Lonely Planet review
It's hard to remember what London looked like before the landmark London Eye (officially the EDF Energy London Eye) began twirling at the southwestern end of Jubilee Gardens in 2000. Not only has it fundamentally altered the South Bank skyline but, standing 135m tall in a fairly flat city, it is visible from many surprising parts of the city (eg Kennington, Mayfair or Honor Oak Park). A ride – or 'flight', as it is called here – in one of the wheel's 32 glass-enclosed eye pods holding up to 28 people draws 3.5 million visitors annually. At peak times (July, August and school holidays) it may seem like they are all in the queue with you; save money and shorten queues by buying tickets online, or cough up an extra #10 to showcase your fast-track swagger. Alternatively, visit before 11am or after 3pm to avoid peak density. It takes a gracefully slow 30 minutes and, weather permitting, you can see 25 miles in every direction from the top of the western hemisphere's tallest Ferris wheel. Together with its 23m-tall spindle, the hub of the London Eye weighs 330 tonnes, more than 20 times the weight of Big Ben.