Things to Do in London
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Meant to be more of a moving observation platform than a midway ride, the London Eye (aka the Millennium Wheel) is nonetheless a popular ride, hosting about 3.75 million visitors per annum. Located on the south shore of the Thames in the borough of Lambeth, it provides an excellent vantage point from which to view the city and understand its complex layout (regardless, later on the ground, you can still find many ways in which to get lost). It is the most popular attraction in the United Kingdom.
Eclipsed in height by London’s own commercial tower, The Shard, with its viewing platform on the 72nd storey, the Eye is still more favoured by tourists. Like a giant, spoked bicycle wheel (that lights up at night), the London Eye has 32 pods, or capsules, each sealed and air-conditioned, that carry a maximum of 25 passengers each; they are large enough that people can walk about, but seats are also provided.
The London Eye moves very slowly — 26 centimetres (10 inches) per second, such that it doesn’t need to stop to let passengers on and off. Other than sheer height, it has no sense of motion that might make riders queasy. The structure is 135 metres (443 feet) tall, and the wheel’s diameter is 120 metres (394 feet); it was only intended as a temporary attraction, but proved so popular, it has remained in use. To get there by tube, get off at the Waterloo Underground station.