I had been to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park several times, so was familiar with the ArcelorMittal Orbit. But I had never had the chance to get close or go inside. Is it worth visiting the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London?
The ArcelorMittal Orbit was built for the London 2012 Olympics. It is the UK’s tallest sculpture, designed by Anish Kapoor. There is a small exhibition at the base of the sculpture that tells you a little about the architects and their inspiration for the red lattice tower. Then a lift transports you up to the viewing platform at 80m.
Here you get panoramic 360 degree views across London. And interesting effects in the mirrors installed on the platform. On a clear day you can see for 20 miles. See if you can spot distant structures such as Wembley Stadium, Alexandra Palace and Crystal Palace transmitter. And of course you get great aerial views of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park itself, including the Aquatic Centre, Velodrome and Stadium. Although sadly you cannot see into the stadium any more – the roof has been adapted since the Olympics. This is a shame, but it is great to see that the Olympic site is still in use, unlike in many other cities worldwide.
Useful tip: if you have a camera phone you can take interesting shots through the small holes in the floor on the balcony. This only works with a camera phone with a small lens.
Getting back down:
This is where the fun can begin. I normally travel with a toddler in tow, so in this case the lift would probably be your best choice. But you can wind down the 455 stairs to the bottom. Or splash out on a ride on the world’s longest tunnel slide. Yes, that’s right. You can ride a slide all the way back down! Looked terrifying to me! But I’m sure it is great fun…
Is it worth visiting? It is not the best view of London. Nor the cheapest. But it does have the world’s longest tunnel slide. So that definitely makes it unique!
For once I was toddler free on this trip. But I wouldn’t have had any worries bringing her along. And entrance is free for under 3s.
Information on tickets and prices can be found here.
Note that to go on the slide you must be at least 8 years old and over 130cm tall.