London has a brand new attraction that we can't help feeling has crept up on us. The Arcelor Mittal Orbit at the repurposed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford opens to the public on Saturday 5 April, 2014. This 114.5 metre high sculpture, the tallest sculpture in the UK, was erected as an icon of the 2012 Olympic Games and forms a focal point of the 560 acre park, which also opens on Saturday 5.
The Orbit, which we have previously referred to as 'the helter skelter', 'the Meccano building' and 'that big, red tower', was designed by Sir Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond and made from 2000 tonnes of steel (60% of which was recycled), 35,000 bolts and 19,000 litres of paint. It's prolific next-door neighbours are the 2012 Olympic Stadium on one side and the Zaha Hadid designed Aquatic Centre on the other. Not too shabby.
SCROLL THROUGH THE GALLERY ABOVE TO SEE OUR 'FIRST-LOOK' PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE ORBIT
Kids and adults alike will be amazed at the spectacular views offered from the viewing platform that snakes all the way around the very top of the tower, as well as a spiral staircase looping around the outside for intrepid adventurers to walk back down. But don't worry if you haven't quite got that brave a head for heights, there is a lift which everyone takes up to the top and can be taken all the way back down again.
Name a London landmark and you will most likely be able to see it from the Orbit. No other tall tower in London offers the same extensive skyline view. From London stalwarts St Paul's Cathedral and the BT Tower, to newer features like the Shard and the O2 arena you will be able to spot them all. You can also take in views of the Olympic Park, which has been transformed since the Games into a green area the same size as Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined.
Alongside vast open green spaces, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park offers an opportunity to discover the iconic venues from the Games, tree-lined promenades, hidden artworks and loads of exciting playgrounds. Entry to the park is completely free, the only thing to pay for is if you want to take a trip up the Orbit - which we high recommend that you do. An Olympic-sized amount of fun is just waiting to be discovered!
Tickets for entrance the Orbit are now on sale: £15 for adults, £12 for concessions (over 60, students and local residents), £7 for children
To book tickets, call 0333 800 8099 or visit www.arcelormittalorbit.com