This milestone in visitor numbers now ranks the Thames-side 135m cantilevered observation wheel alongside some of the world’s most famous attractions proving it is as popular as some of the seven wonders of the world.
The London Eye (Millennium Wheel) at a height of 135 metres (443 ft), is the biggest Ferris wheel in Europe, and has become the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3 million people a year. The adult fare is just over £15. At the time it was erected it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until it was surpassed by the Star of Nanchang (160m) in May 2006, and then the Singapore Flyer (165m) on 11 February 2008. However, it is still described by its operators as “the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel” (because the entire structure is supported by an A-frame on one side only).
The London Eye is located at the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, United Kingdom, between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The site is adjacent to that of the former Dome of Discovery, which was built for the Festival of Britain in 1951.
Since opening in 2000, an average of 3.75 million visitors have experienced London’s favourite attraction each year, proving it more popular than renowned historical landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral (2 million per year) and even some of the internationally celebrated seven wonders of the world. The London Eye receives more visitors annually than the Taj Mahal (2.4 million per year), Stonehenge (850,000 per year) and even the Great Pyramids of Giza (3 million per year). Forging a path of its own as a wonder of the modern world, The London Eye has in just eight years secured annual footfall rates high enough to challenge even global cultural and historical sites that are centuries old.
This new record in the ever increasing popularity of the London Eye has also aligned it with international landmarks the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House, The Coliseum and the Empire State Building.
It’s not just the general public that seem smitten with the modern wonder either, with a whole host of celebrity A-listers flocking to the London Eye over past years. In fact, more than 500 celebrities have visited the attraction; enough celebs to fill twenty capsules. Further more, 17 royals have enjoyed the 30 minute journey above the capital, including our very own Prince Harry and Prince Philip.
The London Eye opens daily except on Christmas Day (25 December) and during its annual maintenance period from 9 to 15 January 2009.The first flight takes place at 10.00 am.
Winter: from October to April
daily 10.00am – 8.00pm
Summer: from May to September
daily 10.00am – 9.00pm
July – August
daily 10.00am – 9.30pm
daily 10.00am – 9.00pm
Exceptions to the opening hours
10.00am – 5.30pm
New Years Eve
10.00am – 3.00pm
Ticket office hours
The London Eye County Hall ticket office opens at 9.30am each morning.
Winter: October – April
Daily 9.30am – 8.00pm
Summer: May – September
May – June
daily 9.30am – 9.00pm
daily 9.30am – 9.30pm
daily 9.30am – 9.00pm
Opening times may be subject to change
Adult (16 plus) £15.17
Child (5-15 years) £7.59
Child under 5*** FREE
Senior (60 plus)* £11.74
Disabled** £11.74The London Eye offers breathtaking views of London from high above the River Thames. See Big Ben towering above the Houses of Parliament, follow St. James Park as it sweeps down to Buckingham Palace. Is the Queen at home? You’ll spot the Union Jack flag flying if she is.
A standard flight on the London Eye lasts for approximately 30 minutes, the time it takes for the London Eye to revolve completely.
Relax in one of the 32 high-tech glass capsules and enjoy the London skyline at your leisure.
Standard Flights are available daily from 10.00am to 8.00pm. During June and September they are available until 9.00pm.
Chidren must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or over.
Save money on your London Eye tickets with a 10% discount for booking online.
London’s New Year’s Eve celebrations
For the fourth year running, The London Eye will be the focus of London’s New Year’s Eve celebrations with a spectacular fireworks display that will firmly place the London celebrations on top of the world stage. On New Year’s Eve, the team at The London Eye offers the wheel and their services free of charge to the GLA to assist in giving London a spectacular New Year’s Eve experience. The London Eye will close at 3pm on New Year’s Eve to allow the fireworks to be set up, and will re-open on New Year’s Day at 10am as usual.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has ordered the display to kick off the New Year in the capital with a bang. Live television coverage around the globe will ensure the iconic skyline of the West End is seen from Beijing to Brazil, New York and New Delhi as Big Ben strikes midnight.
Renowned pyrotechnician, Christophe Berthonneau, will light up the sky to remind the world of the unrivalled attractions of London as a place to live, visit and invest. The display from The London Eye, will be broadcast live on BBC One and is planned as the centrepiece of a vast array of activities to round off Christmas celebrations in the capital and ensure 2009 is greeted on an upbeat and optimistic note.
The Mayor said: ‘London has some of the best bars, restaurants and hotels in the world. I can think of no better city to spend New Year’s Eve and these fireworks will remind Britain and the world of the joys and charms of this city all year round. I’m particularly keen to remind the global business elite that London offers them unique opportunities and an inimitable lifestyle. Even these tough economic times cannot detract from the wealth of architecture, culture, gastronomy and people which make London the best city in the world to work, rest and play.’
Countless celebrations are planned across the capital, but many venues will require pre-booked tickets, whilst space is severely limited along the Thames to watch the fireworks live. Television offers the best solution for those worried about not getting into the viewing areas. For those able to able to get into the viewing areas, there will be specially mixed soundtrack from BBC Radio 1 as they wait for the fireworks at midnight.
LG Electronics are sponsoring this year’s fireworks display and will be using their technology expertise to significantly enhance the experience on the night and ensure that London’s New Year celebrations become a global talking point.
Andrew Warner, marketing director, LG Electronics UK and Ireland, said ‘This sponsorship coincides with the first ever LG global brand campaign which highlights why we believe that Life’s Good. New Year’s Eve is a moment of optimism – when people forget the troubles of last year and celebrate the next. London is a truly global, cosmopolitan city, providing the perfect location for this exciting spectacle.’
Wherever people are bringing in the New Year across the capital, they should plan their journeys carefully and take advantage of all night and free travel on public transport. Some roads in the centre will be closed to cars, so public transport is – without doubt – the best way to go.There will be all night services on Tube, DLR, Tramlink and selected national rail in Greater London on New Year’s Eve. Night and 24-hour bus routes will run as normal, but there will be a reduction in bus services leaving central London from around 7pm to 3am, because of road closures.
There will be free travel on all journeys starting from 11.45pm to 4.30am on Tube, DLR, Overground and Tramlink, buses, as well as most National rail services in London.
Take a London Eye River Cruise and see London from a different perspective. Enjoy a unique 40 minute circular sightseeing cruise on the River Thames with fascinating live commentary that brings the city to life, presented by specialist guides. Highlights include Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.This London Eye River Cruise is available all year round and in any weather. The boat has covered and sun deck seating and is fully wheelchair accessible for disabled ticket holders. Toilets are available onboard.
Audio commentary is available in French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Mandarin. T-loops system is also available.
Please allow extra time for boarding as all bags will be security checked.
Find out more from our virtual River Cruise tour.
The London Eye River cruise operates daily from 9 January to 30 December excluding 25 and 26 December.
The London Eye River Cruise departs from Waterloo pier at the London Eye:
10.45am***, 11.45am, 12.45pm, 1.45pm, 2.45pm, 3.45pm, 4.45pm, 5.45pm***, and 6.45pm***.
From 25 October to 2 November the Secret Spell Cruises will run daily at 4.45pm, 5.45pm, and 6.45pm.
Save money on your London Eye tickets with a 10% discount when you book online.
*The discount is not available on weekends and during the months of July and August
**All paying disabled guests may bring an accompanying personal assistant with them for free.
***These cruise times are available April to October
Adult (16 plus) £12.00
Child (5-15 years) £6.00
Child under five FREE
NEARBY HOTEL TO STAY:
Park Plaza Riverbank London Hotel – Monday to Thursday* £178.13 ,Friday, Saturday and Sunday* £121.36
Situated on the south of the river Thames under a mile from the London Eye, this 4 star deluxe hotel offers stunning views of the Houses of Parliament and the river Thames and has recently been awarded the bronze medal for ‘Best Large Hotel’ by Visit London. Contemporary in style, the spacious and tastefully designed guest rooms (some with river views) are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including high speed internet and en-suite bathroom with bath and separate shower as standard. Relax in the Chino Latino Brasserie bar and lounge, where a tempting mix of Asian and Mediterranean food is offered in sophisticated ambience.
Novotel London Waterloo – From £44.50 per person
Novotel London Waterloo is located on the South Bank of the Thames opposite Lambeth Palace, close to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. This modern hotel is a 15 minute walk from Waterloo International Station and Eurostar Terminal.
Royal Horseguards – From £69.25 per person
A stunning Grade I listed building on the banks of The River Thames, this landmark hotel is nestled quietly amongst the hustle and bustle of London’s West End.
London Marriott Hotel County Hall – From £210.00 per person
Centrally located on London’s South Bank, the luxury 5 star London Marriott Hotel, County Hall has breathtaking views overlooking Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
Premier Inn London County Hall – From £52.00 per person
Situated in the magnificent County Hall building, next to the London Eye, opposite the Houses of Parliament, Premier Inn London County Hall is a perfect base from which to explore the surrounding sights.
Citadines Apart’hotel Trafalgar – Rooms from £105.00
The Citadines Apart’hotel Trafalgar is located one minutes walk from the world famous central London Square. Apart’hotel services allow you to enjoy all the services of a hotel while having a freedom of your own apartment.
Days Hotel Waterloo – From £49.50 per person
Situated close to the Imperial War Museum the Days Hotel Waterloo provides an excellent base for exploring London. The London Eye, Festival Hall, National Theatre, Houses of Parliament and Lambeth Palace are all within walking distance.