There’s no doubt that London is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world. If you’re lucky enough to be able to visit, make sure to check out some of its top attractions, like the London Eye. This massive Ferris wheel is a major tourist hotspot and offers stunning views of the cityscape below. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting the London Eye.
London Eye. One of the Most Iconic Landmarks in the UK
The London Eye (also called Millennium Wheel) is an observation wheel located on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. When opened in 2000, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. It was designed by Julia Barfield and David Marks.
The London Eye is 443 feet (135 m) tall, and the wheel is 394 ft (120 m) in diameter. The wheel has 32 ovoidal passenger capsules (actually these capsules are numbered from 1 to 33; number 13 is excluded for superstitious reasons), which each hold up to 25 people. It takes about 30 minutes to complete one revolution of the wheel at a speed of 26 cm/s (0.9 km/h).
The view from the top of the wheel is reportedly stunning, with panoramic views of central London and its famous landmarks. The London Eye has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, and is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. It was also the highest viewing point in London, but was overtaken by The Shard in July 2012.
Interesting Facts About the London Eye and Its Capsules
The London Eye first opened in 1999 (without passengers). On February 1, 2000, it carried the first passengers, and on March 9, 2000, it was opened to the public. And here are some other interesting facts about the London Eye:
- The cost of this Ferris wheel was £70 million.
- On a clear day, you may see up to 25 miles in any direction, offering stunning views of Big Ben, Westminster Palace, and other landmarks in the city. If you look to the west, you might even spot the Windsor Castle!
- It is one of the most popular attractions in the UK, with 3.5 million visitors each year.
- During operation hours, the Eye continuously rotates – it never stops. The reason visitors are able to join and depart the ride is because it travels at a snail’s pace of 26 cm/second, allowing for two full rotations per hour.
- The wheel is frequently illuminated in particular hues to advertise sponsors or celebrate important national occasions.
- The original owners of the London Eye were The Tussauds Group, British Airways, and Marks Barfield (the lead architects). In 2005, Tussauds purchased British Airways’ interest, and then Marks Barfield’s in 2006 to become sole owner.
- London Eye is called the Ferris wheel, but the experts insist that it’s actually a cantilevered observation wheel.
- The London Eye’s 32 capsules are made to represent London’s 32 boroughs.
- The London Eye was supposed to be only a temporary attraction. Instead, it became one of the most iconic landmarks of London, and we cannot imagine the city without it.
- It lights up pink and red on the Valentine’s Day, and you can book a special romantic trip.
- The world’s tallest working Ferris wheel in the Ain Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (820 ft).
London Eye. Useful Information for Passengers
The London Eye is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. Over 3 million people visit the London Eye every year. Here are some useful tips for visitors:
- The best time to visit the London Eye is early in the morning or late at night, when there are fewer people.
- Visitors can buy tickets online in advance to avoid queues.
- The London Eye is wheelchair accessible.
- The standard ticket is £32.50 when booked in advance.
- You can buy a combined ticked for more than one attraction (for example London Eye + SEA LIFE London, or London Eye + Madame Tussauds London) which can help you save up some money during your visit.
- There are also special events and tickets, like Champagne Experience, Fast Track Ticket, Pub Pod, or Cupid’s Pod.
- The London Eye is usually working from 11am to 6pm.
Would you like to see London from the bird’s eye view? Be sure to book a London Eye trip during your next visit. It will be an unforgettable experience. It’s also a great idea for a date, proposal, or even for a wedding! Thanks for reading.
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