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Five things you might not know about the ArcelorMittal Orbit and its slide

The twisty metal tower built as one of the attractions for London 2012 is a work of art you can climb up and slide down. Want to know more? Read on

By Time Out editors
The UK’s largest sculpture, ArcelorMittal Orbit, might not be the prettiest, but it certainly makes its mark, standing alongside the sleek shapes of the Olympic Stadium and Zaha Hadid’s Aquatics Centre (both close by). For those with the nerve for it, the views across London from the top are superb, and if you’re feeling really brave, you can whizz down a special slide to the bottom, curling round and round the sculpture as you go. Alternatively, you can walk down the 455 stairs to the ground. And if you don’t have the legs for that, they’ll let you get back in the lift.


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Buy tickets for the ArcelorMittal Orbit

Five facts about the ArcelorMittal Orbit and its slide


It’s actually one work of art wrapped inside another work of art. The original tower design is by Bombay-born British artist Anish Kapoor, but the slide that curls round is designed by Belgian-born German artist Carsten Höller, at Kapoor’s invitation.


The Orbit is constructed from enough steel to make 265 London buses, so it’s just as well that its sponsor, ArcelorMittal, is the world’s largest steel company. (Yes that explains the name, too). Oh, and the steel is recycled, so when you’re at the top, you’re standing on old washing machines and scrapped cars.



The Orbit slide is the world’s longest tunnel slide. It takes 40 seconds to whizz from top to bottom, including 12 loops round the tower (called the ‘bettfeder’ – German for ‘bedspring’).


You can wear fancy dress on the slide, so long as you can still slide safely. You can wear your specs, too – perfect if you’re thinking of working that Clark Kent-turning-into-Superman look.



Think the slide is daring? Try abseiling down the Orbit. You can book sessions to abseil down it from spring to late summer.


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