The history of the London Eye


History of the Eye

Formally opened at the turn of the Millennium on 31 December 1999, The London Eye is one of our capital’s most iconic and widely-loved landmarks. Standing at an eye-watering height of 443 feet tall, the London Eye has given millions of people the chance to gaze across London’s skyline since it was created. The design for The London Eye was the brainchild of architects Frank Anatole, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrowhawk and the husband and wife team of Julia Barfield and David Marks. The wheel is so massive that sections of the massive frame were floated up the Thames on barges and assembled lying flat on platforms in the river.

The construction took months to complete, with companies from six different countries being involved in its creation. Steel from the UK was fabricated in Holland, the cables were sourced from Italy, the bearings were taken from Germany, capsules from France and spindles and hubs from the Czech Republic were all used to create the magnificent sight. Since then, the London Eye is thought to have attracted up to 18 million people and has won more than 40 awards for tourism and architecture.

Things to do near it

Whilst there’s no doubting that the London Eye is certainly one of the grandest attractions in London, the ride only lasts 30 minutes and you’re likely to be on the hunt for more things to do. The good news is that if you’re staying at one of London’s hotels near Liverpool street station such as our stunning Montcalm London, then you’ll never be more than a short walk away from your next attraction.

If you’re looking to stretch your legs after being cooped up in a capsule for half an hour, then why not visit Hyde Park? Closely situated to the London Eye, this green oasis is a welcome natural respite from the concrete jungle of our capital. Your kids will love a trip to the magical Princess Diana Memorial Playground, and if you fancy grabbing a snack whilst they play you can get a bite to eat at the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen in the park on your way to the playground.

Shopping addict? You’ll be delighted to know that you can get right back to doing what you love best thanks to the plethora of shopping outlets a walk away across London Bridge. You can delve into the world of designer clothing outlets with a trip to Mayfair or a walk down Oxford Street, and there’s plenty of tea shops and cafes to put your bags down for a well-earned rest.

Perhaps you’re looking for something completely different? A short walk around the London Dungeon will take you to the Sea Life London Aquarium. Hosting over a million visitors a year since its opening in 1997, families flock to Sea Life in their droves to see the fascinating array of underwater creatures living here.  Spine-tingling shark walks, immersive ocean tunnels, mysterious underwater shipwrecks and more await those who visit the Sea Life centre, which provides the added benefit of being a great educational attraction as well as a fun day out.