Blog > The London Eye

February 19, 2014

The London Eye is one of the most recent new attractions to the English capital. It is a giant Ferris wheel that was constructed in 1999. The Eye provides the visitor with a spectacular view of the city weather permitting. It is located adjacent to the River Thames in downtown London. It can easily be reached from the Safestay Hostel using public transit within 15 minutes. 

From the Safestay Hostel one can walk to the Larcom Street Bus Stop (C). Take the 148 Bus towards Shepherd's Bush. At the Westminster Bridge County Hall (Stop D) it is a 2 minute walk. It is listed as the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe and until 2006 the world.

The London Eye is now the third largest Ferris wheel in the world after the Star of Nanchang in China and the still larger Singapore Flyer. The Eye is 135 meters (443 feet ) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 meters (394 feet). The Eye offered the highest public viewing point in the city until the opening of the observation deck on the 72ndfloor of The Shard which opened earlier this year.

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The London Eye can be found on the South Bank of the Thames between the Westminster and Hungerford Bridges. It adjoins the western end of the Jubilee Gardens. The wheel completes one revolution every 30 minutes moving about 26cm (10 inches) per second. It does not usually stop to take on passengers.

The rate of movement is slow enough to allow most individuals to embark or disembark at ground level but can be stopped for those customers who need extra time. Millions of tourists have now enjoyed this attraction since its opening on December 31, 1999.

Since 2005 the Eye has been the focal point of London's New Year celebrations. There are a number of 10 minute displays of fireworks that are actually fired from the wheel itself. Ticket prices range from the standard price at 17.28 British pounds (26.56 U.S. dollars) to the Fully Flexi Fast Track at 37.25 British pounds (57.30 U.S. Dollars). One can also enjoy champagne and wine tasting with some nibbles from 31.54 to 45 British pounds.

The priciest admission is the Hotel Chocolat Tasting Experience at 45 British pounds. Children under 4 are admitted free and family packages are available. You may also see the Eye in a combination with a Thames River Cruise or other tourist package offerings. All tickets also permit free access to the 4D Experience. This is a 3 Dimensional Film with wind, bubbles and mist which gives another dimension to the attraction.

The film is from the perspective of seeing London through the eyes of a young English girl. During high tourist season it can get crowded so if you plan to make the Eye a part of your trip to London; it might be wise to book a ticket in advance.