Visit The London Eye Day and Night For Different Views
The London Eye was absolutely on our “must do” list for this trip to London. It was not covered on our London Pass and would eat into time from other venues on our Pass but we still decided this stop was worth the time. Seeing the London Eye day and night added great perspectives to our view of London!
It had been grey and drizzling for parts of our first two days so we were hesitant about booking tickets in advance and then getting a crappy view. We understood that this would mean a line up to get tickets and then another line up to get on the ride (unless we opted for a Fast Pass to go to the front of the ride line).
When we arrived at the Westminster tube stop for our visit to the Abbey we had a clear view of the London Eye and a clearing sky.
First View of the London Eye During the Day
We figured this would be the day. Walking over the bridge gave us a great view of the Eye if we could fight our way to the bridge railing. We guarded each other’s backs from the quite easily spotted pickpockets and the roaming gypsies painted up to aid in providing great distractions. The Aquarium and the London Dungeon did not draw us in but families with kids often ended up with tickets that gave them multiple attractions.
When we finally got to the front of the ticket line, we debated ticket options and finally decided to get the pass that would let us ride London Eye day and night. We gambled that the London weather would stay nice enough for the rest of this day. The line up took about 20 minutes for the day ride and less than 5 minutes when we came back at 8:30pm. Mid-week in September I am not sure the extra cost of a Fast Pass would be worth it but buying online would have saved us the 30+ minutes to buy tickets.
Note – Free wifi is available at the London Eye site but I couldn’t manage to get to an open browser to buy electronic tickets. This may just have been because I kept refusing all the wifi apps that seem common in Europe (along with registration for wifi which I also preferred not to do).
Riding The London Eye During the Day
Once we reached the platform, we were hustled onto one of 32 pods with up to 23 other people as the pod kept moving. If you are keeping track, this means that each revolution of the Eye can carry up to 800 people! It would only stop for wheelchairs or very slow moving passengers (not me yet). The pod had seating for about 10 perched people but most people quickly moved to window positions and started snapping right away. The ride took about 45 minutes to go all around so we waited until the pod was near the apex to find our spots for pics.
We got great 360 degree views of London as the pod moved over the apex, if not quite the 25 mile view that is apparently visible on a day with zero haze.
It was funny to see those with a fear of heights as we climbed higher and you could look down thru the glass at the pods and water below. As a pilot and former skydiver, the height was not bothering me at all!
As the pod got close to the end, you could stand in the designated spots and have your picture taken (for sale in the gift shop you must pass thru to exit the ride). We ignored this on the day trip but on our night trio we smooched for the camera. While we looked cute in the picture, it was taken when the pod was low so not really a memorable scene for the 20€ package they wanted to sell us.
Great Views From The London Eye At Night
Our second ride at night was as beautiful as anticipated. London was lit up and we captured the images of London as we moved up and around in our blue lit pod.
The extra cost was a real bargain to add the second night ride was well worth the trip back after dark.
Did you enjoy your ride on the London Eye? Would you recommend doing the London Eye day and night?