Know the best thing about Easter? Well, yes, the avalanche of chocolate, obviously. But d’you know the other best thing about Easter? DOUBLE WEEKEND! Yup, the added bonus of Good Friday and Easter Monday means 100 percent extra free time, providing the perfect opportunity to tick off some of the city’s best stuff. Time Out’s very own list of 101 things to do in London is the ideal starting point, and there’s a very good reason why The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit features near the top.
For starters, there’s way more to do at the ArcelorMittal Orbit than just ride the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide. On a clear day, from the 80-metre-high viewing deck you can see many of London’s best-known landmarks all in one go, from the pointy majesty of the Shard to the elegant dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, and of course the cluster of architectural marvels that make up Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park below, including the London Aquatics Centre, which is a day out in its own right.
And let’s not forget the structure itself. Designed by British sculptor Anish Kapoor, the gleaming red tower is the tallest sculpture in the UK. Admiring it from the bottom is just the start – the lift journey to the top allows you to study its 1,400 tonnes of steel up close, and once at the top, those intertwining struts take on a different perspective entirely.
But, yes, we mustn’t forget that slide. Added to the ArcelorMittal Orbit in June 2016, it’s the doing of fun-addicted Belgian artist Carsten Höller. It’s 178 metres long and the journey to the bottom takes just 41 seconds, during which time riders weave in and out of Kapoor’s steel beams at speeds of 15mph and invariably do a lot of screaming.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is open throughout Easter Weekend, 10am–6pm (until 7pm March 30–April 15) – it’s best to book your visit and ride in advance via www.arcelormittalorbit.com. And as for all that chocolate? Probably best to save it until after your ride, for fairly obvious reasons.