When I was offered the opportunity to ride the Arcelormittal Orbit Slide at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, I didn’t know whether to be excited or scared.
Dubbed the number one thing to do in London this year, the Arcelormittal Orbit Slide is the UK’s tallest sculpture and the world’s tallest and longest slide, at 178 metres long. It takes forty seconds to ride the slide from top to bottom, orbiting the Arcelormittal Orbit 12 times. The Slide was constructed by German artist, Carsten Höller at the request of Sir Anish Kapoor, designer of the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
Arriving at the slide, you’ll be asked to display or purchase a ticket to gain entry. An advance ticket costs £10 for adults, £5 for children and £7 for seniors and students, while a family ticket costs £26. If you’re looking to buy tickets, check out the deals available over at 365 Tickets.
After obtaining your ticket, head over to the lockers to store away any personal belongings. It costs £1 per locker and they’re pretty big so you’ll probably only need one, and you get the £1 back afterwards. For your own safety, you should carry as little as possible with you on the slide. You can’t take photos or videos whilst riding the slide unless you have a GoPro camera fastened to your chest, and you need to ask permission in advance. However, a few selfies on your phone before you go down the slide is allowed.
Once you’ve stowed away your belongings, take the lift up to the slide, on the first floor. Here, you’ll be given protective gear to put around each wrist and if your legs are exposed or you’re wearing tights or leggings, you also be given some for your lower legs. You also have to wear a seriously unattractive black and red foam head guard that fastens just under your chin. It’s at this point that you begin to wonder whether you really want to take that selfie after all, but you go ahead and do it anyway…
When it’s your turn to ride the slide, you’ll be asked to lie down in a black canvas sack and hold on to the looped strap at the top of it with one hand, as you use the other hand to edge yourself down the slide. I slowly creeped further and further into the slide, half of me feeling like I wanted to get off and forget the whole idea, until suddenly I fell downwards into a narrow silver chute at great speed. My stomach was doing somersaults, and I couldn’t help but scream. As I screamed, the sound echoed through the slide and it made me laugh uncontrollably; the sounds of which also echoed through the slide, making me laugh even more.
It felt like I was shooting down the slide for over a minute, and it never got boring because there were so many twists and bends that sent me flying in all directions.
When I got off the slide, I took my opportunity to shoot a quick, last-minute video of my friend coming down to the slide. See what I mean about the laughing and screaming?!
Once you get off the slide and get over the excitement you’ll be feeling, take the lift back up to the first and second floors, where you can admire the outstanding views over East London from the panoramic observatory. With views of up to 20 miles, you can see Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf, just to name a few highlights.
Riding the Arcelormittal Orbit Slide was such a fun experience – we only wish we could have gone down the slide again! The entrance fee seems a little expensive to ride the slide just once, and we’d love it we could have had at least one more go. However, it was totally worth it either way and needless to say, we would definitely do it all over again! It has to be one of the coolest things to do in London.
Where to stay
If you’re looking for somewhere reasonably cheap to stay nearby, consider the 3-star Best Western Greater London hotel on Stratford Road in Ilford, Essex. We paid just £51.50 for a double room on a Saturday evening via Booking.com, including breakfast. Stratford is just a 20-minute tube journey from Ilford and the hotel is very near to the tube station, so it makes for a great cheap base from which to explore.
Wedged between a charity shop and a tuition centre, it’s easy to mistake the hotel for a coffee shop. The ground floor reception area features a small refreshment cabinet and a number of tables and chairs for guests, while the rooms are all upstairs. It’s the kind of place you’d go for traditional afternoon tea.
However, our room was clean, modern and well-equipped – it even came with a box of Lindt Lindor chocolates! I’d definitely stay here for a second time if I was in the area again.
Have you ever been down the Arcelormittal Orbit Slide? Is it something you could see yourself doing? Discover more of London’s top outdoor attractions here.
I was given two complimentary tickets to ride the Arcelormittal Orbit Slide in return for an honest blog post about my experience. This post contains affiliate links and if you place a booking through one of these links, I will receive a modest commission fee.