Beyond the Book
about the London Eye
The London Eye, the fantastic and graceful Millennium structure that
dominates the skyline of 21st century London, is as much a character in the
novel as Ted, his sister and the mystery.
- It took seven years and the skills of hundreds of people from five
countries to make the London Eye a reality.
- Since opening in 2000, The London Eye has welcomed an average of 3.5
million passengers every year, making it the UK's most popular visitor
- The height of the London Eye is 135m/147 yards (equivalent to 64 red
telephone boxes piled on top of each other) making it the fourth tallest
structure in London.
- Instead of being suspended under gravity, the capsules turn within
circular mounting rings fixed to the outside of the main rim, thereby
allowing a spectacular 360 degree panorama at the top.
- Each of the 32 capsules weighs 10 tonnes*.
- On a clear day, from the top of the wheel, you can see 40km (25 miles) -
all the way from the center of London to Windsor Castle.
- It can carry 800 passengers per revolution (25 per capsule) - equivalent
to 11 full red double-decker buses.
- The spindle holds the wheel structure and the hub rotates it around the
spindle. At 23 meters tall, the spindle is about the size of a church spire
and, together with the hub, weighs in at 330 tonnes.
- The total weight of the wheel and capsules is 2,100 tonnes - or as much
as 1,272 London black cabs!
- 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
- Each rotation takes 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
- Tickets cost from £15 (~$25) for a single
ticket to £430 for a private capsule complete with guide and champagne.
London Eye website for photographs,
e-cards, a virtual sky ride and booking information
This article was originally published in February 2008, and has been updated for the
May 2009 paperback release.
Click here to go to this issue.
This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.
- "Beyond the Book" backstories
- Free books to read and review (US only)
- Find books by time period, setting & theme
- Read-alike suggestions by book and author
- Book club discussions
- and much more!
- Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
- More about membership!