Every major city has at least one iconic structure and London, with many icons, is no exception.
The London Eye is a must experience during your next trip across the pond.
Yet, when officials in the mid-90s began planning a temporary structure to commemorate the new millennium, little did they realize they were creating an icon that would soon become London’s top paid tourist attraction — annually drawing some 3.5 million visitors from around the world.
Originally designed as the Millennium Wheel when it opened late in March 2000, it’s now affectionately known as the London Eye. It somewhat resembles a giant Ferris wheel but, unlike Ferris wheels, it is supported only from one side.
Instead, the Eye is a cantilevered wheel weighing more than million pounds and soaring 443 feet into the sky from its location adjacent to the Thames River. On a clear day, a rider in one of its 32 capsules can see Windsor Castle (approximately 25 miles away) as the 30-minute ride glides smoothly over the top.
Rotating counter-clockwise, the Eye moves about nine inches every second and never stops, except to allow wheel chair visitors to board. It’s an easy on and off for most people and a great venue to snap photos of Big Ben and crowds of tourist below.
I highly recommend tickets for the fast boarding lane which cost a few dollars more than regular tickets but are well worth the difference because they will reduce your boarding time by half or more.
For an over-the-top experience when you visit London, I absolutely recommend the Eye — London’s newest and already a popular Icon.