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Unlike with traditional locks, no water is lost, since as much is carried up with each rotation as travels down, and the journey time is in minutes rather than the hours it sometimes took to descend the original 11 locks, especially at peak season.

There's no charge for taking a boat up or down, but if you haven't brought your own vessel you can pay to take one of the frequent cruises on offer at the visitor centre, which sits at the base of the wheel and whose glass wall offers panoramic views of this unique engineering marvel at work.