For those who do not know what the London Eye is – it is a ferris wheel-like structure located in Central London.
It was first built in 1999 just in time to mark the turn of the new millennium in 2000 and back then it was the world’s largest ferris wheel. These days it remains one of the largest ferris wheels in the world, but several larger one have been built including the High Roller ride located in Las Vegas. Until 2006, the London Eye provided views of London from the highest point of elevation possible. In 2006, the record was taken over by the Shard in London, whose observation deck on the 72nd floor offers a view over London from a height of 804 feet. More info on the other competitors for best views of the London skyline can be found here.
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Riding the London Eye
You can pay to have a ride on it which involves climbing into a secure pod and then climbing all 443 feet high to take in the breath-taking sights that you can see as you climb higher and higher. With a diameter of nearly 400 feet the wheel is nearly as wide as it is long, and while you are on board you can take in majestic sights like the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Canary Wharf, Windsor Castle, the Thames and Big Ben.
On a clear day, the view you get from the London Eye extends as much as 25 miles in each direction of vision. A full circle ride on the London Eye takes 30 minutes form beginning to end and you get a chance to take in the sights and take pictures from a unique vantage point.
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The glass “pods” that you climb into are specially designed to be fully enclosed, but they are also fully transparent so your field of vision is not limited at all. The pods offer a 360 degree view of the London skyline which really is a unique experience and a great sight to take in. In total there are 32 pods surrounding the wheel of the structure and these are attached so that they move as the wheel turns around – giving a better view to the occupants. Each pod weighs 10-tonnes and they were created to celebrate each one of the London boroughs. When inside the pod you can choose to walk around, or to use the seating that is provided. Each pod holds an average of 25 people, so it might be a good idea to choose a non-peak time to experience your London Eye ride as this may afford you a more panoramic view of London.
Jump the queue
The popularity of the London Eye with tourists means that at peak times you can be waiting for hours in the queue just to get a turn on the unique ride. On the other hand if you are prepared to pay a little extra you can jump the queue by purchasing a fast track ticket which means you don’t have to queue up to board the ride