ArcelorMittal Orbit

Things to do Stratford
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
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 (© Matt Cetti-Roberts)
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The curly-wurly red scaffolding tower lords it over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from its position right alongside the Olympic Stadium. Designed by the artist Anish Kapoor and structural engineer Cecil Balmond, it stands 114.5m (376ft) tall – with lifts (and a 455-step staircase) up to two platforms from which you take in the interesting, if not entirely spectacular, view ­– The Shard, St Paul’s and the Wembley arches are all very much on the skyline. There are also two of Kapoor's entertaining distorting mirrors inside and some newly installed digital telescopes so that you can get closer to the views.

Posted:

Venue name: ArcelorMittal Orbit
Contact:
Address: Olympic Park
Stratford
London
E20 2ST
Transport: Rail: Stratford; Tube: Stratford/West Ham; DLR: Stratford International/West Ham
Price: £12, £10 concs, £6 children, £32 family ticket (two adults + two children). Adv £10/£7/£5/£26
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LiveReviews|13
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Livvi AT
Tastemaker

I had seen the Orbit sculpture lit up at night from by boyfriend’s bedroom window many times, but I never expected that I would find myself on a blustery Sunday afternoon, strapping myself up in safety gear to slide down the iconic Olympic Park structure.

The Slide at the Orbit is a fast, thrill-filled activity which allows you to experience the Olympic Park in whole new way. The tickets cost approximately £16 and allow you access to the Orbit’s viewing platform as well as the slide itself. I was expecting the slide to be a helter-skelter type, which would be fun, but would allow you to look out at the views but boy, I was wrong. This slide is fast and furious, with twists and turns and blackout sections which add to the excitement. The only critique, is that while it is the tallest tube slide in the world, it is over in 40 seconds, which goes way too quickly! The moment you are done, you want to clamber up and do it all again!

Afterwards, you can head up to the viewing platform and take some time soaking up the impressive views of London this landmark offers. All the staff are super informative and friendly. You then can spend the afternoon in the café at the base of the sculpture, looking at what you just sped down!

A lot of fun and a great activity for kids and adults alike!

evanschris
Tastemaker

I was really surprised by this. I came on the hottest day of the year so far in April! It was great, I would also recommend getting your tickets online as its cheaper - we got them from virgin experiences and they were cheaper. 


Don't forget to bring a pound (refundable) for the lockers. If you are doing the slide they will ask you to put all your things - and I mean everything - in the lockers downstairs, then you will go up to the first level do the slide, then get your things and go back up to take photos. 

The slide was great fun, and I would love to go again. While waiting you have to put on safety gear - a hat elbow pads and if your shoulders or knees are showing then covers for them too. Because of all this safety gear and watching people go down I defiantly got more nervous than I was expecting. The tower is really tall with great views, and the elevator is almost open - with lots of windows to pear through as it whisks you to the top. The slide itself was fun, it lasts for 40 seconds being the tallest tunnel slide in the world! There are sections that are open and there are sections in pitch black. Even though its the longest slide in the world its over all too quick.


You then get to grab your camera and things and go back up to the 2nd and top level. this level is just one story above, but includes 2 mirrors on either side which create visual illusions and screens with information about the view.


You can go outside onto a walkway around which is obviously covered with a metal fence. You can spend as much time as you like up here, then you can choose to either take the lift or walk all the way down a covered walkway, which I would defiantly recommend.

Lynsey F
tastemaker

I've visited the Orbit based in the Olympic park a couple of times now and it has never disappointed. The structure itself is a bit marmite in that you either love it or hate it in terms of its artistic design. I know many people that think it's a blot on the landscape but personally I think it's kinda funky looking and the recent addition of the slide makes it look even better.

A lift takes you to the top of the structure in less than a minute and at the top you'll find 2 viewing platforms, one with a couple of outdoor balcony style views too. The most frustrating thing about this structure is that it has an amazing view on all sides but doesn't offer you a good place to take a photo. A) because the structure itself blocks a good photo of the Olympic stadium B) the grilling style fence on the outdoor sections prevents an easy good pic and C) the indoor viewing areas have glass that is both dirty and very reflective so again not a good photo opportunity. I mean come on thus is the age of the photos...not being able to get a good pic is a massive let down

But the Orbit now has a slide and it is well worth the extra price tag ticket. The slide starts within one of the viewing platforms and is covered and thus dark in certain sections and uncovered in others. You don't really get a good view as you whizz down tho as you're going pretty fast and have to lie down in order to enjoy the ride.

I had a go on the slide just the other day and I loved it! You have to wear protective head gear and elbow pads to go on the slide but obviously that is provided for you. You sit in a plastic cover to go on the slide too and I felt very safe whilst going down. It's pretty fast and has a couple of sharp turns but nothing scary just great fun.

Price wise it's worth booking on,one in advance as that will save you £2 on the entry fee. It's £17 to book on the day at the venue or £15 to sort online.

Overall a really enjoyable experience :-)

staghounds .

Holler's slides can change your life. My review from when they were at Battersea-  A friend suggested that I try these out, so I did. The first time I couldn't get tickets, so the next week I arrived at 7:30 on Sunday morning. The next person in line (at a more sensible 9:30) was a fellow American from San Francisco. By the time the doors were opened, there was a long line. SF had spoken with a slide veteran who revealed that the fourth floor slide was the one to finish with, so our selected order of go was 5-3-4. Up to the 5th floor, feet in the bag, and WHOOSH! There is no way to describe it other than being sucked down the drain! Not some weak drain, but some sort of power assisted evacuation pump from a battleship or a skyscraper.

The sensation is just delicious. It is sudden, instant, and intense. And over WAAAAY too quickly, before I knew it I was spewed out onto the landing ramp, slowing to a gentle stop. I had a HUGE SMILE and my whole being was shouting, I WANT SOME MORE OF THAT !!!

So I barreled up to the third floor, a little line but only a couple of minutes. Whoosh! Not as long as 5, but similar.

Dash to 4, a 5 minute wait. The attendant made his sliders put on elbow pads. Feet in the sack, push off...

WHOOSHBAMWHOOSHBAMWHOOSHBAMMMWHOOOSH!!!!

THAT's what I'm talking about! 4 is not just a cork screw, it has straightaways. So in addition to being sucked down the drain, there is this powerful side to side slamming sensation.

The only way I can describe it is that I felt like a living physics experiment. No, I became physics, a living demonstation of Newtonian dynamics.

PROFOUNDLY head clearing.

I don't know who you are, gentle reader, but YOU WANT TO DO THIS.

SF, who had to leave to catch a flight, was in the landing area and pressed an extra set of tickets on me. Turns out that the admitters had provided an extra set upon SF's request. So I used those, and waited for one more round. And I was still driving past Heathrow at 11.30.

I spent about 10 minutes in the landing area watching the reactions. EVERYONE had a big smile, except for one child who had bumped his head.

Sliding tips-

GET THERE EARLY.

5 and 4. Don't bother with the others.

I saw all ages from 7-8 to late 60s.

Wear clothes without big buttons or other protrusions, be "slick".

Keep your head off the bottom of the slide and your elbows in.

Try it with eyes closed, also eyes open. Just for variety.

Spend a few minutes watching the landings.

Final event, when I was leaving I was meeting an incoming group of twenty five year olds who looked like the sort who go to modern art galleries for the effeteness fix. Front and center of the group was a standard artsy pretty girl, with a Persian cast to her features. She had the standard "I am so above/bored/uninterestable" expression, her mouth a dead straight line and her face like a botox advert. Clearly she was out to impress the boys around her with her unimpressability.

Having been on holiday for a month, I was at the no editing at all stage of behaviour. The slides had pasted a huge dazed idiot grin across my face, which stayed there as the group and I approached. I looked her full in the face, and we made eye contact. My smile got even bigger as I thought, and then said, "You won't look like that after you ride the slides- you'll look like THIS, too!" (Pointing to my face.)

Her mouth twitched just the least little bit, and she looked down to avoid showing emotion. But she smiled later, I'll bet.

And to the San Franciscan, thank you for the guidance, the tickets, and mostly for the improvement that sharing brought. Seeing you experience it and light up too made the day even better. I hope you made your flight.

Kritt N
Tastemaker

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is an observation platform located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.



Once you passed through the ticket gate, you’ll be taken straight up to the highest observation deck at the top (there are two), where you’ll be greeted by a sweeping panoramic view of London’s skyline. It’s pretty up there and for the more daring, you can also venture to the outer viewing platform for an unobstructed view of London’s cityscape. It’s not so busy so you can wander around at your leisure. There’s no queue for tickets (score!) and you can book on the day if you wish to go on the whim.



Besides the view, there’s not much else you can do once you’re up. And while it does offer great views of London’s skyline, it’s not quite as close enough see the more iconic London buildings. Besides the Olympic Park, the Olympic stadium and the skyscrapers of the City of London, there’s not much else to look at.



However, by Spring 2016, a giant slide will be completed and ready for the inner child in us all to slide down. At 114.5m high, it is also the UK tallest sculpture so imagine going this awesome slide! It’s also a lot cheaper than going up The Shard too. If you have kids with you, they’ll love it.



Until the slide is completed, and once you’ve taken your fill of admiring London from high above, you can choose to take the lifts down or take the stars. Take the stairs, it’s better ;)



It’s worth visiting and at £10 (if you book in advance), it’s not going to empty your wallet. It’s cool. Certainly instagrammable. But I can think of other high vantage points in London which has that extra wow factor.

LoveLondon
Tastemaker

Not the most pleasing to the eye but has its charms. Mirrors inside are trip and I love the views!

Sosh_uk
Tastemaker

Great views of London and overlooking the Olympic park. It's £12 to go up and concessions for children and students. There's a lift to go up and you can take the stairs or the lift back down! There is rarely a queue and you can book on the day.

Masumi S

Back in the summer we had a team day out to do abseiling from the orbit, we had the usually scared person who wouldn't do it, she just wanted the attention! As we could hear her screams all the way down, as she and all of us really enjoyed UK highest feefall abseil, highly recommeded!

Jojuj
Tastemaker

It seems a bit silly to upload a photo, since doubtless every single person who's been in the vicinity of this structure has the EXACT SAME picture. In any case, checking out this complicated-looking tangle of red shapes makes for an entertaining hour or so, especially since along the way (if you take the steps) there are sound clips taken from different London spots. This allows you to eavesdrop without actually intruding on anyone's privacy. And you can have a leisurely time, unlike at other elevated structures in London (ahem, Shard), where you feel as if you're being herded cattle-like from the entrance gate to the gift shop. It's a shame that this isn't more popular, but it does mean you have plenty of time to hang out and look out over East London. And it's probably not necessary to book ahead of time. 


There's also a fun set of mirrors at the top that plays with visual illusions: turning your image upside down, dramatically changing angles depending on your position, etc. This probably isn't worth a special trip, but if you'll be in Olympic Park anyway, or braving the hordes at Stratford, you may as well stop on by.

Adam G
Tastemaker

If you want spectacular views of east London, this is a good way to go.


It isn't a long experience (we were up the tower and back out in about 40 minutes) but definitely worth it. Take the lift up but as other people have mentioned, I recommend taking the steps down. The walk isn't too treacherous and is well worth it for the 360 views on the way down.


The experience is a little pricey (£10 per adult) for what it is but I was lucky enough to get 50% off with TimeOut- Thanks TimeOut!!! 


If you're feeling like going all out why not descend the tower using the UK's highest free fall abseil. It will cost an arm and a leg - not literally i hope - but it looked like an amazing experience for any thrill seekers out there.

Kirsty E
Tastemaker

A fun attraction, if a bit of an eyesore! Not the most attractive looking structure but a nice reminder of the spectacular 2012 Olympic Games. Lovely views of London from the top, even on a cloudy day. Definitely walk down if you are able.. It's all part of the adventure and you get a different view as you walk round and round and round! Really hope the rumours are true and that we will be helter-skeltering down soon! ☺

Stefan S
Tastemaker

Nice to walk around Olympic Park and then have luscious London views from the top. Perhaps not worth going solely for the £12 experience, but if making a day of it in Stratford, may as well pop up.

Laurala
Tastemaker

Probably not the smartest tourist attraction to visit when you're terrified of heights. However, the whole experience was surprisingly impressive. Lift up to the top and you could see the whole of London. (Make sure the weather's clear when you go!) 'The UK's tallest sculpture' was as powerful as you'd imagine any Anish Kapoor's piece of work to be. Take the 455 steps back down and you can be sure you'll be putting your calf muscles to the test.