The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel that was built to celebrate the new millennium. Like the Eiffel Tower, it was never meant to be a long lasting monument that would become an icon of the city. Not being crazy about heights, I did a lot of research before committing to the expense of riding up to the very top and back down again!
Sunday morning felt like the perfect time to ride the Eye. I just happened to be there, the weather was good, and the crowds weren’t massive.
There are a few different ways to buy tickets for the London Eye, each one more expensive than the last. I did my research and learned two things. 1) The Fast Track tickets are pretty much a rip off as the queue is almost as long and 2) The money saved by buying online ahead of time is not worth it if you end up going on a day with bad weather. I decided to just buy a regular ticket when I got there, then ended up combining with Madame Tussaud’s and the aquarium.
I got in the queue around noon and was off the Eye by 12:40. So even if the crowds seem large, they move quickly. Like with all London attractions I’ve visited thus far, be prepared to open your bag and to be subjected to a wand search before embarking. Unless a rider is disabled or elderly, the Eye does not stop and you step on and off while it is moving, which it does at a snail’s pace.
These pods are going up.
I splurged (£1!) on a viewing guide. A lot of people in my pod referred to it and expressed regret at not getting it.
This is it!
Looking northwards to Jubilee Bridge.
St. Paul’s Cathedral to the northeast.
I was starting to get a little uncomfortable here.
Wow! This is iconic London in one shot! Notice Westminster Abbey behind Big Ben.
Almost at the top! I was ready to get off by this point, just a general feeling of malaise rather than fear. I distracted myself by walking around the pod and trying to see as far off in the distance as I could.
This was so worth the price of admission!
To the northwest.
Another view of the Shard. One thing I didn’t get to see was the Gherkin.
Looking south. The guide barely had anything in this direction even though there is an Eiffel Toweresque structure to the southeast…
These balconies are so precious!
Riding the London Eye was an unbelievable experience. It is worth the expense and the time spent in the queue. I would love to ride it again at sunset one day. I think that unless you have a debilitating fear of heights, you could manage riding the Eye. It’s easy to distract yourself from how high up you really are.