10 London Eye Facts

Here are some facts about the London Eye, the massive Ferris wheel built on the banks of River Thames in 1999.

  • From the top of the London Eye you can see things about 25 miles away. On a clear day, you can make out Windsor Castle. It is one of the highest viewing platforms in London (the viewing platform of the Shard is higher).

  • It takes 30 minutes to complete a revolution and doesn’t have to stop for passengers to step on and off.
  • The London Eye took 7 years to construct and was designed by a number of architects including, Mark Sparrowhawk, David Marks and Julia Barfield.
  • More than 3 and a half million people every year go on the London Eye and it can carry 800 people on every revolution.
  • There are 32 capsules (one for each London borough). Each one weighs 10 tonnes and can carry 25 passengers. The capsules are air-conditioned and seats are provided, although passengers are able to walk around.
  • At 135m high, the London Eye is one of the tallest buildings in the city.
  • The London Eye was often called the Millennium Wheel when it was first opened.
  • It has already become an iconic London building. It provides a focal point for London’s New Year’s firework display and was light up in the colours of the Union Jack to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
  • The spindle which holds the wheel weighs over 300 tonnes and is 23 metres high.
  • The London Eye is not the first big wheel to be located in London. The Great Wheel was constructed in 1895 for the Empire of India Exhibition. It was demolished in 1907 having being used by over 2 million people.

What next? Discover more London facts by visiting the Primary Facts London resources page.

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