Top 15 facts about the London Eye that you must know


London Eye opened in 2000 to mark the millennium. The world's largest cantilevered ferris wheel, it was initially planned as a temporary attraction. Its enduring popularity led to its continued presence. Explore fascinating facts about the London Eye's history and design.

Top 15 facts about the London Eye

London Eye

Fourth-largest ferris wheel in the world

The London Eye, at 443 feet tall, is the world's fourth-largest ferris wheel. The wheel's circumference is 1,392 feet, therefore it would be taller than the Shard if it were not a wheel. London is a fairly flat city and the London Eye is a prominent part of the city skyline.

London Eye

Attracts 3.5 million tourists every year

The London Eye is one of the most popular paid tourist attractions in the United Kingdom, with over 3.5 million visitors per year. This puts the London Eye ahead of ancient global wonders such as Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza in terms of yearly tourist footfall.

London Eye Facts

Carries 800 people at once

The London Eye can hold 800 people per revolution, which is the equivalent of the capacity of 11 red double-decker buses in London. With a maximum capacity of 25 people per pod, the London Eye is truly a great way to see the city.

London Eye Facts

Surreal view up to 40km

The height of the London Eye means that you can see far and wide from the capsule on a clear day. You will be able to see up to 40 kilometers or 25 miles from the London Eye. That means seeing attractions including Buckingham Palace, Wembley Stadium, the Tower of London, and even Windsor Castle.

London Eye Facts

The wheel never halts

Each round takes about 30 minutes, which means a capsule travels at a leisurely 26 cm per second or 0.9 km (0.6 miles) per hour - just twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting. This sluggish rate of rotation allows guests to jump on and off without having to wait for the wheel to come to a halt.

London Eye Facts

The London Eye's height is one of a kind

The London Eye stands at a height of 135 meters (443 feet), equal to 64 red telephone boxes stacked on top of each other. This also means that the London Eye has a stupendous circumference. The London Eye will circle 7668 times a year, covering a distance of 2300 miles from London to Cairo, Egypt.

London Eye Facts

The inspiration behind the London Eye

In response to a 1993 competition inviting Londoners to build a new landmark to commemorate the century, husband-and-wife David Marks and Julia Barfield came up with the idea for the London Eye. The competition was a flop, but Marks and Barfield's concept was a success, and the wheel made its debut on March 9, 2000.

London Eye Facts

The entire wheel weighs more than 1000 tons

The structure was hoisted into place in September 1999 after being assembled flat and transported onto eight artificial islands on the River Thames. The 32 capsules weigh a total of 1 tonne. To put that sum in context, it is equivalent to 1,157,894 pound coins.

London Eye Facts

Superstition rules the numbering of capsules

There are a total of 32 capsules, one for each of London's boroughs. They are numbered from 1 to 33 for superstitious reasons, with capsule 13 being left out for good luck. These capsules are capable of accommodating up to 800 guests as well as their selfie sticks so that they can capture the moments.

London Eye Facts

Largest cantilevered observation wheel

The fact that the Eye is cantilevered, or supported on only one side, sets it apart from other ferris wheels across the world. This is an architectural marvel in its own right. The Orlando Eye in Orlando has a similar construction.

London Eye Facts

The London Eye has one royal capsule

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, a passenger capsule was dubbed the Coronation Capsule on June 2, 2013. This royal capsule is easily recognizable on the London Eye and is colored red. To date, this is the only one of the 32 capsules that looks different.

London Eye Facts

The London Eye was supposed to be temporary

The London Eye, like the Eiffel Tower, was intended to be a temporary building. Lambeth Council granted the Eye a permanent license in July 2002. A 25-year lease was signed on February 8, 2006, following a disagreement between the Southbank Centre (which owns the property beneath one of the struts) and the London Eye.

London Eye Facts

London Eye's fireworks are a global event

The New Year's Eve fireworks at the London Eye are a spectacular event. Just like the Sydney Harbour Fireworks, the marquee event at London's landmark is highly anticipated by local residents and visitors alike. The nearby viewing areas host as many as 150,000 visitors every year and many more on TV screens globally.

London Eye Facts

The London Eye has witnessed 1000s of proposals

The London Eye is one of the most famous destinations among visitors who want to propose to their partners. The observation wheel has witnessed over 5000 proposals. It has, understandably, been voted one of the most romantic spots in the UK. It is also listed, along with the Eiffel Tower, as one of the most romantic spots in the world.

London Eye Facts

London Eye is eco-friendly

The use of sustainable oil for the observation wheel and environmentally friendly grease for its moving parts ensures that the ecological balance of the River Thames remains unharmed. Moreover, the adoption of biodegradable cleaning products contributes to a greener surrounding, preventing pollution of the land, air, and water in the vicinity.