London Eye

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The London Eye

One of the most colourful, impressive and best ways to see the city of London is from the ‘London Eye’.

An imposing construction in the landscape of the city, the London Eye is a must see for all those who would like a better view of this beautiful city. However, we might wonder, how did this feature come to be here?

London Eye – A History

The idea for the London Eye was not a new one. The first similar construction to be built was the ‘Chicago Ferris Wheel’. This originally made it’s mark so well that it was the inspiration for the first forerunner in London, called the ‘Great Wheel’. The ‘Great Wheel’ first graced the landscape of the Empire of India Exhibition at Earls Court on July 17, 1895. It, like it’s modern day equivalent was massive. It stood 94 metres high, 82.3 metres in diameter and had 40 cars which could each hold 40 people, for a combined maximum capacity of 1600!. The ‘Great Wheel’ stayed in use until 1906, and was eventually demolished in 1907, by which time it had catered for a whopping 2.5 million people!

And now for the credits, those responsible for bringing the London Eye to the city’s landscape:

  • Marks Barfield Architects( Julia Barfield and David Marks) – Design
  • Mace(construction) – construction management
  • Hollandia – main steelwork contractor
  • Tilbury Douglas – Civil Contractor
  • Tony Gee & Partners – Consulting Engineers
  • Beckett Rankine – Design of Marine Works
  • Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners/Tussaud Group – planning and listed building consent to change the South Bank wall
  • Color Kinetics – LED lighting
  • Enerpac – lifting and placement of the wheel upright.

In all, the London Eye took a reported 6 years to make, transport and install. Finally, on 31 December 1999, the London Eye was opened by then Prime minister Tony Blair.

London Eye V Great Wheel

What a beautiful sight that the London Eye has become! However, how does it compare to it’s predecessor, the ‘Great Wheel’? Bear in mind that the ‘Great Wheel’ could carry (40×40) or around 1600 people. How much can the London Eye transport? Well, it has 32 cars, which can carry a maximum of 25 people ,which makes a maximum total of 800 people. Therefore on numbers alone, the ‘Great Wheel’ comes out winner! However, these one sided numbers are neutered by the total numbers that have been carried by both systems.

As mentioned earlier, the ‘Great Wheel’ carried 2.5 million people, which is a large number. However, in terms of total people carried, the ‘London Eye’ is a clear winner with a reported patronage of 30 million by 5 June 2008!

Whilst population numbers have vastly increased since 2006, the London Eye has proven to be a far more popular ride than it’s predecessor, and a far prettier one too!

London Eye – Booking Tickets

Now that it’s history is covered, how can we get on board the Eye and get a fantastic view of the city? Visit to get a great variety of choices as to how to book. The main consideration is would we want a fast track booking, which means that access is through a Fast Track entrance(saving queues and time) and includes a FREE entry to both the London Eye 4D cinema experience, and the Eye Lounge, or not….

To give an idea of what price we might have to pay. The Fast Track Adult tickets start from 33.3 pounds(10% off when booking online), whereas, the standard tickets start from 22.95 pounds(special offer of 15% off this price at the moment online)

To sum up, the Fast track price is over 10 pounds more but saves time and adds extras, whereas the standard price is for the Purists, those who just want the eye, and are prepared to wait longer.

London Eye – Plan Now!

Who doesn’t like pretty lights in the night sky? The London Eye is certainly a beautiful sight, especially on a clear night. When we make a visit to the city, it is certainly worth a visit. Plan now to visit this modern, and yet, historic attraction, it won’t disappoint! We, at London Web Management and Design really believe it will be a memory that you will treasure for life.





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