The London Eye
© London Eye at Freeimages
Since its opening, the London Eye has become one of London’s most iconic landmarks. It is the focal point for London’s New Year’s Eve celebrations and it has become one of London’s must see attractions.
When it was opened in the year 2000, the London Eye was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel being 135 metres (443 feet) tall. The London Eye is now the most visited paid for attraction in Britain with some 3.75 million visitors in 2014.
Incredibly, ‘The Eye’ was originally intended as a temporary structure to celebrate the year 2000. Originally called the Millennium Wheel, the wheel was scheduled to be dismantled and moved after five years. The Eye’s immense popularity caused the owners to rethink their earlier plans however!
Originally part owned (33%) and sponsored by British Airways, the London Eye is now sponsored by Coca-Cola. The London Eye is owned by Tussauds, now part of Merlin Entertainments, the world’s largest leisure group after Disney.
The London Eye cost over £70 million to build
There are 32 air-conditioned pods or capsules on the wheel
Each pod weighs 10 tonnes and can carry 25 people
At capacity, the wheel can carry up to 800 people at any one time
The wheel rotates at 26cm per second meaning that one complete rotation takes 30 minutes
What landmarks can you see?
Over your 30 minute journey around the circumference of the wheel, you will see most of London’s famous landmarks. These include the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The Shard, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, HMS Belfast, The Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Standard tickets cost £27 for an adult and £22 for a child if bought on the day. To bypass the queues, consider buying a Fast Track ticket which provides access via a dedicated entrance. Fast track ticket prices are £37 and £32 for adults and children respectively if bought upon arrival however.
Stay In Britain ‘Top Tips’
If you are planning to the London Eye, it makes sense to book ahead to combat the attraction’s immense popularity but also to secure better prices. You can secure a handy 10% discount by simply booking online. Similarly, if you have a group of 10 or more people, you can secure even more discount (15%) and pick a departure time of your choice. Group bookings also permit entry into the 4D cinema experience as well.