The South Bank is an area of Central London, England located immediately adjacent to the south bank of the River Thames. It forms a long and narrow section of riverside development within the London Borough of Lambeth and the London Borough of Southwark. It developed much more slowly than the north bank of the river due to adverse conditions, and throughout its history has twice functioned as an entertainment district, separated by a hundred years of use as a location for industry. Change to the current use of the South Bank began in 1917 with the construction of County Hall at Lambeth and the Festival of Britain in 1951 redefined the area as a place for arts and entertainment. It now forms a significant tourist district in central London, stretching from the Design Museum in the east to the London Eye in the west. A series of central London bridges connect the area to the northern bank of the Thames, including the more recent Golden Jubilee and Millennium pedestrian bridges.
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames in London, England. The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft).
It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually. When erected in 1999 it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, 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 It offered the highest public viewing point in the city until it was superseded by the 245-metre (804 ft) observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public on 1 February 2013.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, or Millennium Wheel, was officially called the British Airways London Eye and then the Merlin Entertainments London Eye. Since 20 January 2011, its official name is the EDF Energy London Eye following a three-year sponsorship deal.