We're going to be in London (first time) for a few days at the end of January. I understand that the London Eye is recommended if and only if the weather is clear, which doesn't seem to be a safe bet at that time of year. I've heard varying reports about queue length. I'm trying to figure out if I need to book a flexible ticket in advance (hoping there'll be a day we can use it) or if we can just show up should the weather cooperate.

So, my questions:

  • How much cloud cover or rain is enough that we shouldn't bother? (I recognize that this is a subjective question.)

  • If we just show up (don't book in advance), how long should we expect to wait (on a Sunday or weekday)?

(I've seen this question, but I'm not sure if the answer from December 2010 data applies to my situation.)

  • Massive great big enormous very large queues for tickets if you just show up for tickets on the day. I really can't overemphasise how big the queues are. Think of a big thing, then double it.
    – A E
    May 15, 2015 at 10:51

3 Answers 3


If you know that you will have internet access in London, you can judge the weather at that very hour in London, book a non-flexible non-fast-track standard ticket online from your computer, select the scheduled time as the next hour or so, and then head for the London Eye. You will have to collect the physical ticket at the booth by showing the confirmation email on your mobile. There is almost no line (<5 minute wait on a Sunday from my experience) for ticket collection of pre-booked tickets, as opposed to the massive queue to buy a ticket at the venue. After receiving the physical ticket, you can queue up (<10 minute wait on a Sunday from my experience) in front of the London Eye, and get on board even if you have arrived early by as much as one hour from what you have scheduled on the internet.

Don't forget to see the short 4D video clip about London - it is included in the ticket.

Edit: London Eye is always closed for the first 2-3 weeks of January for annual maintenance (and perhaps to clean up after the New Year's Eve fireworks).


Travel plans predicated on good weather is a strategy I would not recommend for the UK. Distant weather forecasts in the UK are relatively less accurate. Rain and cloud-cover are not an exception, but rather the norm.

I suppose you're only concerned about the visibility in rain, because I believe the capsules are enclosed (see this photo). Rain may reduce visibility, but you will not soak any more inside the capsule. You may get a bit soaked on your way to the capsule, but then it's London - you need to be prepared for the rain.

  • 1
    Right, it's the visibility I'm concerned about. If I'm going to London, I expect to get wet -- but will I be able to benefit from the London Eye view? Jan 13, 2014 at 13:34
  • 1
    Visibility is utterly appalling on a rainy day in London.
    – sks
    Jan 13, 2014 at 20:16

London Eye will be closed until 17th january. If you purchase a "combi ticket" (eg : with Madame Tussauds"), you can access London Eye at any time so you'll be able to choose the right moment (with limited queue). Be careful : if you do that, don't buy London Eye as your "main ticket" because you'll have to choose a date for the first visit (google combi ticket to choose your attractions)

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