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London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, is the world’s largest wheel located in London. Near the banks of the river Thames, it enjoys the throne of most popular tourist attraction in the United Kingdom. The structure is 135 meters tall and the diameter of the wheel is 120 meters.
The architecture and design credit goes to Marks Barfield Architects which was launched in 2000. The structure has donned the hat of winning over 85 awards for national and international tourism, outstanding architectural quality, and engineering achievement. It was launched by the company in 2000. The London Eye celebrated its 20th birthday in 2020. The entry was declared free for tourists who wanted to have a look.
What is the history behind The London Eye?
The London Eye is an entry that was submitted in a competition by Marks Barfield Architects. In 1993, the competition was sponsored by The Sunday Times and Great Britain’s Architecture Foundation. It was submitted in anticipation that it would act as a new landmark to commemorate the millennium in London. Even though no winner was declared, the company took charge of the development of the project.
The construction began in 1998 and the wheel was put horizontally, over the river, before being put upright. By this time it was known as the London Eye, it was officially opened by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair on December 31, 1999. It was planned to dismantle the monument for about 5 years, but its popularity was so high that the London Eye stayed with us. In 2006, an attractive LED lighting system was installed to make the wheel flamboyant after dark.
The Capsule Logic:
The 32 capsules on the London Eye represent the 32 Boroughs of London. Each of these holds 25 people at a time. The boroughs are air-conditioned and each weighs 10 tonnes. The eye’s capsules rotate at 26 cm per second. A single spin of the London Eye takes 30 minutes. Each capsule has a number from 1 to 12 and then 14 to 32. The number 13 is omitted as it is considered a bad omen. In 2013, to draw attention, one of the capsules was named the Coronation Capsule to mark the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Reasons to Visit the London Eye:
- For the popularity:
Yes, you read that right. You must visit this monument for its sheer popularity. The London Eye has 3 million visitors per year. So, visiting there should be the number one priority on your list. The waiting period can be long for your chance to come, so to get the fast track or London pass tickets, you need to be there at the right time.
The best time to visit there is Spring. The weather will be bright, not too hot, and you will be able to avoid the school summer holidays. From May onwards, the sun sets around 8 pm to 9 pm. Before May, the sun sets from 5.30 pm to 6 pm. So before planning your visit, check the sunset timings on the internet, and plan and schedule the visit accordingly.
- 4D cinematic experience:
Before you hop on to the London Eye, you will have an opportunity to witness the beauty of it through a 4-minute 4D cinema. You will get to enjoy the success of developing the London Eye. Also, a 3D photographic view of London is provided, which is breathtaking.
- Special Deals:
Other tourist attractions are also present near the London Eye. When a person opts to buy tickets for the London Eye, he should make sure to buy tickets for London Dungeon, and Sealife London Aquarium. It will be a part of the promotional deal and they are located next to each other. The tickets can be obtained at receptions of the places mentioned. It also includes a ticket to Madame Tussaud’s which is located in Regent’s Park.
- Enjoy the 360-degree view:
The capsules go around in 30 minutes. The most obvious major landmarks are Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the River Thames. As you go up further there’s only a tiny portion of attractions you can see including Canary Wharf, Buckingham Palace, the Shard, and many others, but isn’t as visible as Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.
There is more to Switzerland than icy mountains and delicious chocolates. Take Chapel Bridge, for example. Named after the nearby St. Peter Chapel, the bridge is one of the Major tourist attractions in Lucerne City. It is Switzerland’s one of the oldest wooden bridges that connects the old town to the new town.
A View of the City from the Top? Read On:
A view of the city from the highest point is the best sight. Apart from the London Eye and the restaurants in the city, some viewing platforms are also important topics of discussion. Many tourists have shared their experiences of viewing the city from a higher altitude and enjoying the surreal experience. Here we bring you the list of the top 4 viewing platforms of the city:
- Lift 109, Battersea Power Station
Turbine Hall A’s chimney comes to your rescue to take you to the top. Battersea Power Station in its lift 109, will take you to the scenic, 360-degree view of London. With the Thames at the top, the scene is a one-lifetime opportunity. While coming down, you will find some information on the building’s history and some cultural information.
- Horizon 22, City:
This is located on the 58th mezzanine level of 22 Bishopsgate. This is a newly launched viewing platform that is not just the highest, but it’s the highest free viewing gallery in London. It stands 254 meters tall. The height is twice the height of Lift 109 and almost 100 meters taller than the Sky Garden.
- Sky Garden, City:
Behold the astounding views of the city from the Sky Garden’s great, luscious green heights. The Mediterranean and South African species bring color all year round. This garden often hosts events like parties for Halloween, yoga on weekends, and New Year’s Eve. There are three restaurants in the vicinity Sky Garden, Fenchurch Restaurant, and Darwin Brasserie.
- The Lookout Bishopsgate:
The exceptional view from The Lookout takes in the City’s modern skyscrapers and iconic architecture. The usage is free but still booking is recommended. You’ll find it on the 50th floor of the Swish 8 Bishopsgate building.
Is the London Eye Worth the Visit?
As you stroll along the Thames River, the London Eye cannot be missed. When visiting the London Eye, the most important is the time of Spring to consider. Springtime is perfect to visit as the weather is in your support at all times. Not too cold, nor too hot. The only thing to keep a watch on is the timings of the sunset. Watching the sunset from the London Eye is a lifetime experience. The ride speed is also smooth and does not feel hurried. You will be in so much joy, that you’ll want more of that experience.