The London Eye

The London Eye

I remember the first time I heard about the London Eye, back in 1999.  I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard of.  A giant Ferris wheel?  In the majestic and historical city of London?

I’m happy to say that it did not ruin the London skyline, as I thought it might.  In fact, it has become an iconic part of the skyline.  But to be fair, it’s not your typical carnival ride type of Ferris wheel.

london eye 12

The London Eye is 443 feet tall and at the time it was built, it was the tallest in the world.  (The record has since been surpassed by Las Vegas’ High Roller, which is 550 feet tall.)  Over 3.75 million people ride the London Eye each year, and not too long ago, I was one of them.

As curmudgeonly as my initial impressions of the London Eye were, I was pleasantly surprised by the ride.  I have extreme fear of heights and wouldn’t be caught dead on a carnival Ferris wheel, but the London Eye did not bother me at all.  Visitors ride the attraction enclosed in a spacious capsule that holds up to 25 people.

inside-london-eye

The movement is fast enough to keep you from getting bored, but slow enough that you hardly notice it.  It takes about 30 minutes to do the complete loop, moving at approximately 10 inches per second.

And of course the view is amazing:

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My only hesitation in recommending this attraction is the expense.   Tickets for you and a companion will cost a minimum of $62.  And there are plenty of add-on features available which will drive the price up if you select them.   I just booked tickets for our upcoming trip because my daughter really wants to do it and she was not with me the last time I went on the Eye – I paid $112 for three of us.

My recommendation is to do it once, but only once (never mind the fact that I’ll be riding it a second time in October – extenuating circumstances, you know).  And book online to save a little bit on the expense.

The London Eye is  located at County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB.  It is open from 10:00 am daily.  Closing times vary by season and day of the week.   Telephone +44 (0)871 781 3000 or 0333 321 2001

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