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The most popular paid visitor attraction in the UK and built to celebrate the millennium in London

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Essential Facts

Opened Dec 31st 1999
3 Million Visitors per Year
25 People per Capsule
30 Minutes per Revolution
32 Capsules
443 Feet Tall (135M)
Speed of Half a Mile per Hour

One of the capsules on the Ferris Wheel
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The Millennium Wheel or London Eye, was built to celebrate the millennium in London. At the time of building, it was the largest observation wheel in the world, but larger ones have now been built in China and Singapore.

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The wheel carries 32 sealed and air-conditioned passenger capsules attached to its external circumference, each carrying 25 people and one revolution takes about 30 minutes.

Did You Know?

The first observation wheel was built in Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. It became known as the Ferris wheel, after the designer, and the name has been synonymous with these wheels ever since.

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The architects of the London Eye are husband and wife team David Marks and Julia Barfield. Winners of a competition for ideas to mark the Millennium, their design was considered to be the most imaginative. David and Julia wanted to present not just a monument, but something celebratory, that people could participate in and enjoy. David researched and developed the idea for a giant observation wheel and Julia found the ideal site by drawing a circle round London and finding the dead centre, Jubilee Gardens on the South Bank of the Thames.

Enjoy a night flight on the London Eye
Photo Diliff

Did You Know?

The London Eye has already been used in numerous movies and films, one of which was the 2004 movie Thunderbirds. A scene shows Thunderbird 2 flying through London and landing next to the London Eye.

The bottom of the Eye
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The London Eye was built in The Netherlands by the company Hollandia. The wheel was constructed in sections which were floated up the Thames on barges and assembled lying flat on pontoons. Once the wheel was complete it was raised into an upright position by cranes, being lifted at 2 degrees an hour.

Inside one of the capsules
Photo margaritanitz
When you fly on the London Eye, well-known landmarks and buildings of central London are spread out in a great panorama before you. Look out for The Imperial War Museum; The Globe Theatre; The Oval Cricket Ground; The Tate Gallery; Westminster Abbey; The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben; The Tower of London; St. Paul's Cathedral; The National Portrait Gallery; Buckingham Palace; The British Museum and The Telecommunications Tower.

What to Look Out For

National Gallery

The view of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey from the London Eye
Photo cote
Visitor Information
London Eye Flights are available from 10am to 8pm (9pm June to September). Tickets can be bought on the day, but advance booking is advised especially at weekends and holidays. Flights prices around £19 for adults, concessions £12, children under 4 FREE. The Eye offer many packages including champagne flights and private capsules. Discounts are available for purchasing your tickets online and you can avoid lengthy queues. Tel: 0871 781 3000

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