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Many Londoners were none too happy when in the 135 meter high Millennium Wheel (as was first known) was erected in 1999 to commemorate the "turning of the century". Now known simply as the London Eye, locals have softened and have even taken a ride or two in one of the 32 capsules which hold up to 25 people each. Views up to 25 miles can be observed on a clear day and evening rides are available to see an illuminated London. Weddings, private events and children's birthday parties are held within the London Eye's pods. Special packages are designed for every season and holiday, the wheel glows with matching lights for the occasion. Even with pre-booked capsules expect lines; however, entertainment in the area is abundant with street performers, a playground and a carousel. Grab the camera because the best part of the London Eye is the most breath-taking view of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament across the Thames at ground level. A journey lasts approximately 30 minutes.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
LIKE HUNGRY BEARS TO THE HONEY...
Yap, a multitude of avid tourists so strongly attracted by the London Eye like hungry bears attracted by a barrel of honey.
Our mistake was our arrival to London during the Easter week, so, the city was so overcrowded that was literally impossible to visit some emblematic attractions as the London Eye is.
A veeery long double line for the ticket purchasing (more than one block long), and if you are lucky enough with your ticket in your hand another triple line of one block long again just for get in, under the freezing rain and chilling wind.
Enough for us.
We admired this technological marvel from the ground, taking some photos meanwhile I was thinking: "next time not in Easter".
- Budget Travel
The EYE that sees the most
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.
Tallest no longer
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.
AVOID CLOUDY DAYS
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
THAMES CRUISE - THE LONDON EYE
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
- School Holidays
- Family Travel
Keeping an Eye on London
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.
- Family Travel
London eye experience
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.
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
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)
The British Airways London Eye..
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.
Ride on the London Eye at Night
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.
- Luxury Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Now that's a Ferris Wheel..
Ok, so maybe it's not just a Ferris Wheel. The London Eye was constructed by British Airways to celebrate the Millenium. It has fast become a favorite stop for tourists and native Londoners.
Our tip would be to take one of the last flights of the day. As the sun sets, and the lights come on, the view is truly special.
- Arts and Culture
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Appreciate London from a whole new perspective!
The London Eye has been a very welcome addition to London's extensive list of tourist attractions, as it provides an entirely new perspective on Central London. It situated on the South Bank, next to the London aquarium and opposite the Houses of Parliament, and at 135m high, it is Europe's largest Ferris wheel.
It was opened on the eve of the New Millenium (31 December 1999) and is now apparently Britain's most popular tourist attraction for which you have to pay an entrance fee, so crowds are obviously an issue. I was lucky enough to have an hour to kill late one autumn afternoon, and was literally able to wander into the next departing cabin, but I think that it would be realistic to plan on quite a wait, especially if you're visiting in high season (unless you're willing to pay a premium for a 'fast track' ticket - see the website below).
The wheel rotates very slowly, and the ride lasts half an hour - which is great as it gives you plenty of time to appreciate the view and work out what's where, but if you're expecting a white knuckle ride you'll be disappointed!
To my mind, there is no point whatsoever in doing this if the weather is bad. The wheel rotates so slowly that it isn't a wonderful fairground experience, and the great attraction is the view, which you can obviously only appreciate when the visibility is good. I was lucky enough to do the ride about 1700 on a September evening, so the late afternoon light was lovely and the sunset was gorgeous - sadly as I was coming from a business meeting, I didn't have my camera with me. London's twinkling lights stretching down below you at night would also be very pretty, although you obviously wouldn't be able to make out the same level of detail.
I am not sure that I would recommend this ride for small children, as I think that they would get bored long before the end of 30 minutes. Also, to get most out of it, you need to have an appreciation of what you're looking at, so bring along a map so that you can orient yourself.
It has to be said that this is not a cheap experience. At the time of writing (January 2011), the standard cost per person was a hefty £18, although online booking (which has to be done at least a day ahead) can result in a 10% saving. There are also many other options available, including family tickets (for two adults and two children) and a range of 'fast track' tickets, private cabin tickets and combination tickets (for example, with a river cruise or the Aquarium), so best to consult the website below and decide which alternative suits you best.
Provides a great perspective of London's layout
The London Eye is a great way to see a birds-eye view of London and a great way to get your bearings. It is quite busy in June/July but you should be able to line-up to buy your tickets THEN line up to get on the actual ride, all within an hour. Well worth it i would say! You can get some really fantastic pictures with iconic landmarks in the backgrounds!
- Adventure Travel
- Family Travel
Grab a bird's eye view of London
We visited the Eye as part of an excursion, which meant that we couldn't dawdle. The upside was that we spent less time in the long waiting line for the Eye. Background: it is the world's largest observation wheel, rising 450 feet above the Thames. If the day is clear, you can see 25 miles. That is a big if, but even looking down gives you a wonderful, different perspective of the well-known London sights. The ride is about thirty minutes in a car with two dozen other folks, but the cars are large and you never feel crowded or unable to move about and see everything. This is one great ride.
- Family Travel
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