Friday, December 13, 2013


One of the Best Place for Dining, City walk, sightseeing and Getting married in London.

The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, England. Also known as the Millennium Wheel, its official name was originally the British Airways London Eye, then the Merlin Entertainments London Eye, and since 20 January 2011, the EDF Energy London Eye following a three year sponsorship deal. The entire structure is 135 metres tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres. It is currently Europe's tallest Ferris wheel, the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.5 million visitors annually, and has made many appearances in popular culture.

Rev: "This was the highlight for my kids during our trip to London. I must say I was a little nervous since I don't like heights, but it was fine. Very stable and smooth. No jolts or bumps. The view of the city is incredible. We did it right at dusk and saw the city with all the lights. Well worth the money."
When erected in 1999 it was the world's tallest Ferris wheel, until surpassed first by the 160 m Star of Nanchang in 2006 and then the 165 m Singapore Flyer in 2008. Supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the taller Nanchang and Singapore wheels, the Eye is described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel". It offered the highest public viewing point in the city[citation needed] until it was superseded by the 245-metre observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public on 1 February 2013.

Rev: "Wasn't planning to do the London Eye but as the weather was perfect I decided to spend the extra, even though it was not included in the London Pass. Very glad I did, the queue was moderate and moved quickly - the views were incredible and allowed you to appreciate the amazing buildings you usually only see from ground level looking up! The well priced viewing guide is well worth it and an excellent souvenir"
The London Eye adjoins the western end of Jubilee Gardens (previously the site of the former Dome of Discovery), on the South Bank of the River Thames between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge, in the London Borough of Lambeth.

The London Eye was designed by architects Frank Anatole, Nic Bailey, Steve Chilton, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrowhawk, and the husband-and-wife team of Julia Barfield and David Marks. Mace were responsible for construction management, with Hollandia as the main steelwork contractor and Tilbury Douglas as the civil contractor. Consulting engineers Tony Gee & Partners designed the foundation works while Beckett Rankine designed the marine works.

Rev: "Either queue or pay extra for fast track....worth it.
Do not book ticket to include a 3 course meal at Pizza Express Southbank because the food is rubbish...I had Lasagne which was orange in the middle and was floating in oil. Horrible. Inedible."
Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners assisted The Tussauds Group in obtaining planning and listed building consent to alter the wall on the South Bank of the Thames. They also examined and reported on the implications of a Section 106 agreement attached to the original contract. Later, they also prepared planning and listed building consent applications for the permanent retention of the attraction, which involved the co-ordination of an Environmental Statement and the production of a planning supporting statement detailing the reasons for its retention.

The spindle, hub, and tensioned cables that support the rim. The rim of the Eye is supported by tensioned steel cables and resembles a huge spoked bicycle wheel. The lighting was redone with LED lighting from Color Kinetics in December 2006 to allow digital control of the lights as opposed to the manual replacement of gels over fluorescent tubes. The wheel was constructed in sections which were floated up the Thames on barges and assembled lying flat on piled platforms in the river.

Rev: "Would definitely recommend the fast track as the queues were really long, even first thing in the morning."
Once the wheel was complete it was lifted into an upright position by a strand jack system made by Enerpac. It was first raised at 2 degrees per hour until it reached 65 degrees, then left in that position for a week while engineers prepared for the second phase of the lift. The project was European with major components coming from six countries: the steel was supplied from the UK and fabricated in The Netherlands by the Dutch company Hollandia, the cables came from Italy, the bearings came from Germany (FAG/Schaeffler Group), the spindle and hub were cast in the Czech Republic, the capsules were made by Poma in France (and the glass for these came from Italy), and the electrical components from the UK. The wheel's 32 sealed and air-conditioned ovoidal passenger capsules, designed and supplied by Poma, are attached to the external circumference of the wheel and rotated by electric motors.

Rev: " A perfect way to see the heart of the wonderful city. A little expensive, yes. But worth it. The queues can appear quite long, but they do move quite quickly."
Each of the 10-tonne (11-short-ton) capsules represents one of the London Boroughs, and holds up to 25 people, who are free to walk around inside the capsule, though seating is provided. The wheel rotates at 26 cm per second (about 0.9 km/h) so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes. It does not usually stop to take on passengers; the rotation rate is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level. It is, however, stopped to allow disabled or elderly passengers time to embark and disembark safely.

The London Eye was formally opened by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on 31 December 1999, although it was not opened to the public until 9 March 2000 because of technical problems. Since its opening, the Eye has become a major landmark and tourist attraction. In 2006 the Tussauds Group bought out the other two joint owners, British Airways and the Marks Barfield family (the lead architects). Following Merlin Entertainments' purchase of the Tussauds Group in 2007, it now owns 100% of the Eye.

Rev: "The Eye takes you on a 360 degree gentle and smooth ride high above London in a large capsule containing seating (long central bench). The views are amazing!"
British Airways continued its brand association, but from the beginning of 2008 the name 'British Airways' was dropped from the logo. On 12 August 2009 the London Eye saw another rebrand, this time being called "The Merlin Entertainments London Eye" to show Merlin Entertainments' ownership.

Rev: "This was one of the things i never saw when i was in London before so i made sure it was top of the list this time! I bought my ticket from the booth and went straight to the Eye with a queue time of zero. There were 5 people in the capsule so we were very lucky, the ones before and after were full. The views from the top are absolutely stunning, London as a city with its landmarks is very beautiful. I am lucky to choose the day i did as the next day, most of London and its airports were shut down due to very heavy fog so it was nice to have a beautiful, clear, crisp December morning. If you have a head for heights, the London eye is a 'must do' thing for you to do, even if you do it just the once, and to make it cheaper, purchase a London Big Ticket for the other London attractions at the same time, they are valid for 30 days and are all highly recommend. And even better, pre-book online and save over 25%!!"
A new logo was designed for the attraction this time taking the form of an eye made out of London's famous landmarks. This also came at the time when the new Merlin Entertainments London Eye 4D Experience preflight show was launched underneath the ticket centre in County Hall.

During the bidding process of the 2012 Olympic Games, the London bid organisers announced the Olympic emblem would be attached to the Eye for the duration of the 2012 Summer Olympics. On 5 June 2008 it was announced that 30 million people had ridden the London Eye since its opening in March 2000. On 20 May 2005, there were reports of a leaked letter showing that the South Bank Centre (SBC) owners of part of the land on which the struts of the Eye are located had served a notice to quit on the attraction along with a demand for an increase in rent from £64,000 per year to £2.5 million, which the operators rejected as unaffordable.

Rev: "I had previously been on this the year that it opened. The weather on that occasion was poor fog rain so you couldn't see a lot. However the weather on Monday was very good we could see for miles and as it was Monday it was not so busy for getting on."
On 25 May 2005, London mayor Ken Livingstone vowed that the landmark would remain in London. He also pledged that if the dispute was not resolved he would use his powers to ask the London Development Agency to issue a compulsory purchase order. The land in question is a small part of the Jubilee Gardens, which was given to the SBC for £1 when the Greater London Council was broken up.

The South Bank Centre and the British Airways London Eye agreed on a 25-year lease on 8 February 2006 after a judicial review over the rent dispute. The lease agreement meant that the South Bank Centre, a publicly funded charity, would receive at least £500,000 a year from the attraction, the status of which is secured for the foreseeable future. Tussauds also announced the acquisition of the entire one-third interests of British Airways and the Marks Barfield family in the Eye as well as the outstanding debt to BA. These agreements gave Tussauds 100% ownership of the Eye and resolved the debt from the Eye's construction loan from British Airways, which stood at more than £150 million by mid-2005 and had been increasing at 25% per annum.

In 2009 Merlin Entertainments opened a preflight 4D Experience at The London Eye, which is included in the ticket price. The newly refurbished ticket hall and 4D cinema experience was designed by architect Kay Elliott working with Merlin Studios project designer Craig Sciba. Merlin Studios later appointed Simex-Iwerks as the 4D theatre hardware specialists. The film was written and directed by 3D director Julian Napier and 3D produced by Phil Streather. The same year the first stage of a £12.5 million capsule upgrade started. Each capsule was taken down and floated down the river to Tilbury Docks in Essex. In January 2011, a lighting-up ceremony marked the start of a three-year deal between EDF Energy and Merlin Entertainment. On 2 June 2013 a passenger capsule was named the Coronation Capsule to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Rev: "One of the main attraction of London not only to see but to have a clam & spectacular ride. Its a memorable time with great view of the city's famous sites. Don't be scared of the long quest to get a chase as it moves quite fast and focus on the ride and enjoy the beauty."


To View More Places In LONDON - THE SWINGING CITY

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