Review of "London Eye, London"

published 15/07/2011 | costas1234
Member since : 27/01/2004
Reviews : 266
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Super
Pro Spectacular views of London, Excellent sightseeing experience, user friendly and take photos
Cons High priced and limited to one ride per ticket, in addition queues tend to be long
exceptional
Prices
Is it worth visiting?
Transport links
Family Friendly

"The LONDON Eye"

London Eye, London

London Eye, London

I visited the London Eye for the first time with my brother which proved to be a nice day out. The London Eye I always felt was a bit of a once in a lifetime experience that I could not resist avoiding for any longer. In previous years I have visited places of interest around the London Eye and have always wanted to get a glimpse of a good aerial view from this excellent ride. The attraction center has a few advantages and disadvantages but in some respects seeing a good part of London from over 100 metres in a small capsule is what drew me into visiting the London Eye. The attraction is disabled friendly and has good level of staffing and security on the site. In addition the attraction also has a good quality lawn grass area which would be reasonably good for visitors and guests with children. The site itself is free to enter, but you have to pay for the rides and for just about everything else such as pictures, snacks, drinks etc.

The entrance price for tickets for the flight/ride is £18.60 per adult which seems expensive, although the tickets can be bought for slightly less with a 10% discount which can be achieved by booking online. I paid the full fare on my visit with my brother. There are occasionally discounts available at the London Eye though I visited the ride venue during peak time of the summer season. I would recommend this experience despite the high price that is needed to book the experience of the ride.

The entry to the venue is free but people need to buy tickets to experience the aerial views of the ride. I liked the general tidiness and cleanliness of the facilities of the London Eye overall. When I visited the main ticketing area they had male, female and disabled guest toilets which having looked at the male toilets were perfectly clean and were regularly checked by a staff cleaner. The cleanliness was good and the toilets were fully stocked with a Dyson hand dryer, but I could not find any liquid soap in this area. The toilets were located to the front and to the side of the ticketing office

Within the grounds of the London Eye is an outdoor area with a small cafe that served waffles, sandwiches, cakes and snacks. I bought a nice sized waffle that did not taste too sweet which cost me £2. I also bought a cup of tea from the coffee shop that cost a similar amount. I spent about half an hour in the outdoor cafe seating area having already booked our flight/ride tickets and this resulted in me gaining some rest and spending some chill out time with my brother.

Regarding the prices I feel that in some respects the ride itself is a really nice treat to experience perhaps just as a one-off experience, but my feelings are that without a discount voucher or a lower price, at current prices I feel that they are a bit high for 30 minutes seeing some spectacular views of the London skyline. My expectations were not that high in visiting this ride largely based on the high price, although on post ride reflections I now feel differently towards the venue.

The price for tickets on the day, are £18.60 for adults, children aged between 4-15 years have to pay £9.54 and it is free for children under 4. The prices can be booked with a 10% discount online, and also there is a family discount of around 18% if booked online. The prices can be found on the London Eye website.

The transport links are really good as the London Eye is just a short walk away from Embankment train station, as well as Waterloo station. From Waterloo station it took us no longer than 5 minutes to walk to the London Eye center.

I would definitely say that the family friendliness of the ride is good because I saw many guests from around the world enjoying their stay within the London Eye venue. The people we saw varied in terms of ages. The ride is very enjoyable and would appeal to a wide range of demographics.

London Eye

I visited the London eye at around 11am in the morning and having initially walked around the venue, my brother and I decided to spend our money on the ride, and after a few minutes we walked into the main ticketing office. The ride is sponsored by EDF energy. The ticketing office looked interesting in it's design because at the entrance area we could see very little due to the queues which were quite big. We saw a few plasma screens showing some deals and related amusement venues. So we joined the queue and a few minutes later we got to the front and asked about the ride and bought our tickets. We were told that the London ride lasts 30 minutes. We then paid £18.60 each for our tickets. After our payment was made we decided to have a look around the ticketing office and we ended up watching a short film in 4D. This was an experience to say the least in terms of viewing and it drew my eyes to the remarkable state of the latest technology or the latest viewing experience. The 4D area had the feel of being in a cinema but this really was just 3 rowed stands. The performance was short but excellent overall in that it gave us a good feel of what to expect on the London Eye ride. There were 3d glasses in a small container box and guests put these glasses on to enhance their viewing experience. The quality of the show was really good. In addition within the area of the 4D show, my brother and I went to a photo shoot place which had the London Eye background and our picture was taken. There was a £10 charge per picture, though the quality of the photo was stunning and we decided to purchase.

After a few minutes after the 4D viewing experience we had our tea and then joined the London Eye ride in what looked like a long and lengthy queue. I thought to myself that the queue seemed long and would likely have to wait for hours, though it turned out to be 30 minutes. The tidiness of the grounds was on the whole very good, as I did notice some litter having been dropped and left on the pathways. The security was present at different stages of the queue. There was a 'fast track' ticket that would or did cost more money. There were staff members checking people's tickets. So within 30 or so minutes I boarded the London Eye capsule.

The capsules were good sized, and felt comfortable, and at no time of the ride did I feel uneasy or feel the vertigo of being so high up in the sky. The capsules contain a good level of air conditioning.

Upon entering the capsule it is a ride to really enjoy 30 minutes of excellent views. . We could see main places such as St James and Regents Park area as well as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben clock building. We could also see the Gherkin and other iconic buildings. I found it interesting being able to see public transport buses and trains moving whilst on the ride as well as boats travelling on the River Thames. The experience in my view was really good. We also saw the relatively well designed and nice buildings around the London Skyline which is also good to see.

The negatives would be that London's skyline does not change that much over the years, especially not with various corporate headquarters that can be seen.

My thoughts of the ride itself is that the ride is quite amazing. The ride duration is around 30 minutes and takes place whereby the capsule is static in a given part of the circle at different vantage points of the 360 degree angle. The ride moves about half a dozen times and stays at the same place for between 3-5 minutes a time.
The views of London depended to a degree of where you were stood on the capsule. The capsule had a nice seating area to sit and relax, but I felt that I had to move around other people which was not so good. There were around 10 other people who also had paid. Almost everyone took their cameras to enhance their own viewing experience. From seeing people within the grounds and immediate area of the ride was good as well as seeing the BT clock tower, and many other corporate buildings. Obviously it is also interesting to see boats moving across the River Thames is also interesting. I felt that on the whole the ticket price justified it's premium and high fare. The ride taking 30 minutes at different heights was well worth paying for. The slight negative I experienced was that at the low heights of the ride, the picture view was obstructed by other capsules, though the picture taking and own viewing experiences at the high levels was quite amazing indeed. On a good day the ride is interesting to see the landscape of London and the skyviews as well. The ride provided us also a chance to see the contrast of the big imposing buildings and park areas with the longer distance landscape views. This was a truly excellent and highly memorable experience.

Upon completion of the ride, we went to the London Eye gift shop and purchased our photo of our 4D experience. We could have purchased a photo of our ride but we noticed that we did not feature in the picture during our ride which slightly annoyed me. The cost of each photo was £10 but having said that the quality of the photo was excellent and provided us with a good reminder of our visit. The gift shop had a range of souvenirs such as teddy bears, key rings and postcards and more.

My conclusion of the London Eye is that it is a very good way to spend a day watching a good part of the London City. Some people might have their doubts regarding the price, but you would pay a similar amount of money to stay at other ride venues such as Thorpe Park and similar rides, to have to queue up for a longer amount of time and at these places the rides only last a minute or two. Another slight negative thing was that the gift shop service was a bit average and I felt that the service in general was not entertaining or with much passion or warmth. The service experienced on the whole during my visit seemed a bit regimented and 'workman like', The price in my view is competitive as a result and the grand views of London justify visiting the place and make it a recommendable attraction. In some respects it is down to your own choice as to when to visit the ride, though I was lucky enough in terms of the dry and warm weather so I felt that I observed the views on a good day whereby my pictures were not affected by the landscape of poor weather.

My parents also have visited the London eye and their conclusion is that they were impressed by the views, and how slowly the pods/capsules move, so it was not at all scary and was a gentle ride in terms of movement. It was also surprisingly a positive experience. It is not a cheap ride experience and the queuing is not very good in terms of waiting time. It is time consuming, to wait to go on the rides and can be considered as slightly or a bit boring.

Personally speaking, I would not be in a hurry to return to the London Eye having recently visited this very interesting attraction, though it provided me with a useful reference and a good benchmark in terms of London's attractions. Having said that I would not hesitate in recommending this place to sightseers and people on leisure breaks in London. Well worth a visit and I would strongly suggest bringing a camera to take lots of pictures.

In addition I have left a good number of pictures that contain views of the London Eye ride and the negative part of having to queue up for the ride itself.

Highly recommended

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Comments on this review

  • 80smusicreviewer published 30/09/2011
    Great review. Never been on the London Eye, in fact I've only been London once. E.
  • dawnymarie published 19/07/2011
    Superb review - and enjoyable read x
  • KathEv published 19/07/2011
    Great write up
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Product Information : London Eye, London

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Attraction

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Type: Attraction

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Listed on Ciao since: 22/06/2000