London Eye - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
Panorama showing the London Eye. Picture taken from Westminster Pier over the river and also sows the London Aquarium and Big Ben.
London Eye - FURTHER INFORMATION
London Eye - London visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'London Eye' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Greater London.
The London Eye has fast become one of the most visited attractions in London since it opened in 1999, when it was also called the Millennium Wheel. Built next to Westminster Bridge, a 40 minute ride on the London Eye give some of the best panoramic views over the city. The London Eye was built by British Airways, and has security similar to an airline. It is now owned by the same company that runs Madam Tussuad and a combined ticket covering both attractions can be brought.
Seeing London from the top of the London Eye is quite an amazing experience. The focus of London changes at night when much of the area over Westminster is dark due to the presence of the parks. By contrast to the south are large residential areas which shine out like some kind of space station. Even better is the view over London from the Eye on Guy Fawkes night when you can see fireworks rising up from all over the city. If you get to the London Eye at the right time then it is possible to literally walk on without queuing and to have a capsule almost entirely to yourself.
Flights on the London Eye come in all sorts of various shapes and sizes, from standard walk on class to first class Champagne Flights or a Cupids Capsule for the romantic with a little money to burn. The London Eye has been used for weddings, and corporate events. Such is the demand that sometimes the whole Eye may be rented out to the corporate sector on special occasions.
The London Eye is currently the largest observation wheel in the world, though current plans in Dubai may well remove this status. It stands 135 meters tall, with a purpose built London Eye Approach path next to Jubilee Gardens. Attached to the outer rim are 32 sealed and air conditioned capsules each capable of carrying 25 people. Even carrying 25 people the London Eye capsules feel fairly spacious. The wheel revolves at 0.26m per second and a flight takes 30 minutes to complete.
As you ascend with the Eye you will be presented with a view down the Thames and over the City. You will clearly be able to see St. Paul's Cathedral and the tower of the Tate Modern with parts of the Docklands in the distance. Nearby to the south is the green dome of the Imperial War Museum and the broadcasting tower on Crystal Palace in the background.
The second half of the ride gives impressive views over the Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey. You can also make out Horse Guards Parade, St. James Park and Buckingham Palace quite easily. However, Nelsons Column in Trafalgar Square can easily be missed amongst the buildings. The same can not be said for the BT Telecom Tower.
Next to the London Eye are the Salvador Dali exhibition and London Aquarium, both popular London tourist attractions.
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Bus: Westminster Bridge
Ferry: Westminster Pier
Train: Waterloo Station
Tube: Embankment (Bakerloo, Circle, District, Northern lines), Waterloo (Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern, Waterloo & City lines), Westminster (Circle, District, Jubilee lines)