The London Eye is one of the most iconic structures on the London skyline. Built as a celebration of the millennium, it was officially opened by Tony Blair, on December 31, 1999.
The giant wheel opened to the public on March 9, 2000. It is 443 feet tall and was the largest Ferris wheel until 2006. It is still impressive to see and ride.
The Views of London and Beyond
The views of London from the Eye are unsurpassed. On a clear day, you can see structures as far as 25 miles away. Some people have even seen Windsor Castle on particularly clear and sunny days, but we have not had the pleasure.
We have seen as far as the Crystal Palace transmitter, which beams television signals to over 12 million TVs in London and beyond.
You can also see the Shard, the Walkie-Talkie building (20 Fenchurch Street. the building that melted cars when it was being built). As well as what Londoners refer to as the cheese grater building (122 Leadenhall Street).
You can see Parliament, just across the river, and Buckingham palace surrounded by the trees in Green Park. You can even see the BT Telecom Tower in the distance and the Old Scotland Yard.
Due to the curve of the Thames, most views are of Westminster rather than the City of London.
Best Deals on Tickets
The London Eye is one of the most popular attractions in London, so to ensure you get to ride, purchase your tickets in advance.
Find the best deals on tickets online. Save 10% on a standard ticket and consider bundling your ticket with other attractions to save even more. A fast track ticket is worth the additional cost during the summer.
Be sure you know the day and time you want to visit before starting an online purchase. Tickets are for a set date and time. The experience is different at different times of the day. Sunsets are stunning from the Eye (check the time of the sunset for the day you are visiting here).
We visited in late May before most schools finished for the summer holidays. There was a line, but as you can see, some of the ropes used for queuing were not in use. Later in the summer, the line will serpentine on both sides of the entrance platform. Make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before the time on your tickets.
Boarding the Eye
To board, the doors to a pod will automatically open. A ramp extends to the platform so it is easy to walk into the Pod. The Pods are fully wheelchair and stroller accessible.
The Pods are not over crowded, leaving plenty of room to get close to the glass for photo opportunities.
The day we booked happened to be overcast, but we were still able to see far into the distance. The best views are from the very top of the Eye. The pod stopped at the top for a few seconds which allowed us to fully take in the view.
The journey around the wheel takes about 30 minutes, giving you ample time to view the skyline and take pictures.
After seeing London from the sky, check out all the amazing things there are to do on the ground. I suggest starting with the original Madame Tussauds.