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 January 2011, the EDF Energy London Eye.
The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft). 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.
When erected in 1999 it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, until surpassed first by the 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchang in 2006 and then the 165 m (541 ft) 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 It offered the highest public viewing point in the city until it was superseded by the 245-metre (804 ft) observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public on 1 February 2013.
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.