The London Eye, which opened in March 2000, was a truly European project with; the steel structure from the Netherlands, cables and glass from Italy, bearings from Germany, spindles and hubs from the Czech Republic, Pods from France and electronics from Britain.
Designed by architects David Marks and Julia Barfield as part of London’s millennium celebrations it was originally called the Millennium Wheel; time to say farewell to the 20th century and turn into the 21st century.
At 135m the London Eye is the highest ‘Ferris wheel’ in Europe taking 800 passengers at a time in its 32 air-conditioned pods.
The 30 minute ride, one revolution, always gives spectacular 360º views of London, plus on clear days the surrounding hills and, on exceptionally clear days, Windsor Castle.
Walking around London the Eye is visible at unexpected places with sudden glimpses of it being seen between buildings and from parks.
Every New Year’s Eve there is a spectacular free firework display, televised all over the world, with the London Eye being used as a launch pad for huge rockets and mortars.
Over 40 million people have travelled on the Eye since the year 2000 making it one of London’s top tourist attractions.
The London Eye, now owned by Merlin Entertainment, has been improved in recent years with a highly organised queuing system, a 4D pre-flight film and upgraded capsules which include interactive touch screen guides.
Initially sponsored by British Airways, it is now sponsored by the French Energy company EDF.