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Memorable “night flight” on the London Eye.

by Rajul on December 28, 2009

The views from the London Eye at night are a joy to behold

The views from the London Eye at night are a joy to behold

A few weeks ago, the London Eye’s management invited a few of us bloggers to take one of its special “night flights”.  Although I had been on the Eye before, I’d never previously considered doing so at night.

The evening kicked off with the “4D Experience” which I have to say was a remarkably vivid teaser to the main event.  You can learn more at the London Eye’s official 4D Experience site.

When my fellow bloggers and I finally boarded our champagne-laden capsule, we were amazed at how well-lit up London is from above.  It was almost as easy to spot most landmarks as it is during the day.

I’d recommend a night flight to anyone.  It’s a fantastic way to kick off a London night out to make it just that extra bit memorable.

The London Eye is the 4th tallest structure in London and the UK’s most popular paid-for attraction.  It is also the world’s tallest observation wheel, with stunning panoramic views stretching to around 25 miles.

They claim you can even see as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day!

A key reason for its success is that London is “made” to be seen from above.  The river forms a great guiding ruler to help you identify landmarks.

There are so many icons to spot as your eyes follow the snake of the river in both directions.  It gives you a unique perspective, making you feel you have the city within the palm of your hand, despite its huge size.

I think a flight on the London Eye gives you a digestible “bite” of London and only whets your appetite to explore the city further.

As such, it’s ideal to base yourself in the area – also because it’s so handy for a wealth of other attractions on the South Bank.  We covered some of these (like Shakespeare’s Globe) on our “perfect cultural evening” itinerary.

A couple of decent hotels near the London Eye are recommended below.

Premier Inn County Hall provides cheap and functional rooms

Premier Inn County Hall provides cheap and functional rooms

For those on a budget, there’s few better options than the Premier Inn County Hall – literally round the corner from the London Eye.

It’s one of London’s best hotels for families and offers attractive room rates for its location.  It has solid reviews on TripAdvisor with the only downside its lack of free WiFi.  We hope its parent company sees the light on this!

Check best rate for Premier Inn County Hall from 30+ hotel booking sites

If you have slightly more to spend then you may also appreciate the nearby Marriott County Hall, especially if you bag one of its rooms with a view.  The hotel also has a nice swimming pool and decent-sized rooms.

Check the best rate for Marriott County Hall from 30+ hotel booking sites

The Marriott County Hall offers good facilities and fairly large rooms close to the London Eye

The Marriott County Hall has good facilities and large rooms near the London Eye

Both the above hotels are just a hop and skip away from the London Eye, so you’ll be perfectly placed to enjoy a flight at a time of your choosing.

Get the best-value London hotel deal from 30+ booking sites in 1 click

Photo credits: Premier Inn, Marriott County Hall.

Disclosure: The London Eye paid for our night flight and a complimentary glass of champagne.

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