London Eye in London, history and interesting facts

London Eye

All the subtleties and nuances of visiting the highest Ferris wheel. The cost of different types of tickets. Special offers.

The London Eye wheel is Britain’s state-of-the-art attraction. In a year the London Eye is visited by approximately 3.5 million visitors. From its 135-meter height you can see almost the entire capital of England.

For a long time the structure was the highest in the world. But recently Singapore’s Ferris wheel took over the top spot. For how long? Now even larger observation decks are being designed.

Interesting facts about the creation of the London Eye

It’s hard to believe, but the London Eye was originally defeated in an architectural competition. Julia Barfield and her husband, David Marks, created the presentation of the attraction. But a picky committee in 1993 rejected the high-tech idea.

A chance conversation with the head of British Airways, helped the pair of architects realize their idea. Britain’s largest airline became the first sponsor of the Ferris wheel.

The realization of the idea was constantly hampered by criticism and bureaucratic delays. Londoners believed that a modern attraction would spoil the view of the historic capital.

Finally had to compromise and offer a temporary installation observation deck. Its removal was planned for 2005. However, “London Eye” has become so popular that the lease term of the land has been extended until 2030.

The attraction often changes its name. It was originally called the Millennium Wheel, that is, the Millennium Wheel. Then it was renamed “London Eye” with a sponsor prefix. That is, British Airways, then EDF Energy. Now the wheel is called the Coca-Cola London Eye.

The history of the installation of the London Eye is very interesting. Elements of the construction were brought up on barges, docked on the waters of the Thames. Then the mahina was slowly lifted on cables and secured.

The official opening took place on December 31, 1999. But the wheel began to work only in early March 2000.

The Ferris wheel is located on the south pier of the Thames. On the territory of Jubilee Park. Opposite the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben. The height of the “London Eye” is 135 meters. If you decide to get to the Ferris wheel by bus, the following routes 77, 211 and 381 will suit you. The famous double-decker London buses can also give you a ride to the attraction.

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If the Tube is your choice, get off at the following stations:

  • Waterloo. Located just a 5 minute walk away;
  • Westminster. Pay attention to the signs. You need to get off at Westminster Pier;
  • Embankment;
  • Charing Cross.

The last two stops involve a longer walk. The length is 15 minutes. In addition, London Eye can be reached by train to Waterloo and Charing Cross stations.

Features of the ride

The wheel boasts 32 ellipse-shaped cabins. When the ride is in motion, the cabins additionally rotate longitudinally. Each capsule is equipped with benches in the center. The transparent walls allow to see everything around.

INTERESTING. The number of booths was not chosen by chance. There are 32 boroughs in London. However, in the list you will not find the booth 13. The number is excluded because of superstitious prejudice.

The capsule can hold up to 25 people at a time. This allows you to hold a kind of corporate parties or other celebrations. Additional services are provided. The wheel can be ridden by 800 people at a time.

Full rotation time of the “London Eye” is 30 minutes. Travel speed is very small – 0.9 km / h. Therefore, the wheel stops only rarely. When boarding the disabled, the elderly and visitors with children in wheelchairs.

In addition to the ticket you can buy a booklet, which marked all the sights of London. Although buy it more as a memory of the trip. The London Eye has interactive displays with explanations. The main feature of London Eye is to provide a variety of services. You can order yourself champagne, chocolate tasting and much more. The price of the ticket will depend on your wishes.

The cost of the trip

The price of a ride on the wheel depends on many factors. For example, there are discounts for seniors and young children. You can buy tickets both directly at the ticket office at the entrance, and on the official website with an additional discount of 10-15%.

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Let’s try to understand all the intricacies of prices for a trip to the London Eye.

The standard ticket is the cheapest:

  • For adults, the price will be 24.95 GBP when purchased at the box office and 22.45 GBP when purchased online;
  • for children aged 3 to 15 years 9.95 GBP to 17.95 GBP;
  • Children under 3 years old ride for free.

The price includes a simple ride with a visit to the 4D cinema. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. However, when ordering online, you can specify a date and an interval of 30 minutes. This will allow you to be guaranteed to get on the wheel at that time and avoid waiting in line for too long.

If you don’t want to wait in line, you can buy a Fast Trask ticket . It costs more:

  • adults 34.95 GBP at the box office, 31.45 GBP online;
  • children under 15 – 29.95 GBP at the box office, 26.95 GBP online.

Also includes cinema entry.

The combination ticket is best for those who want to visit other sights besides the Ferris wheel:

  • Madame Tussauds Wax Museum;
  • Oceanarium;
  • Dungeon of Dragons;
  • The Adventures of Shrek.

The cost of the ticket will depend on the number of attractions visited:

  • 2 attractions for adults will cost 39 GBP, for children 28 GBP;
  • 3 attractions 48 GBP for adults and 40 GBP for children;
  • 4 attractions 55 GBP for adults and 45 GBP for children.

As a reminder, one item in any London Eye set.

Special tickets are available for renting a stall for corporate parties or other celebrations. By paying 550 GBP you can invite 3-25 people. The whole group will be escorted without a queue. And you’ll be treated to champagne.

What is the London Eye famous for? The most romantic “Cupid’s Capsule”. It will win the heart of even the most unapproachable girl and will cost 380 GBP. The cabin will be just the two of you plus a waiter bringing champagne and chocolates.

In addition to the negotiated tickets, there are also offers for groups of more than 10 people. There is an option to buy a ticket with a ride on the Thames, or a visit to restaurants and tastings.

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Now you know where the London Eye is and how to get there. It is better to clarify the opening hours on the website. At the moment, the wheel is open from 11 to 18 hours. Cash registers open half an hour earlier.

London Eye – a breathtaking walk in the sky

Do you know which is the tallest Ferris wheel in the world? And what do you think is the most popular paid attraction in Britain? The answer to both questions is the London Eye. During its 8 years of existence until 2008, it was visited by more than 30 million people. This wonder has already won more than 85 awards in tourism, quality of construction and engineering. So don’t waste time and discover the unique London skyline from a bird’s eye view.

London Eye Panoramic view

Panorama of the London Eye over the Thames (source – Unsplash)

London Eye – a description of the ferris wheel

The London Eye is one of the Kingdom’s grandest projects. It was designed by married architects Julia Barfield and David Marks. In addition to their company, such global giants as: The Mace Group, which owns construction offices on five continents, and the Tussauds Group, the second largest entertainment organization after Disney and also owns the Madame Tussauds network of wax museums.

Many companies fought for the chance to put their logo on the London Eye. Even British airlines once owned a share of the project. However, already in 2014 Coca-Cola signed an agreement to sponsor the Ferris wheel. On this occasion, the structure was lit up with red lights. It’s hard not to notice such a large-scale advertisement, isn’t it?

The London Eye, which reaches 120 meters in height, has the appearance of a giant bicycle wheel. It carries 32 oval pods, each holding up to 25 people. It is interesting that 32 is not a random number, it represents the number of London’s boros. The capsules are made entirely of glass, allowing visitors to see the full panorama of the city. The construction came out international, the metal structures were made in the Netherlands, the cables – in Italy, the capsules – in France, and the core of the system was developed in the factory “Skoda” in the Czech Republic. All of this was individually transported to London.

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London Eye capsule

London Eye capsule (source – Unsplash)

History and interesting facts about the London Eye

While the history of the London Eye isn’t as long as most monuments in the city, it too has a story to tell visitors. The wheel was not new to the capital. Back in 1895 the Great Wheel was created in Earl’s Court district. It was timed to coincide with the opening of the Empire State Fair of India, and it served ever since until 1907. It was 94 meters high and could hold 40 people in 40 capsules. Within 12 years, 2.5 million people visited it.

Julia Barfield and David Marks got into the idea for the London Eye in the late 1990s. They were preparing it for a competition for a structure that could become a symbol of the new millennium. The couple themselves brought in British airlines to finance the project. More than 1700 tons of metal and 3000 tons of concrete were used during the works. The construction of the London Eye lasted a year and a half, at a cost of 70 million pounds.

London Eye from the bottom

Metal structures of the Ferris wheel (source – Unsplash)

At first, the structure was envisioned as temporary and was to be dismantled after 5 years. However the wheel became so popular among Londoners and tourists that it was decided to keep it. In 18 years of operation the interest in the Eye has not disappeared. This is what provides the history of the London Eye with interesting facts. Did you know that the wheel is one of the most popular places for marriage proposals? 5,000 couples have gotten engaged on it since it opened.

Like the Empire State Building in New York and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the London Eye is often the symbol of outstanding events in the life of the country. During the wedding of Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton, it lit up in red, white and blue. And on the day of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Britain the wheel turned pink.

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London Eye

The London Eye becomes a symbol of all significant events in Britain (source – Unsplash)

Useful information for tourists about the London Eye

The London Eye is located on the south bank of the River Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament at Lambeth, London SE1 7PB. It is easy to get here, there are 4 tube stations nearby. The closest is Waterloo, a 5 minute walk from the Ferris wheel. The Embankment and Charing Cross stations are a little further north on the Thames. If you plan to walk around the historic city center, you can get to Westminster station and after seeing Parliament and Big Ben, head for the Ferris wheel. Westminster also has a parking lot where you can leave your car. Note that if you book your seat online in advance with the promo code LONDONEYE, you will get a 15 percent discount.

Tickets can be purchased on-site at the County Hall building. However, the lines here can be long, so it’s best to book online. The London Eye website often has offers that you can save with. A standard ticket when purchased online for an adult will cost from 24 pounds, for students the price starts from 15 pounds. But note that when you order online you save up to 15% of the cost. The duration of a single ride is 30 minutes.

London Eye in the evening

View of the London Eye at sunset (source – Unsplash)

Perhaps it is during your visit to the wheel that you will meet a world celebrity, because personalities like Matt Damon and Kate Moss have been here many times, and Jessica Alba, for example, has ascended into the London sky as many as 31 times. So rest assured, the London Eye and its celebrity references are sure to have you hooked. And let’s not even talk about the views here. Rumor has it that in good weather you can even see Windsor Castle from the wheel, which is 40 kilometers away!

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