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Zip World | A UK adventure for families

See London’s skyline like you have never before. Welsh adventure company Zip World has set up a pop-up zip wire in the heart of London. It’s the biggest and fastest urban zip wire in the world and is situated in Archbishop’s Park, Lambeth. The two wires are over 30 metres high (that’s taller than nine, iconic London double-decker buses) and 225 metres long. Claire Winter went to check it out.

Zip World London – why not!?

Zip World London on London Southbank

Whilst for many the thought of travelling 50 miles per hour on a zip wire in the heart of Britain’s capital would fill them with fear, I couldn’t wait to try out Zip World in London. I decided to book it for a friend’s birthday but little did I know she has acrophobia. We’d both done zip wires before, surely being scared of heights wouldn’t be a problem?!

We had booked online in advance, which was really straightforward using the Zip World website and headed to the bottom of the landing tower to check in. We had already passed the tower, where you climb up to start your adventure and it looked alarmingly high. My friend and I remained calm as we were briefed and strapped into our harness and helmet. Then we started to see people very high up, hurtling along the two wires at breakneck speeds and the nerves increased.

Up to the highest heights…

Zip World London on London Southbank

We progressed back to the first tower, which has 180 steps and yes it really does wobble in the wind. We were with two other fellow acrophobes, who were determined to conquer their fear of heights and it all got a bit hysterical as we travelled to the top. Calm returned and we were briefed by the staff  (who were all really helpful on the ground and in the air).

The views are spectacular from the top and you can see the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament (be warned the promo material on the website is quite liberal with how much you will see). The two chaps at the top of the tower were great, I explained my friend was nervous and he was happy to talk her through it step by step.

Ready.. set… jump!

The most nerve racking thing is being attached to the wire and having to step onto a series of five steps that are literally sticking out the edge of the platform. Suddenly my bravado left me and I froze. One of the guys had to talk me through stepping down onto to the stairs to nowhere. You hold on to the zip wire handle, step off, lean back and go bombing down the wire. It really was an amazing and exhilarating experience. When we finally reached terra firma, we were both high on adrenaline and pride for overcoming our fears.

The Zip wire by Zip World is open until October 1 and you can check out their other adventures in Wales here.

Claire Zip World London on London Southbank

Claire has been a journalist for twenty years and started her career in news at ITN; she has blogged for the BBC and writes for Families magazines in the UK. She enjoys writing health, food, and parenting features and the odd travel review. She is also a mum to three girls and thought she had finally understood this parenting lark until one of them became a teenager.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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