Press Release

London Eye, the Da Vinci Code, and Harry Potter in City Discovery’s Top 10 London Attractions

London, United Kingdom (February 12, 2010)– The London Eye, a 443-feet high Ferris wheel that is London's most popular paid tourist attraction, will mark 10 years of giving Londoners and visitors the "View fit for a Queen" next month. Since opening in March 2000, it has become an iconic landmark and a symbol of modern Britain, welcoming an average of 3.5 million customers every year.

Back in 2000, the London Eye was known as the Millennium Wheel, a metaphor for the end of the 20th century, and time turning into the new millennium. Today, it is the centerpiece of London's stunning collection of modern and historical attractions, as well as an excellent viewing platform for tourists wishing a panoramic 360-degree view of the city and surrounding areas. With 32 capsules that can carry up to 25 people each, the wheel can accommodate 800 passengers per rotation. On a clear day, passengers can see up to 25 miles away, as far as Windsor Castle in Berkshire.

The London Eye and nine other attractions are part of City Discovery's special feature on London, which highlights must-see attractions. As a resource for sightseeing tours, unusual travel experiences, and ground transportation worldwide, City-Discovery.com has over 100 trip activities in London and beyond, suitable for a wide variety of travelers from the typical sightseeing tourist to couples on their honeymoon to Beatles fans to medieval history buffs.  

Here are 10 of City Discovery's top London attractions, one for each of London Eye's 10 years.

Flight on the London Eye
1.   London is spectacular when viewed from the London Eye. But for a truly enriching experience, London's attractions should be viewed up close. An excellent choice would be The Total London Experience. On board a luxury air-conditioned coach, travelers are driven past many of London's famous monuments, such as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace (see the Changing of the Guard), Covent Garden, Tower of London and the Crown Jewels, Shakespeare's Globe Theater, St. Paul's Cathedral, and many more. For the grand finale, a flight on the London Eye offers fantastic views of the whole of London stretching out hundreds of feet below.


Da Vinci Code Route
2.   Another ideal way to view London is on board an open-topped double-decker bus. Passengers can explore the city at their own pace by hopping on and hopping off as they please at various stops. The Hop on-Hop off London Sightseeing Tour + Free River Cruise offers this flexibility plus the benefit of enjoying London's best in a comfortable and secure environment. This service with over 90 stops covers five routes across the city, going past famous attractions such as Madame Tussaud's, Notting Hill, and Piccadilly Circus. Dan Brown fans will get a kick out of the Da Vinci Code Tour along the Green Route, which explores key London locations featured in the international bestselling novel.

Dinner Cruise along the Thames River
3.   Classic attractions, dinner cruises on the Thames River are ever popular with couples and romantics. The Bateaux London Luxury Evening Dinner Cruise is a City Discovery bestseller, offering a night complimented by the blend of live jazz entertainment, a four-course dinner a la carte, and coffee and chocolate, with some of London's most famous attractions as backdrop. Another highlight is the after-dinner dancing with music from the 1960s up to the 1990s and hits of today.

Land of the Beatles
4.   Get caught up in Beatlemania. The one-day Beatles Tour is a rare opportunity that every Beatles fan should not miss. The tour retraces the rise to fame of the world's most influential rock band and visits some of the places—including former homes and schools—that made an impact on the life and times of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Over 30 sites showcasing Beatles music, stories, and memorabilia will be visited. Highlights include the "Magical Mystery Tour," featuring a vintage 1960s coach identical to the one used in the 1967 film.

Hidden London
5.   Why settle for just memories when one can invest in souvenirs lasting a lifetime—and improve photography techniques at the same time? In London Thru the Lens, photography enthusiasts and professional photographers can enjoy numerous photo ops from St Paul's to Tower Bridge. This special activity offers participants an authentic city adventure and rare opportunity to experience London from an insider's point of view. A professional photographer-guide will point out details invisible to the untrained eye and reveal the best vantage-points on chosen routes.

Duck Tour
6.   The Duck Tour is definitely something different, sightseeing on an amphibious vehicle. It features a live guided tour of the Westminster by road, passing landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben, and a trip along the river for more sightseeing. According to travelers who have taken the tour, the thrill of driving from the road and dramatically launching straight into the Thames is incomparable.

Secrets of Stonehenge
7.   Some of the most important prehistoric monuments are just outside London, easily accessible through day trip activities such as the Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge Tour. Composed of a circular setting of large standing stones, Stonehenge is perhaps the most mysterious of these monuments. Five thousand years ago, these 40-ton rocks were dragged to the lonely plain of Salisbury Hill, and their secrets continue to tantalize scholars and visitors to this day. Another marvelous remnant of the ancient world is the Roman Bath Complex in Bath, a city that is itself a marvel. Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world, can also be part of a daytrip featuring visits to ancient monuments.

The Harry Potter Setting
8.   A visit to Oxford, Stratford, Cotswold and Warwick Castle is probably the heart's desire of bookworms and movie freaks the world over. Oxford, renowned as a center of academic excellence for over 900 years, has nurtured the genius of countless writers, artists, academics, historians, and many more over the centuries. Among its famous students were former US President Bill Clinton; Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; and C.S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia. Many scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed at Christ Church, one of Oxford's largest colleges. On the other hand, in the market town Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare is the 'man'. In Cotswold, outstanding natural beauty is the attraction. Whereas in Warwick Castle, tales of wickedness and torture within medieval halls are the top draws.

Trail of a Serial Killer
9.   Across a maze of indistinguishable Victorian Streets in and around London at nightfall is the bloodstained trail of a serial killer. In 1888, a series of brutal murders involving women prostitutes took place in Whitechapel. No one was charged for the crimes, and the identity of the killer remains unknown. But aspiring sleuths can have a go at solving the Jack the Ripper Murders by joining a crime-solving activity. For two spine-tingling hours, participants are expected to piece together the facts and clues on what is considered one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time.

Fire Eaters, Beer, and a Feast
10.   For many people, London represents medieval pomp and pageantry. In the vaulted cellars of Ivory House, at St. Katherine's Dock, a Medieval Banquet exists to fulfill the fantasies of travelers. Featuring a four-course banquet with unlimited beer and wine, the banquet serves as a gastronomic delight topped off by a medieval spectacle that includes fire-eating entertainers, dueling knights, music, ballads, and dancing.

For more inspiration on what to do in London and surrounding areas, visit www.city-discovery.com. Travelers can also book economical transfers and ground transportation options such as private vans, limousines, mini coaches, and deluxe motor coaches on the website.

About City Discovery
City Discovery is a leading provider of sightseeing tours, travel experiences and ground transportation worldwide. With over 5,000 carefully selected travel activities in 300 destinations and user-friendly features such as traveler reviews, wishbox, suggested itineraries and gift certificates, City Discovery sells directly to consumers through City-Discovery.com and a network of over 7,500 travel agencies and affiliates. City Discovery is available in 14 languages and has offices in USA, France, Italy, Greece and the Philippines.

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