London with Teens: London Eye 

School holidays are looming and parents are always on the look out for interesting activities to keep their teenagers busy while building lasting family memories. A few weeks ago I took my two brilliant teen reporters Alice and Diego to the London Eye. For Alice it was the first time, while Diego remembered being in the capsules a few times when he was in primary school
 
I recall the Southbank without the London Eye. When it was built twenty years ago it was very exciting. It was the highest central point where to view London’s skyline. 

Mums and teenagers on a capsule on the London Eye panoramic wheel posing for mums magazine

London Mums reporters enjoying a ride on the London Eye

Big Ben and Westminster Parliament view from the London Eye

                              Images copyright Monica Costa – London Mums magazine

 

London Mums’ teen reporters review

Teenage girl and boy boarding a capsule of the London Eye posing for mums magazine

Alice (16)

“I like the turtle-paced observation wheel because it allows you to check things out without rushing. I preferred it to the static Shard view. After all the London ‘Eye’ is Europe’s tallest wheel and it reminds me of a fun fair wheel, but more sophisticated.  The whole experience was a blast and I wished I could have stayed on for another ride.”
 
The London Eye moves at a leisurely pace – 0.9 kilometres per hour. An all round trip takes about 30 minutes.

Diego (16)

“I have learnt a few new facts about the fancy wheel. When the London Eye was built, it was the tallest wheel in the world with its 135 metres above the city. Unfortunately now it’s dropped a few places and now is behind wheels in the USA, China and Singapore.”
 
 
 
Alice said:

Teenage boy and girl sitting in a capsule of the London Eye posing for mums magazine“I have also found out that originally it was called the Millennium Wheel because it was supposed to open on New Years’ Eve in 1999 to celebrate the changing of the millennium, but things didn’t go quite to plan. Due to safety concerns, the public was only allowed in the capsules in March 2000.”

Sponsors that have changed over the decades have tried to get their brand stuck in people’s heads but people only call it London Eye. Considering the amazing 360 degree views you get from it, the popular name seems perfect. 

The wheel carries symbolic features including 32 capsules that represent London’s 32 boroughs (with capacity to up to 800 people or 11 London double-decker buses). The capsules are numbered 1 to 33 to skip the infamous unlucky number 13. One of the capsules is named after Queen Elizabeth, a Coronation Capsule. A nod to Big Ben – whose bell is named after our late Queen – which is the most stunning landmark that literally shines now that has just been refurbished. 

Diego added:

“Did you know that the London Eye receives more annual visitors than the Pyramids of Giza or the Taj Mahal?  It’s incredible! It’s even more incredible if you think that it was only supposed to be a temporary building. Now London without its Eye would be unimaginable. This year, it has been granted a permanent permit to stay.  Similarly to a ‘settled status’ for foreign citizens.” 

Tickets are available from here.

London Eye capsule full of tourists posing for mums magazine

                                   Images copyright Monica Costa – London Mums magazine

London Eye view from Westminster riverbank

Big Ben and Westminster Parliament view from the London Eye

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