|The London Eye By Raintree Annie|
Have you ever visited Londons' Big Eye? I am a country girl at heart but my granddad was born in London, United Kingdom within the sound of the Bow Bells.
So I am a quarter Cockney and have a bond with London, UK's capital city.
I love to visit London when I can which tends to be only once or twice a year at most. When we do go it is always lovely to take a walk by the Embankment which is my favourite part of London and one of the amazing attractions there is Londons Big Eye and the River Thames Embankment area.
The last time We visited The London Eye it was a cold crisp winter's day yet there was a huge number of people there to see and experience this wonderful attraction.
So what Is The London Eye?
The London Eye is essentially a large Ferris wheel with a difference. It has acquired many names along its relatively short history. These include:
The London Eye
The Merlin Entertainments
London's Big Eye
The Big Eye
The London Eye - A Temporary Structure?
The London Eye was finished in the year 2000 and was only supposed to be a temporary structure to celebrate the Millennium.
It was originally called "The Millennium Wheel". It was designed as a Ferris wheel in order to represent the turning of a new Millennium.
It is massive, standing at 442 feet tall and designed by Architects David Marks and Julia Barfield, of Marks Barfield. It opened to the public in March 2000 and was only given permission to be open for 5 years. However, in 2002 the London Eye was given permission to be a permanent attraction in the capital city. It is a wonderful structure and great fun so I am glad it has stayed.
|The London Eye by Raintree Annie|
As you can see from the photos I took here The London Eye is essentially a huge wheel with 32 capsules, representing each London Borough, holding up to 25 people each. So up to 800 people can be on the flight at any one time!
To my relief, you don't sit with your legs hanging down like on a normal Ferris wheel but sit in each enclosed capsule. As the wheel rotates, the capsules also rotate so they always stay horizontal which is clearly a great design for passenger comfort and security!
For an additional special price you can book a capsule just for your family or party and some people have even got married on the flight!
|The London Eye from the road by Raintree Annie|
Book Ahead For The London Eye
As you approach the London Eye we saw crowds like we had not seen before along the whole stretch of the embankment.
We do not like to spend valuable time visiting London waiting in queues like that so if you feel that way too I would strongly advise booking ahead for a specific time so that you don't have to queue for so long!
By the way, you don't book a ride on the London eye you book a "flight"!
It is open every day in normal times except for Christmas day and when it is closed for a week in January for annual essential maintenance.
It is an amazing flight and I would recommend it if you are traveling to London.
Once you board your flight each rotation takes around half an hour and it does move at a slow speed, so it is not like a thrill ride. Rather it allows us to take in the surroundings and sights of London city in a leisurely manner. In fact you can see as far as Windsor castle which is 25 miles away! We loved it and will book again the next time we can visit London.
If you are interested in London and may even be planning a bit there in the future I would recommend this book to learn about the many beautiful and interesting attractions and life in London.
Fodor's London 2020 (Full-color Travel Guide)
The Embankment And River Thames, London
The area around The London Eye is one of my favorites and it is well worth spending some time there. If you take a walk down the Embankment towards the London Eye it is a fascinating sight of street artists, doing incredible gymnastics, painting, making music on steel drums.
There are people dressed as statues that stay as still as can be, being looked upon in awe by some people and others trying to get them to move! If they do move often after a long period of time it can be quite a shock!!
All manner of people are there and it is very crowded, yet the atmosphere is one of busy friendly activity and simply enjoying what is there. There are also outdoor food stalls, indoor and outdoor restaurants, and a wide variety of wonderful live music.
I find it a very relaxing yet stimulating place to be.
|River Thames & Big Ben from Embankment,by Raintree Annie|
The River Thames flows by The Eye and is a huge dominating river. In clear sight is the "Gurkin" and other sights of interest.
You can even take a boat trip along the river, which, especially if you are new to London is a really good way of seeing more of this area of the city in a relaxed manner.
It is also a lot easier on your feet as London is a huge city to walk around and pounding the pavements and crowds can become quite relentless and tiring!
Relaxing on the river is a lovely way of taking it all in and is a lovely break from the inevitable bustle of a big busy city. We had a lovely day in the area and could have easily stayed a lot longer.
|Boat Trip The River Thames , London UK by Raintree Annie|
Londons River Thames
Here is the River Thames, embankment from nearby The Eye. You can see the famous Big Ben in the distance!
Even on a grey day it has an attraction for me. There is a majesty and history to this river and it is such a lovely place to chill out and relax from the hectic pace of London.
This capital city is a full-on place to be and the area around the Embankment is no exception. Yet if you can find your nice place to sit or stand and just look there is a peace about it too.
|London Eye Capsule &Big Ben by Raintree Annie|
I love this part of London, I think the river is lovely and the buildings are amazing and there is a special atmosphere about this area, which is hectic yet friendly. I always enjoy visiting and have many happy memories I savor on my journey back home to the countryside.
Have you visited London, taken a flight on the London Eye or do you feel it would appeal to you?
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