Thinking of heading on the London Eye any time soon? As one of London’s biggest attractions, it sees thousands of people getting in one of the glass pods each day. However, most people tend to go on the big wheel blind without knowing what to look out for.
Of course, you’ve probably heard it is something you must try when going to London, but do you know why it is so popular? It is because you can see most of the city's biggest sights in the half an hour you are on the London Eye.
But how do you know what to look out for? Luckily, we are here to get you prepared. Below are ten of the top sights on the London Eye you can’t miss out on.
While the London Eye is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, you can see so much more of the water once you get to the top of the attraction. It is actually 215 miles long and takes up a large part of London. When you get to the top of the attraction, you can see how it spans across the city.
The River Thames is one of the cleanest rivers in the world to date, even though it used to be almost impossible for anything to live in it. It is now home to around 125 species of fish, and once, someone even spotted a Northern Bottlenose Whale in it. If you look really closely when you’re on the London Eye, maybe you’ll be able to find something unique too!
If you want to start with something easy to spot while you’re having a ride on the London Eye, you can start by looking out for Tower Bridge. It has a unique build that is difficult to miss, with the two towers and Neo-Gothic architecture. You should be able to find it by following the Thames as it is the only bridge over the river that can be raised.
It is good to remember that Tower Bridge isn’t the same as London Bridge. It has a much more spectacular design and is closer to the London Eye. However, it never used to be as colourful as it is today. In 1977, it was painted red, white, and blue for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and between 2008 and 2016, it was revamped with the blue and white colours you see now.
Big Ben, the clock tower built on the Houses of Parliament, is one of the biggest attractions that London is known for. When you watch any show or movie based in London, it is always the first thing used to show that the characters are in the city alongside the double-decker red buses that are native to the area. That’s why Big Ben is certainly not something you should miss out on when you’re on your trip around the London Eye.
Built and completed in 1859, Big Ben chimed for the first time. Since then, it chimes every hour to let passers-by know the time. And every 15 minutes, a few smaller bells chime to mark the quarter hour.
Houses of Parliament
You may not think to look out for it, but the Houses of Parliament are a truly huge attraction in London and represent a big part of Great Britain’s essence. If you’ve already found Big Ben on the London Eye, it will be easy to spot the rest of the Houses of Parliament as the two are fused together.
This building holds a lot of history and was built over 1,000 years ago, originally known as the Palace of Westminster. However, it was damaged in a fire in 1512 and destroyed by another fire in 1834, providing it with the stronger structure it has today. It used to be the largest hall in the country, but now it is used as the main meeting place for the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
The Royal Family are what encompasses British culture, and people all around the world know about who they are. Therefore, Buckingham Palace is definitely something that you should be on the lookout for as you reach the peak of the London Eye.
While it may not always have royal members staying in it, it still remains the headquarters and always has the traditional guards watching the gate. However, you can tell if the reigning monarch is home if the royal standard flag is flying over the palace. With over 700 rooms, it is a good idea to get a birds-eye view of the palace because you can truly see how large it is. Although, this is no surprise as it is home to many people, including over 800 members of staff.
St Pauls Cathedral
If you don’t walk St Paul’s Cathedral during your time in London, then you definitely need to look out for it when you are on the London Eye. It is one of the most renowned architectural delights in the city, with its unique dome at the top. Built over 300 years ago, it is now one of the tallest buildings on London’s skyline, so it shouldn’t be hard to spot.
St Paul’s Cathedral is also one of the largest domes in the world and not just in the city, at 111 metres high. If you were to visit the cathedral yourself and get to the top of the dome, you’d have to walk up a massive 528 steps so you could see even more sights of London.
While St Paul’s Cathedral is the tallest dome in the city of London, The Shard is the tallest building. The 310-metre-tall building stands in Southwark and can easily be spotted by the naked eye when you are on the London Eye. With 72 storeys, it hosts a number of offices, restaurants, and even hotel rooms where residents have the greatest views of the area.
Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, this magnificent building is made up of a grand total of 11,000 panels of glass, equating to a total area of around 56,000 square metres, which gave it its name. It is the 96th tallest building in the world, and the fourth tallest in Europe, making it a great sight to look at.
You can’t go on the London Eye without looking out for the UK’s most renowned religious building. Located in the City of Westminster, this Gothic-inspired abbey church provides the city with space for weddings, funerals, and coronations. With over one million visitors per year, it is certainly something you should lay your eyes on.
Founded in 960, it serves as one of the oldest attractions you can see from the London Eye. It has served as the official coronation church for British Monarchs since 1066 and has hosted a total of 39 coronations in its abbey. It has also hosted a grand total of 17 royal weddings and serves as the resting place for more than 3,500 people.
If you want to move away from buildings when looking for sights on the London Eye, it may be a good idea to look for the Jubilee Gardens. It is not difficult to find as it is right next to the London Eye. So, as you make your way to the top, you’ll have a good view of people walking through the gardens, getting on all the available fairground rides, and participating in a number of other activities.
Created in 1977 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, it hosts a large amount of greenery and can be a beautiful sight to look at. If you have enough time after finding all your attractions on the London Eye, then it might be a good idea to try and get some great bird’s eye view photos of the gardens.
Art fans flock to London to see the Tate Modern, and you can see it from a spectacular view when you’re on the London Eye. This fantastic museum and gallery host some of the biggest collections of modern art dating back to the early 1900s. It is based in the former Bankside Power station and became open to the public in 2000.
The Tate Modern is part of a family of four galleries in London, Liverpool, and Cornwall and is one of the world's largest museums for contemporary art. While the art is housed inside the building, you will still be impressed by spotting it from high up in one of the glass pods. You may also be able to look out for the Tate Britain on the other side of the Thames.
London is full of many fascinating sights, and the London Eye is one of the best attractions to help you see all of them in a short amount of time. However, remember that the journey in the glass pods only lasts half an hour, and only a fraction of that is spent on top. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure you know where to look and what you’re looking for.