower of London was a bonus especially as we could use our Oyster cards for the ferries as well as most other types of transport in and around London which gives splendid discounts for people living overseas.
I experienced the Eye in September of 2007. The line was rather short (roughly a 25 min wait) and the price was roughly 15 Pounds. Total ride time was about 30 minutes but it gives you plenty of time for picute opportunities (Big Ben, Parliament, etc). The enclosed platform gives you plenty of space to move freely and not feel crowded.
I rode during the day which was better for the first time rider however next time, I will ride in the evening to experience the city scape without daylight.
The tallest ferris wheel in Europe, since it was opened in 2000, it became a major attraction of London.
Approximately half an hour waiting to buy tickets, , after a short movie (the London 4D
experience) and another short time of queue we access to a capsule.
During about 30 minutes the experience offers great views over London .
Price : Standard rate 18.90£ (including the entry to the London 4D experience)
It is named so because the British Airways made the biggest fares wheel to celebrate the millennium. A ride for 45 min will cost you 18 Pounds, but the best part is you can visit Madam Tussaud's museum with the same ticket. If you want to take the picture the take it during your flight you gotta pay 12 Pounds for 1 copy but 2 for 16.
I would highly recommend riding the London Eye after the sun goes down. When it does, the lights of the city make for a beautiful sight.
The main difference between a day and night flight is the scenic views. During the day, you can see for miles and really get a feel for the size of London. During the evening, it's all about the scenic views of the river, the city and the Parliament Building.
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