We have visited London on many occasions but never have had the chance to experience the Coca Cola London Eye, so we were so excited to finally be able to view London from this unique vantage point.
The Coca Cola London Eye is located on the South Bank making it a short walking distance from Waterloo, the nearest tube station and Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament at Westminster. As soon as we left the tube station at Westminster you catch your first glimpse of this beautiful London landmark.
The Coca-Cola London Eye is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel, designed by Marks Barfield Architects and launched in 2000. What started off as a temporary piece of architecture proved popular with both tourists and locals and was quickly made a permanent fixture and became an iconic piece of London’s sky line which is now the UK’s most popular paid for visitor attraction.
If you’re planning a visit, I would strongly recommend booking the fast track ticket, as you bypass the large queues (especially at weekends) waiting to board the capsule for the London Eye via a special fast track entrance.
The London Eye has 32 air-conditioned capsules representing the 32 Boroughs of London, with each 10 tonne capsule holding 25 people but at no point did it feel crowded. On each rotation 800 people can ride the London Eye, the equivalent of 11 London double decker buses.
The wheel does not usually stop to take on passengers as the rotation rate is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level.
As soon as the door of our capsule closed we made our ascent to explore the London skyline from 135 metres in the air giving you the ultimate 360 degree visual experience.
Inside each spacious capsule, you are free to walk around to take in the views offered from the journey along with bench style seating.
I was a little worried about being enclosed in the capsule for 30 minutes but they are so spacious and light that I soon forgot where I was as the views of the London skyline were so amazing. I hardly felt the capsule moving and encountered a very pleasant experience as The London Eye rotates at just 26 cm (10 in) per second (about 0.9 km/h or 0.6 mph).
Inside each capsule are tablet screens with interactive maps, complete with rotating floor plans and drawings, which can be translated in to several languages. These touch devices can be altered to day or night and help you to identify what iconic buildings you are looking out on to. It was a great way to understand the architecture and give aerial spatial awareness of how London’s buildings are centred around the Thames. It was so much fun testing my knowledge of the London skyline against my husband.
It was great to observe how The River Thames, from an aerial perspective, curves and bends as it winds through London to the North Sea.
We managed to spot many London landmarks as the pod made its away on the 30 minute journey including The Shard, Houses of Parliament and in the distance Wembley stadium, which was where our daughter was singing later that evening. On a clear day you can even see Windsor Castle, 25 miles away.
When you’ve almost completed the rotation, you can stand in a marked photo spot and your picture will be taken which you can purchase as you exit the attraction.
After you disembark, your ticket allows you access to the 4D Cinema Experience which is located inside the County Hall building. As you put on your 3D glasses for the 4 minute show, you encounter lots of special effects such as mist, bubbles and wind as you are immersed in this 4D journey over London.
I would definitely recommend a visit to The Coca Cola London Eye when in London. It offers such an enjoyable experience to view London from a unique perspective, which is different to the views offered at the likes of the Shard. Another plus point of why you should ride the Coca Cola London Eye is for bragging rights, so when you watch the New Year celebrations you can say that you have taken a ride on this iconic structure.
Location and Pricing
The Coca-Cola London Eye is located within easy walking distance from several London Underground stations: Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster. The closest underground stations are Waterloo and Westminster. The London Eye is open daily, first rotation at 11am and last rotation at 6pm.
It is definitely recommended to book your tickets in advance. This way you can save money and bypass the ticket office line. The Fast Track tickets are worth every penny, saving you time waiting in long lines to board the London Eye. If you wish to buy a ticket on the day then the ticket office is located inside County Hall, which is the building directly opposite the London Eye.
If you are planning to visit several London attractions on the same day then I would recommend looking at the combination tickets. This ticket provides access to The London Dungeons, Madame Tussauds, Shrek’s Adventure and Sea Life London many of which are located within close proximity on the South Bank.
For more information on tickets, opening times and locations please visit the website https://www.londoneye.com