I’ll admit it had been a looooong day, and I was actually rather happy at the prospect of a gentle rotation on the London Eye. Except the closer we walked, the higher it looked… until I was doing a pretty good job of hiding my total abject terror of going up to a very excited 9yr old Bear (who seriously has no concept of fear. She’ll say yes to anything if it looks a bit fun).
The queue took no time at all, and before we knew it we were stepping into our pod, and very gently moving skywards; and I have to say it is an unexpectedly peaceful thing. We were lucky to be sharing our pod with just a few older couples and a couple of quietly spoken business-types, so the atmosphere inside was pleasantly muted (and perfect for a tired pair of explorers!).
As we began to rise above the South Bank we watched, gripped in our made up of story of the bride and groom strolling across the grass just beyond the river with their photographer, her dress blowing beautifully in the sunlight. As we rose we watched them laugh, and kiss, and then slowly walk hand in hand away to the streets of London, gradually growing smaller and smaller the higher we rose. As is our habit we avidly people-watched and made up tales for them until they simply became too small to be characters, and I finally realised we were actually very high now. I looked up at the centre of the Eye – only to see we were but half way to the top of the rise.
I decided looking down at the ground wasn’t the best thing for the comfort of my brain, so I sat down and determinedly looked away, far across the river to admire the way the glorious late afternoon October sun was making the city skyline glow as it stretched lazily away from us like a warm cat.
There’s something deeply special about the London skyline – personally I blame Mary Poppins. As it stretched away from us I couldn’t take my eyes away from the serenely shining cityscape that had risen from the thriving mass of people within it. It’s like Bert said
There’s things half in shadow and halfway in light
On the rooftops of London
Coo, what a sight!
As we slowly moved through the rotation of the London Eye we particularly loved the Bouncepads – the ‘tablet tour guides’ which you can use to discover all the points of interest that you’re looking at. Being able to pick a particularly interesting building and find out what it is, where it sits and absorb bitesize portions of its history meant we were kept really busy, and learnt loads too, picking out a few places we’d love to go and see up close.
But really travelling on the London Eye is all about the view. The movement is so slow as to be barely noticeably – it’s a bit like watching the moon rise; you’re totally involved in looking at it, and then you suddenly realise how far it has drifted across the sky while you were watching and not noticing.
We were quite content to sit, to look and to simply absorb the mad map of London that was stretching out from us in all directions.
If you book online you receive a 15% reduction other entry prices – a standard London Eye ticket starts at £21.20 for adults and £16.95 for children (under 3’s are free). The ticket includes the 30-minute rotation, and entry to the 4D Cinema Experience. It’s probably not an experience we would rush to repeat regularly
We’re so excited to be 2016 ambassadors for the Merlin Annual Pass – it means 12 incredible months exploring 32 Magical Worlds bursting with astonishing sights, sensational rides and extraordinary adventures to fill our year with laughter, magic and FUN!