The London Eye – London’s iconic travel destination.
Opening March 2000, the London Eye is a metaphor for the end of the 20th century and time turning into the new millennium. Fast forward to today – 3.5 million + visitors ride the giant ferris wheel. 360 degree views, as far as 40 kms away on a clear day make for a brilliant birds eye view of London and the River Thames.
Catering to visitors with a unique London experience, the London Eye also offers private capsules for weddings and private functions. Groups can also book a champagne or classic afternoon tea for 20 people. Imagine saying your vows 135 meters above London! The experience is unforgettable. The views of London second to none.
Moving at a snails pace, the gondolas glide gracefully and effortlessly through the air, each revolution taking 30 minutes. You have plenty of time to soak in the views and create your spectacular photo memories as you look over London. The capsules moves at 26 cm/second – you barely even feel the movement as the Eye continuously is in motion.
Originally scheduled for relocation in 2005, the London Eye remains on the South Bank of the River Thames. With the Anticipation of even higher tourist numbers during the Olympics, the London Eye has extended their hours of operation to allow for an extra 2 hours per day. I rode the giant ferris wheel during the day, but London by night would surely be an amazing sight.
Annette of Bucket List Journey recently posted about her Spin on the London Eye. With the upcoming tourist season, you may want to consider Fast Track for shorter wait times. She was whisked past 100s of people in line, literally saving an hour of waiting in line!
The EDF Energy London Eye is situated on the South Bank of the river Thames, opposite the Houses of Parliament. The ticket office is located inside County Hall, which is the building directly next to the London Eye. For more information on how to get to the Eye, by tube, rail, bus or boat – visit Getting to the London Eye.
Hours of Operation
- April – June
10.00am – 9.00pm
- 1st – 26th July
10.00am – 9.30pm
- September – December
10.00am – 8.30pm
- 27th July – 12th August
10.00am – 12.00am
Fun Facts (taken from the London Eye website)
- It took seven years and the skills of hundreds of people from five countries to make the London Eye a reality – a true team effort
- You can see around 40KM (25 miles) from the top – as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day
- With 3.5 million visitors every year, you would fill 6,680 fully booked British Airways Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets
- The London Eye can carry 800 passengers per revolution – equivalent to 11 London red doubled-decker buses
- Each of the 32 capsules weighs 10 tonnes. That is the equivalent of 1,052,631 pound coins!
- Each rotation takes about 30 minutes, meaning a capsule travels at a stately 26cm per second, or 0.9km (0.6 miles) per hour – twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting
- The circumference of the wheel is 424m (1.392ft) – meaning that if it were unravelled, it would be 1.75 times longer than the UK’s tallest building – One Canada Square in Canary Wharf
- The total weight of the wheel and capsules is 2,100 tonnes – or as much as 1,272 London black cabs!
- The height of the London Eye is 135m (equivalent to 64 red telephone boxes piled on top of each other) making it the fourth tallest structure in London after the BT Tower, Tower 42 and One Canada Square in Canary Wharf
- The spindle holds the wheel structure and the hub rotates it around the spindle. At 23 metres tall, the spindle is around the size of a church spire and, together with the hub, weighs in at 330 tonnes: over 20 times heavier than Big Ben
Links & Info
British Travel Awards – 2011 Winners – The London Eye won the 2011 British Travel Award – bronze for the best UK leisure attraction