Situated prominently on the capital’s Southbank, the London Eye was born out of a collaborative effort between architects David Marks and Julia Barfield, British Airways and a team of 1,700 people who built this now iconic landmark to welcome the millennium and celebrate the UK’s past century of successes in technology and innovation. It was built on its side and then lifted into a vertical position in 1999. Each of the 32 pods represents a London borough, though they are numbered up to 33, excluding unlucky 13. As an award-winning attraction and one of the city’s busiest, the London Eye is a contribution not only to the architectural landscape of the city, but also to its tourism industry.
Visitors will rise over the Thames at a snail’s pace of 26 cm per second in an enclosed glass pod, with one full revolution of the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel (135m tall) taking approximately 30 minutes. The ride affords 360° views over the city with an especially clear look at nearby Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. Under a bright blue sky, Windsor Castle is visible in the distance. The capsules contain information on landmarks in the form of touch screens and diagrams. It is worth bringing a set of binoculars for the journey if possible. A basic pair is available to purchase for around £5 as an add-on during ticket purchase.
Pre-book a standard adult ticket for £29.50. Other London experiences can be bundled into the ticket price for savings. During busy periods, a fast-track option will save time, or for a different experience, there are champagne rides and more to choose from. Family rates are also available. The London Eye is open from 11am to 6pm.