Before we headed off to Disneyland Paris last month, LM and I had a day exploring London thanks to AttractionTix. We also took over their Instagram stories for the day which was a lot of fun (until my battery died as we queued for the London eye!) AttractionTix had kindly sent us each their new London Big 6 Ticket, which I mentioned in a post last month, so we could visit some top attractions in the Capital.
I’ve mentioned AttractionTix before, but in case you’re not up to speed they’re a great company that offer tickets to big attractions both in the UK and around the world including Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris at competitive prices. They do convenient e-tickets that you can print out and hand over when you arrive at the attraction. They often do great offers too, like with the London Big 6 Ticket which gives you entry to 6 of London’s popular experiences and will save you over 50% compared to buying on the gate at each individual attraction. Once you have your ticket you can visit each attraction once over a 90 day period! I love this because it means you can come back within the 3 month period if you don’t get everything done in one trip. The London BIG ticket includes entry to Shrek’s Adventure, The London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, The London Eye, The London Aquarium and the London Eye River Cruise.
In about a 9 hour time period we managed 3 of the attractions and that included popping into Five Guys for lunch and having dinner on South Banks. We went on the hottest day of the year so we also took a break in our hotel room. If we hadn’t we could have probably done a 4th attraction but the tube was so hot that day!
The three attractions we visited were Madame Tussauds, London Eye River Cruise and the London Eye itself.
There is a small disclaimer of sorts with this ticket, the first attraction you visit has to be Madame Tussauds. At their desk you exchange your printed out receipt for your Big 6 Ticket, you can also make reservations for the other attractions here. The one downside to this is Madame Tussauds always seems to only have 2 desks open meaning even though we arrived only an hour after opening it took us a good 45 minutes to get in. Thankfully they have toilets and vending machines all along the queue area and LM was happy to just stand and chat to me (she doesn’t mind queues). It’s frustrating but that’s Madame Tussaud’s policy to ensure the attraction doesn’t get too crowded so keep that in mind.
I’ve only ever visited Madame Tussauds once before about 6 years ago now and I wasn’t sure if it would be LM’s cup of tea but she did seem to enjoy it once we got in. We did go on Bank Holiday Monday meaning it was pretty busy but we were able to move from room to room with ease. She was able to recognise some of the celebrities in particular Mo Farrah and Rafa Nadal (my mum’s favourites), she also loved seeing a tiny Tinkerbell and the super heroes. I take my hats off to the staff at Madame Tussauds, even though it was really busy they did so well to keep the crowds moving smoothly so we were able to see all we wanted to see without any pushing or shoving. The Avengers 4D presentation was fantastic but LM’s favourite bit was the ride that goes through London’s history, I’m not sure she understood much but it was great to have for any little kids who’d become bored or uninterested in the wax models. I do think LM was just a little too young to really make the best of it but I enjoyed it and I enjoyed explaining to her who some people were, it ended up being quite educational as far as history and pop culture was concerned. We spent a good hour and a half walking around before we left and I feel we saw everything we wanted to.
London Eye River Cruise
After a late lunch and a break in the hotel we caught the tube to Waterloo and walked to South Bank. The dock for the London Eye River Cruise is easy to find as it’s right beside the London Eye. Once there if you haven’t pre-booked a time you go to the window and get one before you board. The boats hold a fair amount of people and during the summer months there is about one every hour. Our was packed and we ended up sitting downstairs, not that we minded as the sun was so hot and it was nice and cool below deck. We had a great tour guide who made it interesting and funny, I want to say her name was Vicky. A lot of the humour did go over LM’s head but she was enjoying the boat and looking out the window too much to really care what our guide was saying. The tour lasted 45 minutes and you go from the London Eye up the Thames past Tower Bridge, there you turn and come back. You get some history and some funny facts thrown at you by the guide while you take the opportunity to relax and enjoy the view or frantically try and take photos as you wizz along (obviously what I did). The boat has a little food bar down stairs that’s manned the whole time in case you get peckish. I really enjoyed the river cruise and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who was visiting London from out of town. Great way to see some sites without walking along the river.
The London Eye
I haven’t been on the London Eye in about 14 years, I think I was 15 the last time I went on it so I was pretty excited to do it as an adult. As I went up in the morning last time I decided to book it for just before sunset as I thought it would be a pretty time to go up. You’re able to join your queue 30 minutes before your boarding time and here you’ll go through a bag check and have the chance to get a family portrait done. The queue is fast moving and we were on after 15 minutes. Unless you’ve paid for a VIP experience you’ll be put into a capsule with a few other families. We were last in so we didn’t get a seat but that didn’t matter because we were content with looking out the window. The London Eye movies so slowly it doesn’t even feel like it’s moving, the pods are secure so they don’t sway so you’ll feel completely safe. It was truly breath taking seeing all London and because it was clear we could see a good distance. LM was completely blown away with being up so high and I think of all the things we did this was probably her favourite. We went up at the perfect time and saw the sun setting over London and by the time we were on the ground again it was getting dark. I cannot recommend the experience enough.
We still have a couple of months to visit the London Aquarium and Shrek’s Adventure if I can afford to get down to London between now and then, unfortunately she’s a bit too young for the London Dungeon which is why this ticket would be great for the 8+ crowd (my sister did the Edinburgh Dungeon at 8 and enjoyed it). It’s supurb value for money and a great way to experience what London has to offer whether you live there or are from out of town. We truly had a great day.