The London Eye, located on the south bank of the River Thames in London, England is one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world and one of the highest viewpoints open to the public in all of London. In 1999, at the time of its opening, the 443 foot tall Ferris wheel was the tallest in the world. Also known as the Millennium Wheel, the Ferris wheel is the most popular tourist attraction in the entirety of the United Kingdom that requires admission (if you don’t count the Underground, which we do).
The wheel has 32 passenger capsules that are temperature controlled to insure that each passenger is able to enjoy the sites without suffering the often cold and raining weather that London is famous for. Each of the passenger capsules weighs more than ten tons and holds 25 people. The rotation of the wheel takes 30 minutes giving each passenger just under one minute at the very top of the rotation.
The London Eye is part of the western end of Jubilee Gardens and is located between Westminster Bridge and Hunderford Bridge. While it is a little expensive (depending on the strength of the pound at the time), taking a trip on the London Eye is worth the trip if the lines aren’t too long. It can sometimes take two hours standing in line before you get to spend 30 minutes in the Eye. The Ferris wheel does not stop generally to take on new passengers but moves slowly enough for them to easily walk into the capsule, it will however briefly stop to allow people with special need to board however
London Eye Facts
- The Ferris wheel is 443 feet (135m) tall.
- Major renovations were started in 2009 totaling £12.5 million.
- Passengers are free to walk around the capsules but seating is available.
- The diameter of the wheel is 394 feet (120m).
- The wheel rotates at 10in (26cm) per second.
- Over 3.75 million ride the London Eye each year.