If you happen to be in London this weekend and want to see the capital at its best then you should head east to the striking ArcelorMittal Orbit tower. To celebrate the re-opening of the southern part of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which now houses a vast collection of waterways and meadows, the public will be able to get up close to the imposing tower and trail its dizzying heights.
Taking centre stage, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is part of a huge redevelopment plan for East London, one that has seen former industrial wasteland transformed into a burgeoning hub and a popular destination for visitors looking to explore the former Olympic park.
The 455 steps up to the 114.5 metres summit will be well worth the effort, and the two separate viewpoints offer awe-inspiring panoramic views of the capital. You’ll be able to spot Big Ben, The Shard, The BT Tower and The Gherkin, amongst other key skyline landmarks. And if you’re lucky enough to go on a clear day, the 20-mile radius vistas will extend to buildings much further afield like Wembley Stadium to the west and Epping Forest to the east.
Designed by two of the most influential designers of modern times, Sir Anish Kapoor, the renowned Indian-born and London-based sculptor, and Sri-Lankan British designer, architect and artist Cecil Balmond. The collaborative abstract design sees the AM Orbit, as it’s been affectionately renamed, completely transform London’s skyline forever. The looping heights place visitors among the clouds so if you’re a tad Acrophobic you might want to stay firmly on the ground and admire its grandeur from street level.
The Podium space at the base of ArcelorMittal Orbit also houses a café, the EastTwenty Bar & Kitchen. Open daily and serving everything from hearty breakfasts to light snacks and drinks, the menu celebrates its locality by offering traditional East End nosh. You’ll also find a shop at The Podium where you can pick up a whole host of design-led souvenirs and gifts made by local artisans and crafters.
Londoners and tourists can now experience, what has become a beacon of the spirit and energy sparked by the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympic Games. Britain’s largest sculpture – made from 2000 tonnes of steel – is equally as impressive as it is original, springing up above the greenery of the park and curving over the Olympic stadium.
Have you visited London’s Olympic Park? What are your favourite London landmarks? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by Chantelle Symester