An Interview with: The Orbit

In the run up to the (highly) anticipated opening of the ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Olympic Park, we thought we’d get some ‘on-the-ground’ insiders info and ask some of the nitty gritty questions you’d all love to ask. Speaking to Uzma, an original East Londoner and a supervisor at the Orbit, she gave us some tips and hints on some of the best things to see at The Orbit and how to plan for a day out at the Olympic Park. Having experienced the 2012 Games, she has seen it all! What is your favourite thing about the ArcelorMittal Orbit? I love that whether people love it or hate it, they know what it is. It was a focal point for the London 2012 games period and will be in the centre of the Legacy. My most favourite thing about the ArcelorMittal Orbit is its ability to transform a person’s mood from before they enter the lifts to when they come out on the platform. The light and the view just hits you and everyone looks around in amazement. This part of London doesn’t have any similar observation points, so it’s nice that it engages visitors and their perspectives. Describe the view from the top? It’s great! You can see as far as 20 miles on a clear day which means you can see the Crystal Palace transmitter, Wembley Arena, Alexandra Palace and Shooters Hill. The amazing concave mirrors allow you to see the skyline from various different angles, too. What landmark on the horizon is your favourite? Definitely St Paul’s Cathedral – I love how it is nestled amongst all the more recently built buildings – its dome stands out a mile. If you had a Top Tip for any visitor, what would it be? Spend some time at each of the mirrors on the upper platform. Have fun and play with them – move around, jump up and down and if you’re visiting with another person, split up and try and find each other’s reflection and have your camera ready! How long does it take to climb the stairs down from the viewing platforms? At a constant steady pace it takes 10 minutes but can easily be done in 5 minutes! What other things are there to do in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, if you had to plan an itinerary? There’s so much and definitely something for everyone. I am a big fan of the Art in the Park, which is scattered all over – some pieces are easy to find and some need a bit of searching, but well worth it. It would also be a great idea to go for a swim in the London Aquatics Centre and have a cycle at the Lea Valley VeloPark. The Park is also a great spot to have a picnic amongst the beautiful parklands and exotic plants. Surprise us with an interesting fact about The Orbit? Did you know just 4 people and 1 crane constructed the ArcelorMittal Orbit’s superstructure from the pre-fabricated steel star nodes? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever been asked by a visitor? A few rumours went around before the ArcelorMittal Orbit opened for the London 2012 games and almost everyone that visited asked if there was a restaurant ABOVE the upper platform. Someone once asked me for “a sack”, seeing the puzzled look on my face they explained ‘yknow – for the helter skelter, like they give you at funfairs’... they were slightly disappointed to find out they would have to tackle the 455 steps on foot! The Orbit opens on Saturday 5th April – a date in everyone’s calendars! Well worth a visit, it’s London’s most eagerly awaited attraction and a must-see when you’re in the capital. Get ahead and save money with The London Pass – get free entry and save £15 saving you the hassle of pre-booking or waiting in line to buy the tickets. Click here to find out more...

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