Emdad Rahman: At 135m, the EDF Energy London Eye is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel. It was conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects and was launched in 2000. It has already won over 75 awards for national and international tourism, outstanding architectural quality and engineering achievement and has now welcomed over 39 million visitors.
The team at the London eye are a dedicated and passionate team of 180 people who aim to inspire visitors by offering excellent service, unrivalled views and an occasion to remember.
Prior to visiting with my youngest I had researched the fun facts:
The total weight of the wheel and capsules is 2,100 tonnes – or as much as 1,272 London black cabs!
Each rotation takes about 30 minutes, meaning a capsule travels at a stately 26cm per second, or 0.9km (0.6 miles) per hour – twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting; allowing passengers to step on and off without the wheel having to stop. You can see around 40km from the top as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day.
The height of the London Eye is 135m (equivalent to 64 red telephone boxes piled on top of each other) making it the fourth tallest structure in London after the BT Tower, Tower 42 and One Canada Square in Canary Wharf.
The London Eye carries 3.5 million customers every year. You would need 6,680 fully booked Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets to move that number of fliers!
The spindle holds the wheel structure and the hub rotates it around the spindle. At 23 metres tall, the spindle is around the size of a church spire and, together with the hub, weighs in at 330 tonnes: over 20 times heavier than Big Ben.
The circumference of the wheel is 424m (1.392ft) – meaning that if it were unraveled, it would be 1.75 times longer than the UK’s tallest building One Canada Square.
As a heavyweight champion each of the 32 capsules weighs 10 tonnes. To put that figure into perspective, it’s the same weight as 1,052,631 pound coins!
We were treated to a breathtaking view of London, including the houses of Parliament and the Thames. The experience will astonish, amaze and excite with an incredible perspective of London that is at once a history lesson, geography lesson, cultural lesson and a lesson in engineering and design.
The attraction also offers a range of visit options to cater for all school parties during term time, plus free tickets for teachers.
London Eye Experiences provide the perfect setting for students of all ages to discover historical London landmarks both on the River Thames and on view from the London Eye. Students are encouraged to bring London to life with an experience on the London Eye. To help plan the day, the London Eye also offers free planning visits for teachers planning on bringing students for a visit.
Up to two tickets are available per booking, and tickets will be available once the booking is confirmed and payment has been received.
From every angle, the London Eye is an exceptionally useful and inspiring educational tool. This is because so many different disciplines went into its creation and there are so many ways in which it can be used to exemplify aspects of learning – whether in specific areas such as design, technology, architecture and engineering, or more broadly to promote numeracy and literacy, commercial or community issues.
The London Eye is located within easy walking distance from several London Underground stations: Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster.
During this Olympic summer, the London Eye will operate extended opening hours until midnight.