Public tours of The Orbit start again

Surrounded by a building site, one of the few objects within the Olympic Park that doesn’t have builders crawling all over it is the Orbit Tower.

So the park has taken the chance to let people slip into the park, head up the tower and take a look around.

The Orbit

Billed as a chance for an “exciting behind-the-scenes visit to the Olympic Park construction site”, it is actually just a trip to the tower and back again.

Kitted up in hi-vis jackets and hard-hats, more for effect than practicality, a bus takes you from a portacabin meeting point to the Orbit. En route, you are regaled with a health and safety message from Mayor Boris

If you went up the Orbit when the park was open, then nothing much has changed, although there is now a legacy display on the lower of the two floors. I didn’t get to visit the Orbit on my one visit to the Park, as some Queenly Monarch turned up and the mere public were not permitted in at the time.

The difficulty with the Orbit  is that when looking out from the inside, the twisting metal structure gets in the way of seeing the Olympic Park itself. It’s a great place to see the distant parts of London from, but essentially useless to see the park.

A View from The Orbit

It’s a real pity that the bus carrying visitors to/from the Orbit don’t take a longer trip around the Olympic park site – as that would let people have the promised “behind-the-scenes visit to the Olympic Park”

A View from The Orbit

If you haven’t been up the Orbit, and fancy a bit of a different thing to do, then the tours are not bad. But if you are expecting the promised “behind the scenes” visit, then you will be disappointed.

Tickets are £15 per adult, and have to be booked in advance.

The Orbit

A load more photos over here.

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3 Comments

  1. Nick Nicholson

    THanks for the ‘ Views’ Ian. i tried to get up the orbit during the ParaOlympics, but they had soem stupid rule that tickets had to be booked 24 hrs in advance.Odd really, not many seemed to be going up the thing, yet half a dozen door persons looked decidedly bored….

    Also, don’t they realise that we want to take unobstructed photo’s? You’ve done well to give us a feel for what it’s like to visit, but glass and wire mesh just get in the way….. ‘spose it’s too difficult to cut some wide holes in the mesh, so you can at least push your lens through… Keep up the great work… I visit often..

    • Kevin

      It was made very clear very early on that tickets had to be booked in advance to go up the Orbit during the Paralympics. And they were. If you looked at the booking system on the website is was nearly always sold out.
      And although it always looked dead downstairs if you looked up you could always see a lot of people looking out/coming down
      It wasn’t brilliant (I would have liked to go up it during the games) but remember that some people booked their tickets more than a year in advance and didn’t just pop along as they couldn’t get into the Olympics. I do wonder how many people bought tickets to the Orbit thinking they didn’t need to buy any other tickets to get in though.

      Bit weird if they are selling this as a behind the scenes trip as the actual behind the scenes bus trip sounds quite interesting and it would annoy me to not get it if that is what they are calling it.

  2. Annabel

    My daughter scored freebie tickets to go up, so we spent a very happy hour or so up there on Maundy Thursday, before the official (paid) opening day!

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