The London Eye, or the Millennium Wheel as it was known when it first opened for the year 2000 celebrations, has become one of London’s most recognisable landmarks. We love the London Eye and try and to fit in a ride whenever we’re in town.
From the eye you can see landmarks such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, The Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Battersea Power Station. On clear days you can also see Wembley Stadium and further away.
The eye takes 30 minutes to go all the way round. Each capsule holds about 20 people. There are benches so you can sit if you prefer.
The eye is continually moving, though it can be stopped if wheelchairs need to get on or off. Each capsule is checked for sinister items after every group vacates the capsule at the end of the ride, which is fascinating to watch and always leads to an interesting conversation about terrorism with your tween.
The queues can be long and you are advised to arrive 30 minutes before your designated ticket time. We have been on the eye a few times now and sometimes have had to wait, and sometimes we’ve walked straight on. If you don’t fancy the wait, you can pay extra for fast track tickets. But check first because if it’s not very busy, it’s not worth paying too much extra.
On the way down you can pose for a photo which you can buy at the gift shop on the way out. There are interactive screens in the capsule which explain what you can see from the eye.
A visit to the London Eye is always complemented with a walk along the south bank – home to street entertainers (good and bad), and an excellent little play park.
The nearest tube station is Waterloo, but it’s walkable from Embankment or Charing Cross too.
In my opinion the right age group for the London Eye is from five years old upwards. I think younger children would just run riot round the capsule and not really be interested in looking at landmarks. My 8 year old loves it.
Tickets from £19.20 for adults and £12.30 for children (with 10% savings for online bookings). Children under 4 years are free. You can combine your ticket with other London attractions like Madame Tussauds and the London Aquarium and save more money.
Check out this review of The London Eye by night