Just a short stroll along the South Bank and you’ll find that amidst the arts venues, beautiful architecture and views across the Thames, one landmark stands out from the usual stylings – the London Eye. Built at the dawn of the 21st century, the London Eye – formerly known as the Millennium Wheel – is an observation wheel that provides incredible views over the London cityscape and is therefore a perfect first stop for any guest of the Grand Royale London Hyde Park who’s never been to the city before.
This blog will outline everything you need to know about the London Eye, providing guests of the Grand Royale Hotel Bayswater with key information on purchasing tickets, ride times and the general history of the wheel.
The London Eye – A Brief Overview
Originally named the Millennium Wheel in celebration of the 21st century, the London Eye is the largest of its kind in Europe, rising to a whopping 135 metres above the South Bank. Symbolically opened on December 31st 1999, a problem with one of the capsules forced the official opening back to March of 2000. If guests of the Grand Hotel Hyde Park were to visit at present, they’d find the London Eye sponsored by Lastminute.com, a tourism booking company that took over sponsorship from Coca Cola, who assumed branding rights between 2015 and 2020.
Who Designed The London Eye?
Husband and wife architectural firm Marks Barfield Architects assumed design responsibilities, opting for a cantilevered – meaning supported at just one end – structure that to this day gleams with white painted carbon steel and lights up the sky with seasonal LED colour displays. The London Eye has 32 capsules – one for each borough of London – and views on a clear day of more than 40 kilometres in every direction. The eye itself has won more than 80 awards for its architectural flourishes, popularity as a tourist attraction and for its engineering ingenuity.
Ticket Options For The London Eye
Though there are standard on the day tickets available from just £30, the London Eye has deals to wow even users of the best Grand Royale London hotel offers. Alongside standard and fast track tickets, customers of the London Eye will also find combo deals that boast great value entry tickets to attractions like Madame Tussauds, the Sea Life Centre and Thames River Cruises alongside their ride on the wheel.
A Ride On The London Eye
The London Eye moves slowly, meaning that you can appreciate the views of the city for more than enough time to get a few photos in. Taking half an hour to complete a revolution, capsules on the eye can hold up to 25 people per capsule – that’s a maximum of 800 people on the wheel at one time. From the highest point of the wheel, visitors can see many landmarks in both central London and the outskirts. Of the latter, you can see Wembley Stadium, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and many other central city landmarks.