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Take a Spin on the London Eye

Upon arriving to a new city, one of the first things I like to do is take a bus or boat ride, or hustle to the highest point in the city to get a grasp on my surroundings. London was no different, so I headed to the London Eye.

The London Eye is a giant ferris wheel that towers 443 feet in the air and I wanted to see what that heck was way up there.

As I approached the impressive structure I was having flashbacks of my last ferris wheel ride. It was not pretty. You can spin me upside down twenty times on the Zipper, but the simplest ferris wheel ride made me revisit my prior meal of corndogs and pink popcorn. Like I said, not pretty.
London Eye

Our reservations had been made well in advance and, even though I was previously unaware, they were Fast Track tickets. I was not privy to what that meant until I handed them to the attendant who scooted us to a separate line from the general admission, passing hundreds of folks in line.

Get a Fast Track ticket people. It costs a bit more, but saves at least an hour in waiting.
London Eye line

The London Eye has 32 capsules, representing the 32 boroughs of London. 

Prior to entering the capsule I attempted to scope out which interior location would have the best view. I ignorantly determined it to be the outside right and told Peter to make a run for it when the doors opened. Each one of the capsules can fit up to 25 people, but we were lucky enough to only have half of that, so getting a good view didn't really require any scheming.
London Eye Capsule

I immediately hoarded the interactive screen that identified several of the buildings in our 360 degree view, taking note of any I may want to see close up.
London Eye Map London Eye Spokes

Dozens of sites can be seen from the London Eye; Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Hyde Park, Alexandra Palace, Hampton Court and so many more…

On a clear day, it is possible to see 25 miles of the beautifully amazing London. That would be a lot of ground to cover on street level.
 London Eye View

My favorite was the London County Hall.
London Eye View

The entire London Eye rotation takes a half hour, slow enough to avoid making me queasy and fast enough to avoid making me bored.

Yes, it was uber-touristy. But, paired with my London city map, I had a better understanding of the layout of the land. And I felt better prepared for my next London adventure.
London Eye

Have you ever taken a spin on the London Eye? What do you do when you first arrive to a new city?

Disclosure: This attraction was sponsored by the London Eye, but all the words I write come straight from my, sometimes distorted, mind. Just as it should be.


  1. Looks like you had a reasonably clear day on the Eye! Nice shots Annette.

  2. I loved the London Eye :) I went with my study abroad class on an excursion to the city (I studied outside of Amsterdam) and it was one of my favorite things I did :) I love heights though, so I was not scared in the slightest.

  3. I haven't gone on the London Eye. In truth, I've been a little concerned about being in capsule for half an hour. But I better get over that, because the views must be stunning. Thanks for the tip about fast track tickets.

    • The views were definitely stunning, but I completing understand your feelings about being stuck in the capsule for half an hour :)

  4. Did you do the 4D thing first?  I thought that was very good… Did you know that Big Ben is not the actual building, but just the name of the Bell in the clock tower of The Houses of Parliament?  I have been in the Eye several times… Though, truth be told, I personally think that an open top bus tour is a better way to see the city as you see things up close and learn more about each place.  I'd probably do the London Eye again-but at night time as it looks pretty all lit up

    • I skipped the 4D move because I had just been to one in Texas and had limited time. Next time I’m in London I’ll have to take a bus tour! I did hear great things about them.

  5. Beautiful shots!  We lucked out and didn't have to wait for the Eye at all while I was there… which is shocking considering it was a perfect day!  I actually wrote an article on whether people thought the ride was worth the cost (…  I'm curious did you feel that the ride was worth the cost?? I would probably pass on the chance to ride it again

    • This was a sponsored attraction, but I would have definitely forked over the cash for this one-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m sure I would have regretted it if I didn’t. With that said, I don’t believe I need to ride the Eye again, unless I was with someone who really, really wanted to have the experience.

  6. I'm ashamed to say that I am a Brit living not too far from London (30 min ont eh train) and am still yet to 'do' the London Eye.  I MUST rectify that ..!  I too like to jump on a city tour bus as soon as I get somewhere new – soem tell me it's too touristy and tacky but I have discovered and seen some great things on them and would recommend it to everyone!

    • I am also guilty of taking my local attractions for granted and being the epitome of a tourist when I travel. I feel like there are some amazing “touristy” things to do, as all well as, off the beaten track things :)

  7. The London Eye was also one of the first things I did when arriving in London.  I can't say it was my favorite, and I do agree with the person above that said the double decker bus was a better way to see London.  I'm still glad I did it, but yeah, probably just a one time thing.

  8. This looks like a great experience! Would love to do this when I'm in London.

  9. Great place. Great story. Love the pics. A very good eye!  meaning your eye, not London Eye :)  

  10. Ugggggg, just spent a week in London a few months ago and didn't take any good photos of this while I was there. More reason to go back, but so damn annoyed with myself.

  11. I have not been to the UK and this is one of my must try thing to do in London when I set my foot on UK soil. I love your post! 
    Cheers from the Philippines!

  12. The london eye is such a great memory of mine! I just found your blog – I am SO inspired by the way you follow your dreams. This has really got me thinking! Good luck on your journey – it's incredible!

    <3 Daryl 
    <a href="">Roots, Wings & Other Things.</a>

  13. Glad you enjoyed it!
    I've been on the London Eye once and thought it was great

  14. I lived in London for one month short of a year – and I finally went on the Eye on my very last day! The tickets were actually a gift (and if I'm honest, I think I probably would have been a bit turned off by the price if I had to pay myself) but the view was a great way to say a tearful goodbye to London (literally, I started crying. Haha). Hope you enjoyed London!

    • That does sound like a perfect way to say goodbye to London :)
      I did truly enjoy my stay there and look forward to returning!

  15. I've been on the Eye twice and it was a pretty cool experience. Expensive, though!

  16. my, we are a self absorbed piece of fluff aren’t we? “the simplest ferris wheel ride made me revisit my prior meal of corndogs and pink popcorn”. Is this really necessary? who cares? Have fun, just don’t think everyone cares about every angstrom of your pointless life and travels. whatever you do, don’t visit anywhere yukkie or struggling and for godsake, don’t help anyone.

    • It always amazes me how someone can read a snippet from someones life and think they can sum them up as self absorbed and pointless. If you were to delve a bit deeper you may have read these posts:
      Donating a Decorated Tree for the Rwanda School Project –
      Donating to Toys for Tots for the Holidays –
      Volunteering at an Elephant Sanctuary –
      Giving Blood –
      Not to mention, the thousands of dollars my restaurant donates each year to local charities and the money I lend to entrepreneurs through the Kiva organization.
      Upon further examination you may have also realized that this blog is a personal opinion whose purpose is to recommend bucket list worthy adventures, not to tell stories about the “yukkie” places I have been. If the theme where different, maybe I would be talking about that.
      I am under no impression that everyone cares about my life, but it is not pointless, no ones is…not even yours.
      By the way, maybe I am not as self absorbed as someone who leaves nasty, hurtful comments with linkbacks to their website.

  17. Wow.. travelling the world and running a restaurant. You are busy!

    I agree, the London Eye is a fantastic addition to what you are able to see and do in London.. and with it being an observation wheel it lets you see a “lot”.

    The views are amazing day or night, just try and go on a clear day to gain maximum viewing pleasure.

    It’s awesome and one of the best, if not THE best “Eye” in the world.

  18. Ha ha ha, I lived in London and have been on London Eye only once while my Sisters were visiting! :)


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