On my most recent visit to London in May, 2015, I decided it was time to see the city from high atop the Coca-Cola London Eye.
Built in 1999, this giant slow-moving Ferris wheel is located on the South Bank of the River Thames and it provides some stunning views of London, including that of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben as seen in the photo below.
It takes 30 minutes for the wheel to complete its rotation and it moves so slowly that you don’t even realize it is moving. There are 32 glass-enclosed passenger capsules on the wheel and each takes up to about 25 people. There is a bench in the center of each capsule but passengers are free to move about the capsule and most do so in order to get the optimal viewing that the Ferris wheel offers. Because it moves so slowly and smoothly, it’s a great place for taking photos as you can get views from many heights.
Before boarding the Ferris wheel, we went to the 4D cinema experience and I recommend it. It’s a very short presentation and is very well done.
During peak periods, there can be long queues for the London Eye. In mid-May, we were at the London Eye around 5:30pm and had about a 20-25 minute wait. They do, however, have different categories of tickets, including fast-track tickets, so best to visit their website for up-to-date details on tickets, prices, and so forth.
The Shard (the triangular-shaped building in the photo below) is London’s highest and best viewpoint of the city. This 87-story skyscraper contains restaurants, offices, and a hotel as well as a viewing platform. I didn’t make it to the Shard this time but it’s on my “to-do” list for the next visit.
There are always vessels of some sort moving along The Thames.
Charing Cross Station is on the right in the photo below and Whitehall Court to the left.
You don’t go many seconds in London without seeing the iconic red double-decker buses. The ones in the photo below are on Westminster Bridge just in front of the Houses of Parliament.
You’ll never be lost for time if you can see Big Ben!
The Royal Festival Hall is in the photo below. The London Eye is a great way to situate yourself within the layout of London and its famous landmarks. You can also get a good view of Buckingham Palace from the London Eye, too.
In our short time on the London Eye, the weather kept changing. One minute the sun was shining and the sky was bright blue and the next, it looked like a storm was rolling in. After exiting the London Eye, we walked a short distance along the Thames and then went up on to the Westminster Bridge which we walked across to the Westminster Underground Station to get the tube back to Belgravia where we were staying on this trip. It was a neat experience to walk alongside the Houses of Parliament.
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