Home to West Ham football club and one of the largest urban shopping centres in Europe, Stratford is alive with a whole new energy these days – one that makes your hair stand on end and your stomach somersault.
Welcome to Ride the Slide at London’s ArcelorMittal Orbit! Created by German artist Carsten Höller, the world’s longest tunnel slide circles 12 times around the loops and curves of theUK’s tallest public artwork as visitors slide 178m down the now famous British Olympic Park emblem.
The trip lasts 40 seconds but the exhilaration is hard to match – you travel to the top in an elevator before donning some truly fashionable arm and head protectors and climbing onto your slide cushion and assuming the slide position. (Feet in a small v, hands in, shoulders down, head up to see every brilliant second.)
The starting point is an impossibly small looking tube hanging out from the centre of the structure:
The view from the top:
After inching your way forward at the top, gravity grabs you and whisks you downwards as you twirl left and right (generally without any warning), squealing with delight the whole way…or screaming in fear. We all approach life differently and I say to each their own!
As a massive fan of rollercoasters I could have happily kept sliding forever. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and before I knew it I was shooting out the slide and back into daylight.
I took a moment to regain my balance and took the opportunity to marvel at the ArcelorMittal Orbit up close.
Having not really had a chance to savour the view we headed back up to the observation deck.
Taking the long way down we wound down the stairs circling the structure and headed off in search of lunch. (A Cinnabon counts as lunch, right?)
A fun, unique and exhilarating reason to head to East London! Find all the details here and get your ticket while you can – the slide won’t be staying forever.