Address: Thames Embankment, London SE1 7PB


Time: 10.00am - 8.30pm

Time Information:

Phone: +44 (0) 870 990 8883, (0) 871 781 3000

Entry Price: £29.95 for adult


500m from Waterloo

400m from Waterloo

The London Eye is one of London’s best and most focal landmarks and also one of the most popular, being visited by around 4 million people a year and making it the UK’s most used paid for attraction. It lies on the south bank of the Thames between the bridges of Hungerford and Westminster at the western end of Jubilee Gardens.

Its inaugural ‘flight’, to use the wording of the organisers, was on December 31st 1999 when it was opened by Prime Minister Tony Blair, being put into regular public use in March 2000. It’s termed an observation wheel with 32 passenger capsules, each holding 25 people. The wheel never stops turning during daily operation and is designed to allow passengers to get in and out of the capsules when in motion, but as it turns at only ten inches a second, there’s plenty of time.

It was designed by David Marks and Julia Barfield who were involved in running it for the first five years alongside British Airways and the Tussauds Group. It is now run by the London Eye Company, part of Merlin Entertainments. It was originally called the Millennium Wheel and was given planning permission for five years, but this has been extended with a subsequent 25 year lease. It cost £70 million to build.

The wheel is 135m tall and when built it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, allowing passengers to see up to 25 miles on a clear day. It was erected by transporting the framework by barges up the Thames, erecting it on platforms and then winching it into place.

Recent developments have included the introductions of a pre flight 4D cinema experience, New Year firework displays and wedding ceremonies. It formed part of the Olympic Games presentation, displaying the five rings for the duration of the Games.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.