United Kingdom

The London Eye Experience

For Lexie’s birthday a couple weeks ago, we took her for a ride on the London Eye, London’s famous ferris wheel on the Thames offering panoramic views of the city. We went on a Saturday, so I assumed we’d be dealing with massive crowds and long lines, especially since we’re entering the summer season, but it really wasn’t all that bad.

We arrived a little before noon and waited in line inside for only twenty minutes to purchase our tickets. (For anyone interested, standard ticket prices at the London Eye are £19.20 for adults and £12.30 for kids. You can save 20% by ordering your tickets online in advance.) Since we weren’t in a big hurry, we purchased standard tickets, but if you’ve got limited time to sight-see, fast track tickets are available for purchase allowing you to skip the queue outside.

Tips For Riding The London Eye

Tips For Riding The London Eye

After we got our tickets, we stood in line outside for a little less than an hour. The queue moved quickly and since it was a beautiful day, it was a great opportunity to take pictures from the ground.

We’ve only lived in London for a month, but that’s long enough to learn how unpredictable the London weather can be. By the time we reached the front of the line to get on the London Eye, the weather had turned cooler and cloudy. We were just praying the rain would hold off long enough for us to make our way around the wheel and get some decent pictures of the city!

Tips For Riding The London Eye

When it was our turn, we were loaded into a pod with about twenty other people. A good number, in my opinion, since there was plenty of room for everyone to move around and take pictures without bumping elbows and getting in each other’s way. One thing to note is that the wheel never stops moving – when you are loaded on, you have to walk quickly alongside your pod to get in. It’s not too fast, but I could certainly see that being an issue for elderly folks.

Tips For Riding The London Eye

Tips For Riding The London Eye

Tips For Riding The London Eye

Right when you get into your pod, the best place to stand to get good pictures is at the front, furthest away from the loading entrance. You’ll have a great view of the River Thames and Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and as the pod continues to rise, you’ll even be able to see Buckingham Palace nestled in the trees. The higher up you get, the nicer the view is from any spot in the pod. The London Eye moves slow enough that you can spend a good amount of time taking pictures and still have plenty of time to just sit back and enjoy the view once you’ve taken your shots. From start to finish, the entire ride lasts around thirty minutes.

Even though it was rather cloudy for the first half of our ride, we were still able to see pretty far across the city. By the time we reached the top, though, a dark fog had settled over everything in sight.

Tips For Riding The London Eye

Then, a few minutes later, it started pouring down rain. Instead of letting it get us down, we just sat back and enjoyed the ride, grateful that we’d taken pictures at the beginning before the walls of our pod were covered in tiny rain droplets!

Tips For Riding The London Eye

Tips For Riding The London Eye

By the time we reached the bottom again, the fog had broken up, but it was still raining. I wanted to cross the Thames to get pictures of the London Eye from across the river, but it took us awhile to get there. The rain would spontaneously switch from intermittent sprinkling to an all-out downpour, forcing us to run for cover under the tunnels every few feet. We know now that no matter what the sky looks like when you leave your house, you ought to bring your umbrella with you anyway! Lesson learned.

Tips For Riding The London Eye

Tips For Riding The London Eye

The London Eye really isn’t to be missed. The tickets are more affordable in comparison to viewing the city from the Shard, and it’s a perfect option for families. We are looking forward to going back and riding it at night with hopefully a little better weather the second time around!

If you’ve got three minutes, you can watch the video of our experience here. Disclaimer: This is quite possibly the worst video to ever have been uploaded to Youtube, and I’m not even positive you’ll be able to watch it since the background audio is a copyrighted song by the 80’s UK duo, Yaz. If that hasn’t scared you off, proceed.

The London Eye: Website
Address: County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB

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Tips For Riding The London Eye

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  • Ashley @ My Wanderlusty Life
    December 25, 2016 at 12:25 AM

    Haha, the weather just did not agree with you! I love your pictures though — definitely checking out more of your articles. Thanks for the Eye info!

  • Kerry
    July 30, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    Wow that would have been so much fun and with such great views!! London is somewhere I would love to visit one day, I don’t think I could live there with all the rain and grey skies but I am loving seeing it all through your eyes :)

  • Autumn @ The Spirited Violet
    July 11, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    I totally remember having this experience when I was 8 with my parents when we visited England. So cool to remember it through your pictures!

  • Alyx
    July 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    These pictures are absolutely beautiful!! I would LOVE to visit London someday!!

  • Liz
    July 8, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Ohhhh, I love these gorgeous pictures!! So fun to be able to follow your journey!

  • Erin P
    July 6, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    What a fun experience! And really…London weather is not so different from the weather we’ve been having lately here in the midwest! ha Rain one minute and sunshine the next. Mother Nature is feeling a bit bipolar.

    Loving all your pictures. I so want to travel there one day!

  • Mrs. Match
    July 3, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Ok, I’m super afraid of heights and clear elevators, so this is my nightmare. But it also looks incredible, and the views are amazing! The weather sounds like my hometown in Oregon!

  • Rebecca
    July 2, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    what a great birthday experience for Lexie! Looks like you’re having some great times over there! Your photos are wonderful! Love the family pic!

  • Emmymom
    July 2, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Crazy weather! You still got so many awesome beautiful pictures and I loved the video and it works copyrighted song and all ;)

    It would be so cool to see all of those sites that I think we have all seen in a million movies in person

  • Ashley | Domestic Fashionista
    July 2, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Wow. So beautiful. And I loved your little video…especially views of the family! London is moving up on my places to see list thanks to you so I am thankful you are there doing all the research for me for when the time comes for a visit! :)

  • Janette Johanson
    July 2, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Those pods are huge! Your pictures are always so amazing. You need to give me some pointers on taking better pictures. I am not brave enough to ride– but you caught some gorgeous images- even with the rain and fog. Lexie looks like she’s just in heaven and enjoying every single minute!

  • Sarah
    June 28, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    I’m literally SO jealous of those views! You’re not helping my desire to travel when it’s not in the budget! :)

  • Jo
    June 28, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    You got some great pictures! Loved the video .. the soundtrack made it!

  • Connie Weiss
    June 27, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Where has Yaz been all my life?

    That looks like so much fun! I had no idea the ride was 30 minutes long.

  • Tammy Chrzan
    June 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    When I first looked at your photos I was thinking “Wow that’s a sunny clear day for London”… then I read and looked at more piece and thought….”Ahhhh yes, That’s the London I know”… I have to admit I love the rain, I’ll have to go back and read your blog and find out what brought you to London, I visit every 4 months and I plan to move there in August of next year right before school starts. My kids will be 11 & 9!

    I look forward to more posts!! I love your blog!!

  • Nicole
    June 27, 2013 at 5:55 AM

    Beautiful pictures! I’m glad you went across the street to get a picture of the whole Eye-it’s nice to see that perspective too. What a beautiful city-I’m glad you guys are taking such great advantage of it :) If I had unlimited funds, I would totally come visit you over there!

  • Macey
    June 27, 2013 at 5:29 AM

    I’m so jealous. It’s so pretty!!!

  • Diana Bockus
    June 27, 2013 at 5:23 AM

    Btw… as terrified I am of heights its a bit comforting knowing that that the seats are enclosed. haha!

  • Diana Bockus
    June 27, 2013 at 5:22 AM

    Your pictures came out beautifully! London is gorgeous! Makes me want to visit someday! Amazing!!!

  • Stacie Stamper
    June 27, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    Beautiful pics. I’m not a huge fan of heights but it probably goes slow enough that I could handle it.