Review of 'Zip World London'

https://www.zipworld.co.uk/

Billing itself as “the biggest, fastest city zip wire in the world” ZipWorld has pitched up in a small park opposite the Houses of Parliament for the summer until October 1st. At £25 for a single ride for adults it is not cheap but it does offer a 30 second adrendaline rush for thrill-seekers with pretty good views.

The check-in desk is located in a small temporary building in the middle of the park (the end of the zip line, opposite the unmistakable 10 story tower). Here they take your name, put a temporary entrance tag around your wrist, then you are shown around the corner for a quick safety briefing that discusses the experience and what to expect.

Safety

In the next room there are a series of (free) lockers that you can use to stow any rucksacks or items from your pockets. You are not allowed to have anything in your pockets though they offer “bumsacks” that are attached to the harness in which to keep loose items including a phone if you wish to take pictures before your experience.

In a covered area outside of the structure there are harnesses laid out on the ground that you are invited to step into then pull up and tighten, as directed. These are full harnesses that go tight up between and around your legs and arms.

Kitting Up

Kitted Up

Next up they give you a helmet and directed to walk along the path through the park to the base of the tower where you are to push off. Looking slightly ungainly walking across the park a member of staff who checks the tag on your wrist before directing you to the entrance at the base of the tower for the 10 story stair climb to the top.

Tower

The Climb

The climb is quite exhausting so taking it easy is a good idea on the way up. The area at the top is quite cramped with a yellow strip of tape that you can only cross if one of the staff have clipped you into a safety strap. At this point it is just a matter of waiting for your turn. If you are doing this with someone else they will let you go together.

Equipment

When it is your turn, they invite you up, check that all of the equipment is securely attached, you are clipped to the wire and you push through a gate.

Last Minute Check-Up

The target is in the distance…but what a view! It is a bit cluttered to take pictures but you can manage, then tuck the camera into your pouch before your trip.

Target

Westminster in the Distance

There are three steps which you are invited to step down on to the point at which you can feel the harness hold you up. There are two short, small handles on either side of the device attached to the wire that you hold onto for the trip down the wire.

Step Out...

If you want to go faster you are advised to lean back and keep your feet up…It works!

Landing

Reaching speeds of 30 mph the trip is over very quickly as you pass over the football pitches below. There is a black braking system that slows you (relatively) gently down though you are told to put your head to one side as you see it approach to avoid having any ropes hit you in the face. When I landed I was a bit further down the landing ramp so was directed to put a loop of rope over one of the handles I had been holding onto so they could pull me onto the edge of the steep ramp at which point I was able to climb up myself.

This was my first zip line experience and I was chuffed when the guy at the landing site asked me if I had done it before! Obviously he knows talent when he sees it…(smile)

If you would like to go up again you can do so after landing straightaway for another £10 (which is quite a bargain but since you are already kitted up it is a simple thing to just walk back to the tower again…).

It was really quite a lot of fun. I can't say the views were all that great of parliament from the top as there are lots of trees around never mind the structure of the tower itself in the way but the views over the park towards the south west were amazing. I was never really afraid of the experience and the staff go out of their way to say how safe it is (“…the worse accident we have had is someone got stung by a bee…”). Yeah, it is expensive, but how often can you do this in the middle of London??? It is a bit of a climb though…

I'd do it again in a heart beat…

Rating:

Review Date: 2017-08-26



Archbishop's Park Southbank

Location: London (England)

Address: Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7JY ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Lambeth North TUBE Westminster

URL: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/places/archbishops-park

A small park hidden across the river from the Palace of Westminster (houses of parliament) behind St. Thomas' Hospital offering a bit of a respite from the city surrounding it. There are various sports facilities including exercise areas and small fenced-in football pitches as well as a few refreshment stands.