On a Clear Day from the Top of the London Eye, You Can See Forever.
It is the fourth-largest Ferris wheel in the world at 443 feet high. On a bright, clear day from the top of the London Eye, you can see forever.
I’m told one can see Windsor Castle—more than 40 km away—from the top, but I can’t say for sure because I hadn’t seen the castle yet. The flatness of the landscape does, in fact, allow one to see the land until it dips in the horizon.
Fortunately for us, summer is in full swing and we get very clear views of the city. It was a weekday and the schools still had a few weeks before they closed for summer break. This meant less crowd and short queues!
It’s a good one-time experience.
With more than 3.5 million people checking out the Eye every year, it is now the most popular paid tourist attraction in the U.K. If the weather is perfect it’s worth experiencing the London Eye at least once.
A regular adult pass costs £26 (AED 124 or $33). This is expensive for a lot of us! I suggest checking online for discounted tickets or buy-one-take-one deals. You also have the option to get one of those combo-deals where you pay a discounted price for 2 or more attractions.
“Save yourself some money and find a tower to see the sights,” suggests someone. That’s good. Except do consider the flights you’d need to climb. Also chances are you’ll still have to pay to gain entrance to the castles in London.
Then there’s The Shard. We didn’t choose this because we come from the city of Burj Khalifa, therefore, we weren’t interested in another tall building. They do say the view of London is better from The Shard.
Children will get bored.
Our group had three adults and two children. Zainab is 4 and Zoya is 2. There were about 15 or so other people with us.
The girls jumped into our designated capsule with great enthusiasm. They could hardly sit still! When the capsule began its ascend the girls leaped toward the glass walls, pressed their little faces, and marveled at the view.
The excitement lasted about 10 minutes. The entire ride takes 30 minutes.
As you can see they’re sitting on the floor, totally bored. Take this into consideration if you’re visiting with small children.
Each capsule fits up to 25 people, but there’s enough space for you to walk around and see how many landmarks you can spot.
It’s a slow, 30-minute ride. This gives everyone sufficient time to take in the view and capture plenty of photographs. Do note, however, that the curved glass makes it a bit tricky to take pictures.
The capsule is air-conditioned. But during our visit the weather was exceptionally warm and I felt hot inside the capsule. On the bright side, we enjoyed a very clear view!
If you are traveling with children and elderly please note that the wheel never stops moving. When you are loaded on, you have to walk quickly along your pod to get in. It’s not too fast, but it could be an issue for elderly folks.
The London Eye is busiest between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the UK school holidays, and is quieter at the beginning and end of their opening hours, which vary throughout the year (do check in advance on their website). Also the London Eye closes for around two weeks every January, for annual maintenance.
The views from the London Eye
The London Eye, with its prime location on the River Thames, gives its visitors a 360° view of the city.
Some of the notable sites nearby that you’ll be able to see include the Big Ben (currently under construction), the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, The Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and of course the River Thames along with many of the bridges running across it!
Pack a picnic!
There’s a little park close to the London Eye where children can play. There are so many places to sit and enjoy a picnic. We brought sandwiches and tea with us.
The nearest halal restaurant I noticed are the ones just outside Waterloo station. It’s a quick 7-minute walk. There are a couple of halal restaurants that I saw. We had pizza in one, and it was pretty good.
The London Eye
Westminster Bridge Road, London
Open daily 10:00 – 21.00
The London Eye is wheelchair accessible. However, due to safety reasons they only permit entry to two wheelchair users per capsule at a time. It is strongly recommended to book your tickets in advance.