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How the London Eye Works


Among many attractions that can be visited in London, we offer our tourists to get acquainted with the London Eye. The “London Eye” began life as an idea in 1993. The “Sunday Times” started a competition in collaboration with the “Architecture Foundation” to create a new landmark in London for the Millennium.

Husband and Wife Architects, David Marks and Julia Barfield decided to design something with a viewpoint which was lacking in London. They submitted plans for a viewing wheel in the form of a bicycle wheel. Although there was no winner of the competition they continued to push on with their design. Eventually they founded the “Millennium Wheel Company” and received financial backing from “British Airways” to develop the structure.

Visited by more than 3.5 million people each year, the London Eye is one of London’s unique venues for special events and occasions. The London Eye offers panorama views of Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Covent Garden and more. In addition to the entertainment options, people are frequently curious to know some key facts about the London Eye itself:

  1. The London Eye is popular for a full range of special events. Many planners include a visit or access to the London Eye when planning international business events and conventions in London. London Eye private capsules hold up to 25 guests and options include (but not limited to) the following:
    • Champagne Capsule;
    • Green & Black’s Chocolate Tasting Capsule;
    • Vinopolis Wine Tasting Capsule;
    • Champagne and Canapes Private Capsule;
    • Afternoon Tea Capsule;
    • Brunch Capsule;
  2. Each rotation takes about 30 minutes, meaning a capsule travels at a stately 26cm per second, or 0.9km (0.6 miles) per hour – twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting, allowing passengers to step on and off without the wheel having to stop.
  3. On average the London Eye receives more visitors per year than the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids of Giza.
  4. You can see up to 40 kilometers in all directions (that’s as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day).
  5. Since February 2004, it is kept open on Valentine’s Day even at night, so that couples can enjoy a romantic ride and a lovely view of London.
  6. It took 16 months to build and cost £75 million but it has made all that money back.
  7. The “Eye” was officially opened on 31st December 1999 by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair.
  8. Parts for the “Eye” were manufacture in many Countries including France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Czech Republic and of course the UK.
  9. So far, The Eye has had four names as follows: Millennium Wheel (pre-2000 launch), British Airways London Eye (Launch in 2000 to 2008), Merlin Entertainments London Eye (2008 to 2011), EDF Energy London Eye (2011 onwards). The current owner, Merlin Entertainments, plans to sell the naming rights to boost the attraction’s income. The current three year deal with EDF Energy is rumoured to be worth £8m.
  10. The attraction was originally sponsored by British Airways, so rides are called flights.

The EDF Energy London Eye’s official website

A ride in the Eye is a great experience and one that you wouldn’t want to miss on your next trip to the city! Check out our London/Paris page to view the other attractions that you will visit on our tour!

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