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Published July 7th 2012
The London Eye is one of London's most popular attractions, but if you don't book in advance the average family will pay over 50 pounds for the experience. Now that's enough to make your eyes water if you are on a limited budget.
So is it worth it? Read on and make up your own mind.
The Eye is located on the south bank of the River Thames, not far from Westminster Bridge. It has 32 air conditioned capsules each seating 25 passengers. The wheel rotates very slowly, only about 10" per second, making it easy to get on and disembark.
When you first get in, you have a good view of Hungerford railway bridge servicing the busy Charing Cross station just north of you on the opposite bank. It's also a great way to look at the boat traffic along the river, much of it carrying sightseeing tourists.
As the capsule gets higher, the views become quite spectacular. It helps to have some knowledge of London geography, or even a map to help identify sights as you see them. If you have a tablet or laptop, you could use Google maps to help orient you. Of course some people like to take pictures constantly during the ride but you shouldn't miss much of the experience.
You may be able to see quite a distance if it's a windy day and the smog has cleared. I could easily see the BT Tower and several high rise buildings, while in the foreground there is a birds eye view of the Temple area.
N.E London, Charing Cross in Foreground. BT Tower in distance