Jaded? Hassled? Too much work to do and not yet feeling remotely festive? Never fear. London has got precisely what you need to restore your sense of wonder at this time of year.
The London Eye is the centrepiece of the capital’s Frostival. Step on board the London Eye’s slowly-moving spin cycle and you’ll be sucked into all the feelings of awe that Christmas really ought to inspire.
The Eye has been one of the great London landmarks for a number of years now, but take a look at it again in the great Frostival context. Of course, it’s magical every day of the year, but somehow it seems even more so with just a few days left before Christmas.
Stage one of the wonder is that the Eye simply doesn’t stop (except obviously for wheelchair users). As it glides round, so you step into your capsule as it moves noiselessly past your nose; within seconds, you sense you are starting to rise; and as you gain height, for the next few minutes London unfolds before you - the great sprawling metropolis in all its winter splendour.
You seem to be hovering over the Thames as Big Ben, so dominant at ground level, shrinks before your eyes. A sleigh is probably a fantastic journey, but a trip on the London Eye most certainly is as you find yourself looking down on London’s iconic clock tower.
Every second a little more of London comes into view. You glimpse Buckingham Palace; as the seconds pass, St James’ Park comes into view in front of it. Glance at the horizon, and is that really the great Wembley arch you can see in the distance? You bet it is.
And then slowly, very slowly you reach the top. No other capsule is above you; you are the pinnacle of London’s great rotating wheel; and you have to pinch yourself the view is so beautiful.
This is what Paris has always had, the great places from which to view the city, from the Sacre Coeur to the Pompidou Centre, from the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe. But now London has caught up, offering a view which takes your breath away.
Christmas is supposed to be about wonder, about awe and about togetherness. You get all three in abundance as you nestle at the top of the London Eye. You look out across this vast hotchpotch of a city, so many different styles of architecture, so many different people. And yet somehow, despite all the pressures of our modern life, despite the ugly racist undercurrents which threaten us, everything and everyone in London somehow manages to rub along together - and therein lies the wonder of London, of the London Eye and of Christmas.
We’ve got one of the world’s greatest cities, and this Christmas the London Eye might just be the best way to celebrate it.
The Eye’s promoters label it the perfect winter destination, and you couldn’t possibly argue, particularly with all the added benefits of Frostival.
Eyeskate, London’s iconic open-air ice skating rink, returns to the South Bank from 15th November 2014 until 4th January 2015; The Frosty Guided Experience multi-sensory capsule offers the ultimate festive family day out from 29th November 2014 until 3rd January 2015; and The Winter Cocktail Experience will be available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 27th November 2014 to 3rd January 2015
The Frosty Guided Experience is billed as the ultimate festive family day out, with selected London Eye capsules transformed into frosty winter caves framed with ice-like sculptures. Guests will be delighted by the enticing smells of mint chocolate and the sounds of blowing wind and crackling ice as expert guides provide fascinating winter facts about London’s most famous landmarks.
And those looking to indulge in a very merry Christmas, the Winter Cocktail Experience will be available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 27th November 2014 to 3rd January 2015. The evening experience will allow guests to sip on specially designed Christmas cocktails whilst taking in the breathtaking views of the sparkling London lights below.
Stephanie Francis, of the London Eye, said: “We are thrilled to announce that Frostival will be returning to the London Eye for the second year running. With a host of magical experiences available, including Eyeskate and our Frosty Guided Experience, people of all ages can enjoy the London Eye as the perfect place to be dazzled by winter delights.”