The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, is a giant Ferris wheel situated on the south bank of the River Thames in London. Since its opening in 2000, it has become one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and offers breathtaking views of the city’s skyline. It stands 135 meters (443 feet) tall and has 32 enclosed capsules, each of which can hold up to 25 people. From the top of the Eye, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city, including famous landmarks like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament.
The idea of the London Eye was conceived in 1993, as part of a competition to design a landmark for the new millennium. The wheel was designed by a consortium of architects and engineers, including Marks Barfield Architects, who designed the capsule, and Arup, who designed the wheel’s structure. Construction of the London Eye began in 1998, and it was completed in 1999. It was officially opened to the public on March 9, 2000, by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. At the time, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, standing at 135 meters (443 feet) tall.
The London Eye is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe and one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Europe. The London Eye is a cantilevered observation wheel, which means that it is supported by an A-frame on one side and a counterweight on the other. The wheel has 32 sealed and air-conditioned capsules, which can hold up to 25 people each. The capsules are constructed of glass, giving passengers a 360-degree view of the city as the wheel rotates.
The Observation Wheel of the London Eye
The London Eye consists of giant glass capsules that allow 360 degree views of London. During peak times, a capsule can hold approximately 28 guests per capsule. The London Wheel’s observation wheel spins slowly enough for you to embark while it is still moving. A complete turn inside the London Eye will last about 30 minutes taking you to a height of 135 metres. The London Eye takes approximately 30 minutes to complete a full rotation, offering stunning views of London’s most famous landmarks, such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Buckingham Palace. On a clear day, visitors can see up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) in every direction.
The London Eye is also known for its special events, such as New Year’s Eve fireworks, Valentine’s Day champagne flights, and Halloween “scream” rides. Visitors can also book private capsules for events, such as weddings, birthdays, or corporate events. The London Eye goes by many names. Other than the London Eye, it is also known as the Millennium Wheel and its official name was the British Airways London Eye and then the Merlin Entertainments London Eye
Tickets and Hours
Tickets for the London Eye can be purchased online or at the attraction’s ticket office. Prices vary depending on the time of day and the type of ticket purchased. Standard tickets start at £27.00 for adults and £22.50 for children aged 3-15. Fast Track tickets are also available, which allow visitors to skip the queue and board the next available capsule. Prices for Fast Track tickets start at £40.50 for adults and £35.10 for children.
The London Eye is open daily, with varying hours depending on the time of year. During peak season (April-September), the attraction is open from 10:00 am to 9:30 pm. During off-peak season (October-March), the attraction is open from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Tips for Visitors
- Purchase tickets in advance to skip the queue and ensure availability.
- Visit during off-peak hours to avoid crowds and long queues.
- Consider booking a private capsule for a special event or occasion.
- Bring a camera to capture the stunning views of the city.
- Dress appropriately for the weather, as the capsules are air-conditioned but can still be chilly on colder days.
- Consider purchasing a combination ticket that includes admission to other nearby attractions, such as the SEA LIFE London Aquarium or the Shrek’s Adventure! London attraction.
- The London Eye is wheelchair accessible, with ramps and lifts available throughout the attraction.
- Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Visitors are not allowed to bring food or drink onto the attraction, but there is a bar located in the ticket office.
- The London Eye offers a 4D experience, which is included in the price of admission. Visitors should arrive early to experience this attraction.