A couple of weeks ago I attended a little filming session with a brand in London, and after finding a really good hotel deal on Hotel Tonight, we decided to all stay over and have a bit more time to see London.
After spending the night in the beautiful Threadneedles Hotel, we had almost a full day to spend in London, so we decided to head over to the South Bank and use our Premium Merlin Annual Passes to go on The Coca-Cola London Eye. It’s a short and interesting walk from Waterloo tube station to the South Bank area, with lots of places to eat and drink and watch the world go by.
We took a quick stop for lunch at the South Bank Centre Food Market, which is awesome, and I wanted to eat everything. It’s such a cool place, with various street food, ice creams, real ales, and fresh juices, and a great atmosphere on a sunny day.
With it being a lovely sunny day during the summer holidays I was a bit worried that even with our passes we would have to queue for the London Eye for an hour or so, which Ava would not have been ok to deal with and I wouldn’t have been able to cope with an hour meltdown from her either.
When we arrived the queues looked massive – the regular queue was ridiculously huge, but the Premium Pass holders queue also looked pretty big – however we literally only had to queue for about eight minutes which was amazing and unexpected! There’s no way we would have been able to join the normal queue with my grumpy four year old, so it was brilliant to be able to skip the big queues and still take a trip on the Eye.
None of us had ever been on before, and Ava in particular was so excited, but I was really looking forward to seeing the views from up high too, and finally getting to experience it. The ride in total lasts around half an hour, and it’s the perfect amount of time. There’s so much to see of interest across London, including Buckingham Palace, and the views in general are amazing – but there’s not enough time to get bored (unless you are four, and a grumpy so-and-so).
Ava had been massively looking forward to going on the London Eye for months, ever since we visited the nearby Shrek Adventure earlier in the year, but she did get a little nervous as we went up. To be honest she is a little bit of a drama queen, so I think sometimes she likes to pretend she is more scared than she actually is. There is a seating area in the middle of the ‘pod’, and she sat there for the first five minutes and refused to move – but she soon settled in and was happy to walk around and spot all the sights we pointed out. The most exciting one being a park that she decided we were going to after.
The Eye moves pretty slowly, so you don’t even really feel it, and there’s plenty of room to move about even with the twenty or so other people with you. You board your pod whilst it is moving, but it can be stopped if you need it to be.
The views across London are incredible. I find London so fascinating and varied, and I love it, so it was amazing to see it all from so high up.
If you have a Merlin Annual Pass then the South Bank area is a fantastic place to spend a few hours or more as there’s so much there – Shreks Adventure!, London Aquarium, Madame Tussauds and The Coca-Cola London Eye. If you don’t have a pass then it would be a very expensive day, but you can get discounts if you want to go to more than one of the attractions on the same day.
Being able to pop into whichever one we fancy with our passes whenever we are nearby is just brilliant. I’d honestly never really thought about getting a Merlin Annual Pass until I became an ambassador this year, as there isn’t that much nearby us. But now I will seriously think about getting them for our family – they’re so good to have, and it means you don’t have to feel guilty about spending so much money on days out.
Tickets for the London Eye are available to buy online at a saving, and you can also get Fast Track tickets to skip the queues. I actually think the Saver tickets bought online at £21.20 are actually really good value to experience The London Eye. It is not the kind of attraction you need to go on again and again, so I think that’s a decent price. If I was doing that though I would make sure I went during a really quiet time so I didn’t have to queue for ages. Children up to 16 are a bit cheaper, and under 4’s are free.
I really enjoyed the London Eye, and I’d definitely like to go on again. As it’s only half an hour long you can easily fit it into your day if you are doing other things in the area, and it’s a lovely way to see London. I’d love to experience it at night, with all of London lit up!
Have you ever been on the London Eye? Would you like to if you haven’t?
I am a Merlin Annual Pass ambassador, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.