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Published March 30th 2014
Views worth waiting for
Standing at 135 metres, the iconic London Eye has thrust itself into the London skyline making it a must see experience for tourists and residents alike. If you plan ahead and book online, or combine this experience with a number of other tourist attractions for your trip, it will be a truly memorable and economical family experience.
A mere 5 minute walk from the Waterloo underground, The EDF Energy London Eye sits on the southern bank of the River Thames. With 32 air conditioned capsules which rotate very slowly around, it is a very comfortable half hour delightful trip into the skyline gifting participants spectacular views of Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster.
Each capsule officially seats 25 passengers, though there is plenty of space to wader around the glassed perimeter to take in the views. There are touch screens dotted along the side to give tourists more information and guidelines as to where the best places to stand for photographs.
Our party had a very nervous lady who was terrified of heights and had misgivings about the whole experience. As the capsules move very slowly, it was easy to board and exit. There were two assistants who helped most tourists aboard as an extra step in safety. As the capsule rose higher, our nervous passenger became captivated by the view, and although she didn't stand very close to the glass windows, felt comfortable enough to stand and walk around the space to look at the changing scene. Weather permitting, you are able to see 30 km in every direction as you reach the zenith.
Be sure to visit the free 4 D London Eye experience while you are there. The 15 minute sensational presentation gives you an excellent overview of the 'flight' and what views to expect.
As with every popular tourist attraction, planning your visit is key. During the peak times of July, and August, the queues can be overwhelming. It will save you time and money to buy tickets online or as part of a multi attraction pass. There are a number of great deals and packages which include ferry trips, The London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds and the Sealife Centre. If you visit before 11 am or after 3 pm, the lines are shorter and you may avoid long waits. A ticket for a family of four starts at £115. Depending on your timeframe, it may be worth spending an extra few pounds to purchase the fast track or flexi pass.
Is it worth it? The London Eye is the largest Ferris Wheel in Europe. The panoramic views are spectacular. We visited mid week and had no queue and shared the capsule with four other people. Yes. It's an experience that's not able to be replicated anywhere else and worth every penny.