Start Westminster Station - End Westminster Station
'Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others'.
This visual London Eye Riverside Sightseeing Route takes you along a section of London’s famous River Thames on both the north and the south bank between the Golden Jubilee Bridge and Westminster Bridge. This 2 Km route starts and ends at Westminster Station and takes you along the garden route of Victoria Embankment and then across the river to the well known entertainment areas, (the London Eye and the London Dungeons), before finishing up at Westminster Station. This post shows you a hyper-lapse video view of London Eye River Circuit and helps you know the area through maps, 360 VR views, facts and a photo gallery. This area does get busy, so I always like to visit this area in the early morning. This is a very enjoyable route as there is a lot of activity on the South Bank and peace and quite on the Westminster side of the river - and great London views all around you and from up in the London Eye.
New and Old Scotland Yard
Battle of Britain Memorial
Horse Guards hotel and the Liberal Club
Golden Jubilee Bridge
SEA LIFE London Aquarium
See The Route - Video
The hyper-lapse familiarisation video of the route from Charing Cross to the Houses of Parliament can be seen below.
Know the Area - Maps and Information
Start Westminster Station - End Westminster Station
On exiting Westminster Station, head to the start point that is just on Westminster Bridge facing Big Ben and the Boudicca statue.
This route starts with the iconic views of Big Ben, the River Thames, the London Eye and County Hall. The route takes you along Victoria Embankment which is a road and walkway along the north bank of the River Thames, that extends from the City of Westminster into the City of London. It was created in 1870 to claw back extra land from the river so as to modernise the London sewerage system and relieve congestion on the Strand and Fleet Street. As you walk along the riverside, you will have great view of the river and the London Eye, but you will also have some imposing and historic buildings on your left. The crowds will soon start to thin out and you will come across a number of military monuments including the Battle of Britain and RAF memorial. The route then takes you into Victoria Embankment Gardens by the Ministry of Defence and then into the more formal and enclosed Whitehall Garden before finishing near Embankment Station. The final part of this leg takes you on the eastern side of the Golden Jubilee Bridge towards the South Bank. However a detour to the western side is well worth it as it has some great views of the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament in the distance.
There are only a few opportunities for shopping, and refreshments on this route, but these are not all that easy to spot. You will find places for light snacks at Westminster and Embankment Stations and within the South Bank and Old County Hall.
The main tourist attractions are the London Eye, The London Dungeons, SEA LIFE London Aquarium and Shrek's Adventure, however, the South Bank Centre is also worth a visits as there is always something going on there.
The maps below shows the whole route and places of interest..
There are many historically significant statues, buildings and monuments in this area, but it is not always easy to find information about them. This ‘Site View Gallery’ presents a selection of a few of them.
The main theme of the western shoreline is all about defence - defence against the rive and pollution, against crime, and against our enemies. The Victoria Embankment was built to reclaim land from the river, to help prevent it from flooding and to create part of the London’s sewage and transport infrastructure – all completed around 1870. Many of the buildings on the shoreline are also defence related such as the old and new Police headquarters of ‘New Scotland Yard’, and the Ministry of Defence, The western shore is also steeped in history as it used to be the landing area for Whitehall Palace during the reign of Henry VIII. Whitehall Palace remained one of the largest royal palaces in Europe until 1698 when it was destroyed by fire.
The theme for the South Bank side is of industrialisation and regeneration. Originally, this side of the river was not well populated due to its marshes, but as London grew and became an industrial centre, it attracted factories and boat-building activities along its banks. As London became more commercial, and more expensive, then there was a need to re-generate the area. This began after the first world war with the building of County Hall, and again after the second world war with the building of the Festival of Britain and the Royal Festival Hall in 1951. Its transition from an industrial site to a tourist attraction has slowly evolved over the years with the building of the London Eye, and the re-purposing of Old County Hall.
London Eye River Circuit Facts
On average the London Eye receives 3 .5 million visitors every year
The 32 capsules on the London Eye are representative of the 32 London boroughs, Each one weighs 10 tonnes and can carry 25 passengers. The capsules are air-conditioned and seats are provided, although passengers are able to walk around.
The London Eye can carry 800 people and it takes 30 minutes to complete a revolution at a speed of 26cm per second, ( that just under 1 km an hour).
The London Eye had a predecessor – The Great Wheel in Earl Court from 1895 - 1906.
From the top of the London Eye you can see about 25 miles on a clear day all the way to Windsor Castle.
The famous British board game Monopoly has a square on the board named after Northumberland Avenue – which was created when the Embankment was built.
The concept of an Embankment was first put forward by the famous architect, Christopher Wren, in the 1660s.
The original incentive for the Embankment was the need to provide London with a modern sewerage system and to relieve congestion on the Strand and Fleet Street.
The Victoria Embankment's was completed in 1870 under the direction of Joseph Bazalgette
The contractor for the work was Thomas Brassey - By 1847, he had built about one-third of the railways in Britain, and by time of his death in 1870 he had built one in every twenty miles of railway in the world.
Even though Embankment was actually built in the 19th Century, much of it was rebuilt, extended and improved in the 20th Century, after the Thames Flood in 1928.
The Victoria Embankment became the first street in Britain to be permanently lit by electricity in 1878
Ships permanently moored by Victoria Embankment include HMS President, HMS Wellington, and PS Tattershall Castle.
Other notable attractions include the General Charles Gordon Memorial, Royal Air Force Memorial, National Submarine War Memorial, Battle of Britain London Monument, and Cleopatra's Needle.
Hungerford and Golden Jubilee Bridge
The first Hungerford Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, opened in 1845 as a suspension footbridge. It was named after Hungerford Market. It joined the South Bank to Hungerford Market on the north side of the Thames
In 1859 the original Hungerford Bridge was bought by the railway company to extend the South Eastern Railway line into the newly opened Charing Cross railway station. The bridges suspension chains were re-used in the Bristol's Clifton Suspension Bridge. The original brick pile buttresses of Brunel's footbridge are still in use today.
The two new footbridges on either side of the railway were completed in 2002. They were named the Golden Jubilee Bridges, in honour of the fiftieth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II
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