London Eye, London

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    London Eye

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 7, 2006

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    View of London Eye from Waterloo Station area
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    Once we arrived in downtown London at the Waterloo train station it was not difficult to figure out what our first attraction was going to be. As we stepped outside the station, we were greeted by this view of the now famous London Eye, officially called the Millenneum Wheel, standing on the south bank of the River Thames. This tallest in the world viewing wheel, at 135 m (443 ft) was built to celebrate the incoming 21st Century and officially opened on Dec. 31, 1999 (although it was not open to the public until March, 2000).

    A recent public opinion poll voted the Eye as the best tourist attraction in the world, and I would have to say that I really enjoyed our 'flight' on it! We soon hoofed it over to their very efficient ticketing area where the long lines moved along quickly as we picked up our 12.5 pound (US$22) tickets. The second photo shows a view of the Wheel hub and the rotating 'pods' directly above our heads as we then stood in a second line to actually board the Eye (the entire structure weighs 2100 tonnes).

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    The London Eye

    by toonsarah Updated Mar 28, 2014

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    London Eye at sunset
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    March 2014 update: checked and updated ticket prices, added new photo

    For me this Millennium addition to the London skyline and to the tourist map is a great success, and a "must-see" attraction. OK it may sound a little scary to some to be 135 metres above the ground, but trust me, it's worth overcoming any fear you may feel. Our friend Dominik did just that when we visited with him a few years ago, and as soon as our 30 minute "flight" had finished he was talking about how soon we could go again!

    You travel in an enclosed capsule with a small bench in the centre and 360 degree panoramic views (40km on a clear day). Unless you've booked a private flight you won't get the capsule to yourselves though, and this is perhaps the only downside as on a busy day there could be around 20 other people in there with you, all eager for the best views. But be patient and take your time - once the initial excitement has died down you'll find there's plenty of time for everyone to get the photos they want and spot all the famous landmarks below.

    I have to admit though that this isn't a cheap attraction. Adults prices start at £17.96 if you book ahead online, more if you just turn up on the day. Children (4-15 years) are charged £12.60 (though under-fours go for free and there's a family ticket that saves you a bit), senior citizens (60+) £16.50. Online booking not only saves you money, but also guarantees you a place on the busiest days - but of course you'll be taking a gamble on the weather. The best thing to do is to book online on the morning of your planned visit.

    There are also a variety of more expensive "added extra" tickets including fast track ones that let you bypass the queue (£26.55 for adults), flexi fast track that let you visit at any time during the day of your booking (so you could wait until a shower past or morning mist lifted perhaps - £32.05) and a flexi standard (no queue skipping but you can pick your time of day - £22.96). Personally I wouldn't pay the extra to skip the queue - it's not a major hardship to stand in line and it's a lot extra. But the flexi standard might be worth considering if you need flexibility or want to maximise your chance of decent weather conditions. However the best added extra is probably the "Night and Day Experience" which for £24.03 lets you have two rides - one in the day and one after dark.

    All prices are correct as of March 2014 and relate to an adult ticket bought in advance online. You can see all the options on the relevant section of the website.

    Oh and in case you're wondering, a private capsule will cost you £500 and upwards! Or if you're planning to "pop the question" (an English slang term for proposing) you could consider a so-called "Cupid's Capsule" - a private capsule for two with champagne and chocolate truffles for £350. But remember, you'll only have 30 minutes in which to do it!

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  • Flying over the City

    by CoAir13 Written Sep 24, 2004

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    Over London
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    We skipped the Eye on our first trip due to the hordes of people (over Easter break). This time, the masses weren't there, so we did it! I highly recommend this flight! The view was spectacular. We waited in line for a few minutes for a ticket and had a flight time of 15 minutes later. I've found that if you book on-line you can save 5 percent....and go straight to a reservation machine, swipe your card, and get your ticket. There is also a deal on-line through Porter's English Restaurant (Covent Garden)....dinner and a flight on the London Eye for 25 GBP per adult and 12 GBP for children. You get a two course traditional English Meal and when you are done, take a ten minute walk to the Eye for your trip.

    Adult (16+) 11.50 GBP
    Child (5-15) 5.75 GBP
    Children under 5 FREE
    Senior (60+) 9.00 GBP

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Take-off

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 7, 2006

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    The 'Pods' Ahead of Ours Begin Their Ascent

    At a leisurely speed of 0.9 km/hr (or 0.6 mph) the Eye takes about 30 minutes to make a complete revolution. This speed is slow enough that, unlike a typical ferris wheel ride, it does not need to come to a stop to unload and load passengers. Ushers encourage passengers to quickly exit the pod through a door on the end and the empty pod continues to slowly move along to a line of waiting passengers, who board through the same door. Note the yellow line painted beneath the pod and part of a net visible next to it - just in case a bumbling passenger somehow falls over and tries to land in the Thames! The usher told me to get moving into our pod, never mind the photo!

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Around We Go

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 7, 2006

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    Golden Jubilee Bridge & Charing Cross Station
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    We had a beautifully clear, but chilly, day for our ride in the London sky. As we slowly and quietly rose up, the views were great in all directions from our glass walled pod! Here, in this North looking view, the shadow of the Eye falls on the River Thames and the Golden Jubilee Bridge as it leads into Charing Cross train and tube station.

    The second photo shows one of the 32 capsules, each capable of holding up to 25 passengers. A long bench is located in the centre of each capsule and passengers can either sit there or roam around the circumference taking in whatever view strikes their fancy. Still looking North in the 2nd photo, our capsule has climbed a bit higher and the Waterloo Bridge is now visible. The viewing range is up to 40 km (25 miles) at the highest point.

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Big Ben & Houses of Parliament

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Aug 15, 2006

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    Big Ben & Houses of Parliament from the Eye

    We had come past the highest point of the London Eye and were on our way down as we had this great South-looking view of the Westminster Bridge crossing the Thames to the impressive Houses of Parliament along with London's other symbol, the Big Ben clock tower, located on its near end. We had a very informative map with us for the half-hour ride (see my 'General' tips for the details) which we could consult to determine what we were actually looking at as our very enjoyable ride soon came to an end. By the way, the building with the blue-looking roof and whitish stone walls directly behind Big Ben is Westminster Abbey.

    Upon exiting the Eye, we walked back to Waterloo Station and took a tube ride deep under the Thames to Westminster station for a closer look at these architectural wonders (because the tube elevator line-ups were so long, the 193 steps we took up to the surface of Westminster station were our exercise for the day!)

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  • Elena_007's Profile Photo

    Eye on Big Ben (A view from the London Eye)

    by Elena_007 Updated Mar 20, 2005

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    Amazing views in all directions, but I just couldn't keep my eyes off "Big Ben." Notice the two tiny red dots? Those are two double decker buses, one right behind the other.

    How would you like to see "Big Ben" LIVE, right this very minute? Or perhaps the London Eye? I often watch the London sunrise from Memphis, Tennessee! I just love Big Ben, and sometimes, I click on the web cam, shrink it to a suitable size, keep it in the background, and every now and again, see what the weather is like for myself, instead of just asking about it. There is even a shark cam in the London Aquarium, and once I waited nearly 15 minutes just to see one swim close by. You may save the pics to your computer, but be aware they are copyrighted, so you won't see any here. I have a spectacular shark photo, along with a sunrise pic of the London Eye that is incredible!

    See for yourself, what London looks like, right here and now. Click on the links below or copy/paste URL into browser.

    England Live Cams
    http://www.camvista.com/england/index.php3

    Big Ben
    http://www.camvista.com/england/london/bigben.php3

    London Eye
    http://www.camvista.com/england/london/bale.php3

    Please see my "Eye on London" tip for additional information on The London Eye.

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  • Elena_007's Profile Photo

    Eye on London

    by Elena_007 Updated Mar 20, 2005

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    The London Eye

    The London Eye, formerly known as The Millennium Wheel is definitely a "must see" and experience of a lifetime. This structure cost an impressive £75 million and took almost 16 months to build, with attention to every detail, including allowances to cope with the wind. There are 32 capsules with each one capable of carrying up to 25 people. It is the tallest observation wheel in the world, at 135 metres tall. (443 ft.) It travels at 0.26 metres per second, equivalent to 1/4 of the average walking speed. (really S L O W) You do not even realize that you are moving, except for the fact that Big Ben keeps getting smaller. Although "Big Ben" is actually the huge bell hung inside, not the clock tower, hopefully, you can see the point I am attempting to illustrate. On a clear day, you can see up to 25 mile panoramic views.

    I highly recommend buying the tour book (£5) because it is filled with every detail from design, construction, awards, etc. It even shows the raising of "The Eye" from horizontally afloat the River Thames to it's current position. Worth it! The idea for the London Eye originated as a husband and wife entered a competition in the Sunday Times newspaper, to mark the dawning of the new millennium in the city. Ironically, all of the entries were rejected, and the competition was withdrawn. The couple then formed a company to further develop their idea. London's daily paper, the Evening Standard printed a story about their dream, British Airways came aboard, a partnership was formed, and the dream became reality.

    The rotation takes approximately 30minutes and the announcement before "take-off" actually says that British Airways hopes you enjoy your flight. There is also a photograph taken at some point during the "flight", where you are instructed to smile for the camera, and for an astronomical amount of money, you can purchase a photo, upon "landing." The next time I visit London, I will experience an incredible night view of the city lights from what seems like a mile high in the sky.

    £11.50 Adult

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  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Appreciate London from a whole new perspective!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Sep 13, 2011

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    The London Eye

    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.

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  • sylvie-uk's Profile Photo

    the famous London Eye

    by sylvie-uk Updated Sep 23, 2004

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    the london eye

    The London Eye is one of the most successful millenium projects.
    I ve heard that on a clear day you can see as far as 35-40km.
    I ve never been on it as i think it s a little expensive for what it is (£11.5, i d rather see some beautiful scenery elsewhere), i also think i would ve seen enough after 10mn (the ride is about 1/2h) and i m really not sure i would like to queue so long to go on it but it s probably because i live here.
    The day i took this picture, the Eye was closed as there was a guy who had climbed all the way to the top to protest about fathers rights (the Eye is about 130m high, best he hasnt got vertigo!!!!!)

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    London Eye "Champagne Experience".

    by breughel Updated Apr 3, 2014

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    London Eye capsule. With Champagne ?
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    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 (19.95 £ - standard ticket 2014) than the Tour Eiffel (lift to top at 324 meters costs 15,00 €. - 2014).

    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 Tasting Capsule" to enjoy five Pommery champagnes "served by your host while you take in amazing views of the capital" at a cost (2014) of 48.50 £. This during two 30-minute rotations
    The price includes priority boarding.

    How did I miss all that?

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Loved The View!

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jun 3, 2011

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    View from the London Eye
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    Sponsored by British Airways, the London Eye was built to celebrate the millennium. It is a huge Ferris Wheel with 32 capsules that hold up to 25 people each. At 135 metres high, it is continuously moving and takes 30 minutes to do one revolution. Normally I am not fond of heights but for some reason I hardly noticed how high we were. I’m not sure if it was because we were moving so slowly or because we were enclosed. You can sit or move around easily inside the good sized capsule.

    The Eye is situated right on the Thames River diagonally across from the Houses of Parliament. We had fairly long views from the top but I found many of the buildings in London unremarkable. Good views up and down the Thames and of Houses of Parliament/Big Ben and the Tower Bridge.

    Hours:

    January - March: daily 10.00am - 8.30pm
    April to June: daily 10.00am - 9.00pm
    July and August: daily 10.00am - 9.30pm
    September to December: daily 10.00am - 8.30pm

    Online Admission Pricess (Standard):

    Adult (16 Plus) £16.74
    Senior £13.50
    Child (4-15 years) £8.58
    Child (Under 4) FREE
    Family of Four £45.60

    Combination Tickets (London Eye AND River Tour/Aquarium/etc.) are also offered.

    Book online to save some time (and money). Queues can be very long. Buy the capsule shaped guide that identifies the buildings visible from the Eye.

    This is a nice area to walk around. There's a park near the Eye and walking along the Thames towards the Parliament are several Dali statues. Easy walking distance to Houses of Parliament or to the other side of the Thames to catch a river boat.

    Please note that all visitor information is correct as of this update.

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  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    The London Eye

    by pieter_jan_v Updated Nov 6, 2010

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    The London Eye by night
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    The London Eye, the big wheel that was in erected in 1999. With a height of 135 meters at the time it was the biggest wheel on the globe. It weighs 15.000 tons and has 35 lookoff capsules.

    Opening times
    Winter: from October to April
    daily 10AM - 8PM
    Summer:
    May- June: daily 10AM - 9PM
    July - August : daily 10AM - 9.30PM
    September: daily 10AM - 9PM

    Admission: £17 (adult)

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  • ginte's Profile Photo

    London Eye

    by ginte Updated Oct 23, 2006

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    The British Airways London Eye is the world's tallest observation wheel (135 metres), with panoramic views on a clear day. From the capsules you can see spectacular views of London and its famous landmarks such as Big Ben, Buckingam Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral.

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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    THE LONDON EYE

    by LoriPori Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The London Eye from the Thames
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    Situated on South Bank along the River Thames, THE LONDON EYE is a huge "Ferris-Wheel" type attraction, which offers amazing views of London.
    You travel inside a capsule which holds up to 25 people. This slow-moving ferris-Wheel takes approximately 30 minutes for a complete rotation of the wheel.
    The London Eye is sponsored by British Airways.
    Admission: Adults 12.50
    Child 6.50

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