Off late London has become synonymous with London Eye. Such is the popularity of this Ferris Wheel that it still draws huge crowds 23 years since its opening. It is no exaggeration to call the London Eye one of the unmissable London attractions.
London Eye has the impressive distinction of being the tallest Ferris Wheel in Europe. It took seven architects a period of seven years to complete the marvel.
Take this London Eye Tour to experience the brilliance of their creation. You will be treated to some of the marvelous and panoramic views of the city while nestled inside the capsule.
Some Facts About London Eye
- The attraction consists of 32 capsules, each representing a different London borough.
- The maximum capacity of the London Eye is 800 passengers
- One complete rotation of the wheel takes around 30 minutes. This means that each capsule moves 26cm per second.
- The weight of the London Eye is 2.100 tonnes.
- The official names of the London Eye have been changed many times. Its first official name was British Airways London Eye. It was named Merlin Entertainments London Eye in the subsequent years. The current official name is the EDF Energy London Eye.
- The total cost of making this Ferris Wheel was $70 million.
When Was the London Eye Built?
It all started when David Barkes and Julia Barfield of Marks-Barfield Architects submitted an entry in 1993 to a competition. Although the competition had no winners, Marks and Barfield took it upon themselves to start constructing the attraction and even procured the area for the same. Much of the funding was provided by British Airways.
The construction began in 1998. The wheel was assembled over the river in a horizontal position and then pulled up. The then Prime Minister- Tony Blair- did the ceremonial inauguration of the London Eye on December 21, 1999.
But it was only on 09 March 2000 that London Eye admitted its first paying customer. The initial plan was to dismantle it after five years but it was kept in place due to increased popularity. In 2006, a decorative LED system was installed to make the wheel sparkle in the dark.
Location Of The London Eye
The London Eye is nestled on the South Bank of the river Thames. It Face the Houses Of Parliament crosswise the river.
The Best Way To Reach London Eye
The nearest station to the London Eye is the Waterloo London Underground station. It is a short one-minute walk to the attraction. Other stations that are pretty close to the London Eye are Charing Cross, Embankment, and Westminster. Bus routes 211, 77, and 381 also stop right outside the London Eye.
To have a seamless experience, you can book the London Eye Hop-on Hop-off Bus tour. This tour would take you to other attractions near the London Eye. It will also give you ample time to explore each sight. You can hop off anytime for any duration before hopping on and continuing the journey.
Is The London Eye open to everyone?
Yes, the London Eye is open to everyone. Children aged 15 years or younger must be accompanied by an 18 year or older adult.
It is better to purchase tickets online beforehand to avoid the queues at the ticket counter. It takes around 30 minutes to complete the ride but the queue could be as long as two hours.
The London Eye is one of the most popular tourist attractions not only in the UK but across the world. On average, the London Eye receives more visitors round the year than both the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids of Giza put together.
London Eye- Ticket cost
For adults (16+), the online ticket cost is around 25.20 GBP. While if they purchase it from the counter, the ticket cost goes up to 28.00 GBP. For children within the age group of 3-15, the online tickets cost GBP 23.00 while counter tickets cost GBP 20.70. The ride is free for children under the age of three years.
Eating And Drinking On The London Eye
You won’t be permitted to carry food on the London Eye. The only thing they permit is a water bottle. However, there are many restaurants and cafes nearby where you can go and eat.
If you are there on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you should visit the Southbank Centre Real Food Market. Here you will get locally sourced drinks and cuisines from small producers. It is a good opportunity to sample some of the local delicacies and promote small businesses in the process.
Once you are at the London Eye, you can also take the river cruise. After experiencing spectacular London sights from dizzying heights, it is time to come back to the earth and enjoy the panoramic riverside views.
If this excites you, there is no reason why you should not book the London Eye tickets. Book the tour and get a chance to view London like never before. If you find yourself in London, then you must visit London Eye. This attraction is an indelible part of the modern British ethos.