Abdul Muqeet Waheed
The highest overhanging observation wheel in the world is the London Eye. It’s one of the most popular paid sites in the UK.
The unique technical feat has evolved into a symbol of the contemporary capital and a well-known architectural landmark. On a clear day, the London Eye’s 135-meter (443-foot) height allows for views of up to 40 kilometers (25 miles).
I’ve taken the London Eye several times on different trips to London. The first time happened in 2017 and the last time occurred in 2021. Everything you need to help you prepare for your trip will be shared with you today. I’ll go through everything, including how to purchase tickets, the many experiences offered on the London Eye, time- and money-saving tips, and advice on how to take the greatest pictures during your visit.
Interesting Fact about London Eye
The London Eye design takes over seven years to complete and was designed by the husband-and-wife duo of Julia Marks and David Barfield. In terms of a tourist attraction, their goal was to create London’s version of the Eiffel Tower.
Instead of being inside the wheel, the passenger pods are placed on its outside rim. These also spin with the wheel, keeping the capsule level at all times.
There are 32 capsules, and each one may accommodate up to 25 people. Accordingly, 1,600 passengers can ride the London Eye in an hour, or up to 800 at a time. There is no capsule with the number 13 since some people believe it to be bad. Rather, capsules are numbered from 1 to 33.
The rotational speed of the capsules is a little over half a mile per hour, with each passenger moving around a quarter of a mile. You can get on and off while it is going since the capsules don’t stop. The London Eye travels more than 2,000 miles and rotates 8,000 times in a year.
On a clear day, you can see up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the height, which means that, with luck, you can see Windsor Castle.
The London Eye has also made countless appearances on television and in movies, notably the Harry Potter movies.
Let’s Plan the Trip
Now that you know more about the London Eye, let’s check on some critical information to help in your trip planning.
Location of London EYE?
The London Eye is located in front of County Hall in London on the south bank of the river Thames.
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, London, SE1 7PB
From Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye is a 10-minute walk away.
How to get the London Eye?
The London Eye is relatively accessible from so many places in London and is located in a prime location.
It could be best to walk to the London Eye if you are already in central London. It takes roughly 10 minutes to walk there from Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. The London Eye is about a 5-minute walk from Waterloo train station, 20 minutes walk from Covent Garden, and 35 minutes from London Bridge.
Most Hop on Hop off-buses in London stop near the London Eye, which makes it a popular stop for travelers.
The London Eye is very close to a stop, the London Eye Waterloo Pier if you’re taking a riverboat. Both commuters and hop-on, hop-off sightseeing boats serve this area.
The London Eye is also reachable by bicycle. Near the London Eye’s base, there is free bicycle parking.
The London Eye opens all days excluding holidays, such as Christmas Day (December 25), New Year’s Eve (December 31), and New Year’s Day, are open (1st January).
The London Eye has previously opened as earlier as 10 am and closed as late as 9.30 pm.
How Long is the Ride on the London Eye?
The London Eye journey lasts 30 minutes according to the official timetable. Your ride could, however, be a little bit longer or a little bit shorter than this. This is because the ride frequently stops, particularly when assisting passengers with accessibility needs to board and exit from the capsules.
I recently timed my flight on the London Eye from the time I went onto the capsule to the time I stepped off, and it was 25 minutes. Therefore, I believe that a 30-minute journey time is a reasonable estimate.
What Sights Are Visible from the London Eye?
You can ride the London Eye and get as high as 135 meters (443ft). You will have an amazing perspective of much of London due to the London Eye’s height, which makes it one of the county’s highest structures.
The weather and air clarity will affect how far you can see, but on a clear day, you can catch up to 25 miles (40 km) from the peak.
That means you may see a lot, but the primary points are as follows:
- The Houses of Parliament / Palace of Westminster
- Westminster Abbey
- Buckingham Palace
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- The Shard
- The River Thames
- BT Tower
- Canary Wharf
- Charing Cross train station
- Crystal Palace Transmitting station
You may purchase a ticket in advance online and take advantage of a nice early booking discount if you want to save some money on this attraction. You may also reserve it as an attraction pass, which lets you utilize a single pass for a variety of attractions and saves you both money and time. If you forget, you may always purchase a ticket on the same day directly from the counter.
Security and Restrictions at the London Eye
Like other attractions, the London Eye has security measures in place before boarding, as well as restrictions on what you are allowed to carry.
The security line, which is a section of the ticket queue, often separates those with fast-track and regular tickets.
When we have traveled there, they frequently inspect the inside of bags and scan you with a security wand. This may differ, though, as security procedures might alter over time.
Typically, they are searching for sharp things, like knives, which are not allowed on board. You may see the whole list of things that are restricted here, which includes:
- large bags and luggage
- any item deemed to be a weapon
- glass bottles
- sharp objects including knives and scissors
- skateboards, scooters, rollerblades
- animals (except service animals)
My Experience Visiting the London Eye
Now that you have all the information you need to make your trip to the London Eye a reality, let me briefly describe my experiences there.
I’ve been to the London Eye several times, taking both the regular entry and the champagne experience. Starting with my most recent standard entry, I will discuss.
At the London Eye, I’ve used the standard entry twice. Both encounters were quite similar. In 2022, I’ll talk about my most recent experience.
I made an online booking for a weekday 11:15 am time slot. Before my trip to London, I made a booking on the official website and printed my tickets at home. I was able to enter the queue at roughly 11:08 a.m. because it wasn’t extremely crowded. Although there was a shallow line when I arrived, it took me 12 minutes to reach the security checkpoint and an additional 5 minutes to pass through the photo booth. I got on board at 11:26.
There were 16 people in my pod. The pod that came after mine had 18 individuals on board as well, according to my count. Since the pods don’t stop moving, the quantity undoubtedly varies depending on how the lines are going.
The pods themselves are rather roomy. There is plenty of space to walk around and for everyone to enjoy a fantastic view, so you never feel cramped. Additionally, there is seating in the pod middle area.
Since the London Eye revolves counterclockwise (as you face it upon boarding), we began to rise away from the Houses of Parliament and had excellent views of famous sights along the River Thames, including Charing Cross railway station. Looking up at this moment and observing the other pods climbing above you is equally entertaining.
As I spun, my pod stopped a few times; this is typical when passengers with accessibility need to board or exit. You never feel the need to grab a railing or anything since the pods travel so gently and stop so smoothly!
My favorite sights are when the pod is rising and beginning to descend because they offer beautiful views of the Houses of Parliament and upriver to places like the MI6 headquarters, which James Bond calls home.
I experienced fair weather, even though it was largely cloudy. Even so, I could see all the neighboring landmarks including the Crystal Palace transmitting station, which was about 6 miles (10 kilometers) distant.
As you can expect, I snapped a ton of pictures, and before I realized it, my journey was coming to a close. Your picture is shot by an automatic camera setup near the end of the journey.
This is made clear in advance, and there are specific spots in the pod where you may stand to be included in the picture.
It took me 25 minutes from the time we boarded the pod until we exited it, which was at precisely 11:51 am.