All about… The London eye

Many cities wish to outdo each other when it comes to observation structures. New York, for instance, has the Empire State building. This is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, where you can travel so high up into the sky that you can see over the entire city. The same goes for Chicago’s Sears Tower, or Toronto’s CN Tower. When it comes to London, the London eye is one of the most iconic structures in the world.


This giant Ferris wheel opened in the year 2000, and is located on the south bank of the River Thames. Originally called the millennium wheel, the London eye became its new nickname as it seemed a far catchier title. The turning of the giant Ferris wheel was meant to represent the turning of the century.

When it comes to statistics, the London eye can boast some of the tallest measurements in the world. It actually stands at 135 m tall, which means that it is actually taller than a football field is in length. The circumference of the London eye is 424 m. When it was first built, it took a long time to try and get it to stand directly straight. Many Londoners watched the television as three attempts were made to get the wheel to stand upright. Some people thought that the architects should give up, but in the end the engineers managed to get the London eye standing prominently on the side of the Thames.

So who thought up the idea of the London eye? The London eye was actually first imagined by David Marks and Julia Barfield. They were a husband and wife architecture team who in 1993 entered the competition by the Sunday Times to come up with an idea to celebrate the turning of the millennium. Marks thoughts that this could be one of the top paying tourist attractions in London, and he was probably right. In 2008, 30 million people had already visited the London eye.

So who was to pay for the biggest attraction in London? When the idea was first initiated, it was British Airways who decided to fund the project. It took 2 1/2 years to develop and construct the wheel. There were lots of funding and paperwork delays throughout the process, but in the end the London eye made it to its rightful place for all to see.

There are many ways that you can enjoy visiting the London eye. If you do not have the money to actually go on to the Ferris wheel itself, it may be wise to walk down to the South bank and have your picture taken with the London eye in the background. Many people take this iconic shot because it is such an awesome sight to see. However, visiting London really should involve a trip up the London eye. There are many ways in which you can experience this, in the day or at night. Both versions of the eye offer a great deal of interest. At night, you can see the lights over the entire city which can be truly beautiful and magical. In the daytime, you are more likely to see some of the sights of London as you scan your eyes across the city.

However you experience the London eye, make sure that you make London a trip on your itinerary this year.

If you do plan to come to London for a mini break, consider booking your hotel early in advance. This will enable you to get the best deals available online. Try to choose a hotel that is centrally located, so that you can see many of the different attractions in London. The Shaftesbury Marble Art Suites is a great example of a hotel which offers a homely experience as well as a practical location. The Shaftesbury Marble Art Suites give you a touch of elegance and luxury whilst you stay in London. You can upgrade your room and enjoy some of the finer things in life when you stay at this hotel.

Another aspect of your travel plans will be the transportation that you will take to get to London. Depending on where you are starting your journey, the nearest airports are London Heathrow and London Gatwick. You can then come straight out of the airport and onto a train into the centre of the city. It is advisable not to drive into the city. Not only will you face the congestion charge, but it can be very stressful to drive in such a busy city if you do not know your way around. It becomes far easier and a better experience for you to see London whilst on public transport rather than in the confines of your car.

When you travel to London to see the London eye, you will be able to experience a lot of different cuisine in the capital. There are so many different restaurants to choose from, that you may be spoilt for choice! If you fancy something quick and easy, there will be lots of fast food chains around the capital. There will be a McDonald’s or Burger King on pretty much every street. However, if you fancy something far more exclusive, there are many Michelin starred restaurants in the capital which will offer you a great deal of food and drink choices. There are also lots of bars and nightclubs in the city which you could explore.

London really does have something for everyone, so whether you are old, young, staying for one day or two weeks, London can offer you a great break away from your normal schedule.

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