Making the most of visiting the London Eye
London Eye Facts
When you visit the London Eye, it’s important to know about its history.
The London Eye opened on 31 December 1999 to mark the start of the 2000 millennium by former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Originally called the Millennium Wheel, it was only supposed to be open temporarily, but council granted them permission to keep it permanently. Previously called th Millennium Wheel, the London Eye at 135 metres tall so you can see bird’s eye view of London. The London Eye has been a popular icon in films, music videos, television shows, best selling novels and sopa operas.
Although London can be very industrial with construction and road works, it’s hard to see some of the major attractions, however, you can view some of the major ones in half an hour. Not all major attractions, but you’re able to see them in Lego size view. With more than 3 million visitors going on the London Eye, it’s still the top 10 attractions to visit when coming to London.
How long does the London Eye last?
There are 32 capsules and it takes 30 minutes to go round. It is also the main area where New Year’s Eve’s fireworks happen, just before the clock strikes midnight.
How much does the London Eye cost?
The London Eye has become one of the number one visitor attractions to visit. Due to corona virus, The London Eye is temporarily closed but it doesn’t mean you can’t visit in the future. To buy the London Eye tickets, there are several options you can take. Check the Days Out Guide website for 2 for 1 offers (at times, 2 for 1 offers are not available at certain seasons, so check back often). The 2 for 1 offer can also be purchased with your rail tickets in major train stations. Check the National Rail website for more information here.
Another option is to buy 1, 2, 3 or 4 ticket from any attraction receptions in Southbank and get one attraction free.
If you do decide to get the London Pass, check how much you’ll be saving depending on how long you’re in London for here. You can add your Oyster Travel card with your London Pass too.
Is the London Eye worth it?
£30 for an adult ticket for half an hour to go round is not worth it. If you happen to be in London, make sure you buy the London Pass, 2 for 1 offers or 3 or 4 attraction tickets and get 1 ticket free. That’s more worth it than going inside 1 attraction. The Tower of London has rich in history and you hear stories of murder, turture, kings and queens from 1000 years with the Wardour Tour included in your entry ticket. You will spend at least 2 – 3 hours there entering the Tower grounds and small towers. Read about the Tower of London post here.
Without further ado, this post will give you advice and recommendations when visiting the London Eye.
The view of Big Ben from the London Eye
Getting to the London is convenient and straightforward. There are several buses you can take and get of at Westminster. If you see Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, cross the Westminster Bridge, over the River Thames and walk down the Southbank.
You can also get there by tube to Westminster tube station. You will see Big Ben as you come out and cross the bridge to the other side of the River Thames.
From Trafalgar Square, walk towards Whitehall or take the bus until you reach Big Ben, then cross the Westminster Bridge and voila, London Eye is right in front of you.
The London Eye Experience
There are several ways to buy tickets to see the London Eye while saving money at the same time. You can get the London Pass where you’ll be able to buy one ticket for more than 80+ attractions, you can buy 3 tickets for 4 attractions at one of the attraction booths in Southbank (you’ll be saving £20) or buy the Fast Track ticket to skip the queue.
The queue can be long if you didn’t buy the Fast Track ticket but moves very swiftly. If it’s your lucky day, you’ll be able to get on in no time.
Before getting on the capsule, watch the 4D Experience where you will be able to watch a 4D video and the first ever 3D photographs of London from the top of the London Eye. It wasn’t really my thing, so I skipped that.
A lot of websites have advised getting to the Eye early. It depends on the time of year and the time of day too. It’s best to avoid the London Eye during school holidays, unless you’re lucky to get there when it’s quiet. There were also refreshments while queuing up and a chance to buy photos at the booth before you get on.
Inside the capsule
As I stepped inside the capsule, there were other people standing inside with me. Around twenty-five people can fit into one capsule but it doesn’t feel claustrophobic, there’s space for everyone to get on. The capsule moved slowly, and I was a little scared of heights the more we went high. However, as soon as I got to the top, I didn’t feel frightened at all, I actually felt safe. I just enjoyed the view of different tourist attractions below me. I felt like I was in Legoland.
There’s a seat which you can sit and stand when you want to view the scenery at the bottom. There’s also a good photo spot to take pictures of the view for you and your family.
A quarter of the way up
A quarter of the way up, I felt I was already high enough to see the view of London, couldn’t think to imagine what it would be like when we got to the top. Big Ben and Westminster Abbey are the first two major attractions you will see. Walkers, including children playing in the playground moved like ants below, on the Southbank.
If you are afraid of heights as I am, I can assure you that it’s not as petrifying as people say it is. The London Eye is as safe and secure as you make it.
There’s a seat which you can sit and stand when you want to view the scenery at the bottom. There’s also a good photo spot to take pictures of the view and your family. London is very industrial so expect to see at least one building and road works as you go high up the wheel.
At the top of the London Eye
As you get to the top, you’ll be able to see more major attractions in miniature. There are a lot of bushes covering buildings, but you will be able to see are Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral and so many more as tiny versions of itself.
A lot of people have mentioned that you’ll be able to see all of London from the top, but I disagree. If you look at the London map, from my experience on the London Eye, I could just see as far as Buckingham Palace and the surrounding parks. The rest of the view is covered by tall trees. Then, as we slowly headed down, the tour of the London Eye came to an end and felt glad I was on the ground.
The London Eye is in the top 10 attractions to visit and you can see some of the major attractions in London. It has been a symbol for London; however, I went on the London Eye twice. Although I can only see several major attractions like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, London’s view during the day can seem industrial.
The first time I went on the London Eye was at night and the view was spectacular. The lights twinkled from buildings and reflected on the River Thames. Major attractions illuminate in the dark and headlights from vehicles moved like red laser torch lights.
So, if you decide to go on the London Eye, make sure you plan and use the advice above. Avoid school holidays. Keep in mind London can be industrial and expect to see road and construction work and you won’t be able to see all of London when you reach the top, not like what the internet says.
It’s advisable to go on the London Eye first since it takes 30 minutes to go round and visit other attractions nearby as the tours can take more than two hours.
Hope you enjoy the London Eye.
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