Standing 135m high in a fairly flat city, the London Eye affords views 25 miles in every direction, weather permitting. Each rotation takes a gracefully slow 30 minutes. The Eye 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. Alternatively, visit before 11am or after 3pm to avoid peak density.

It's hard to remember what London looked like before the landmark London Eye  began revolving at the southwestern end of Jubilee Gardens in 2000. Not only did it fundamentally alter the South Bank skyline, it's visible from many surprising parts of town. Together with its 23m-tall spindle, the hub of the London Eye weighs 330 tonnes, more than 20 times the weight of Big Ben. Rides – or 'flights', as they are called here – take place in one of the wheel's 32 glass-enclosed eye pods (each holding up to 28 people).

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