Late night zip lining might be the most fun you have this summer


Adrenalin junkies and extreme adventurers were two phrases that came to mind as I looked up at those whizzing down the zip wire, side by side, faster than I could blink. However, I looked around and could see people in chinos, starched shirts, midi skirts, flares and even a jumpsuit amongst those queueing up to zip line over Archbishop’s Park, Lambeth. Given that over 30,000 riders took the leap last year there is little doubt that this adventure is for everyone. Welcome to Zip Now London‘s 35 meter high zip wire. Given that it’s open until 8.30pm even on school nights late night zip lining might well be the most fun you have this summer. There are three wires in total so if you wanted to zip with your pals that is now entirely possible. In fact, several did this; I guess friends that zip together, stay together.

Safety first

Zip Now takes safety very seriously. I counted at least six checks and cross checks of my safety gear before I got anywhere near the zip line. First, my weight was measured, then I watched a safety video, a locker was provided for my valuables and only then had my safety harness and helmet fitted. It was another two cross checks later that I walked across the park and up to the tower ready to zip down. So allow yourself at least 40 minutes for the experience from safety video to zip.

The view

The best thing about urban zip lining is that you can enjoy a new perspective on the city you live in. The everyday familiar landscape will be transformed at this new height. As you soar through the sky you’ll catch a glimpse of the Parliament and London Eye provided you’re not screaming with your eyes closed (now I’m not suggesting that I did that).

The mega drop

At the end of the line is the optional Mega Drop which is a new experience that has been added this year. It’s a free fall drop to the ground from the top of the second tower at the end of your zip. It squeezes that very last ounce of adrenalin left in your system after you’ve travelled at 50kph through the air.

Late nights and last chance

Due to its popularity last year Zip Now London will be open from 12 noon until 8.30pm every day from now until September. However, this will be London’s last Zip Now experience as it sadly moves on to pastures new. So make sure you book your tickets early. Adult tickets start at £22.50, children’s tickets are £16.50 and family tickets cost £50. There are also group packages available if you’re celebrating with friends.

For more information visit

Zip Now is located at Archbishop’s Park:

London’s Lido Culture.

Open Air Swimming in London

If I can help it, during July and August I avoid travelling. This is mainly down to two reasons; One is that it is peak season due to school holidays – I am no fan of crowds. The other is that I love London in summer. Sunshine is never guaranteed. Rain almost always is. Still, give us a mild temperature and a few hours of  clear skies and we’ll make the best of it.

For a city with a river running through it, London does not have a culture of al fresco swimming. It was however, something that was popular in the 1930s. So much so that local councils built 169 Lidos (unheated outdoor swimming pools) across the UK. As times changed and foreign holidays became more affordable many Lidos were forced to close. Recently, though London has been falling back in love with outdoor swimming and particularly Lidos. Those that remained open now boast communities of passionately loyal regulars.

Parliament Hill Lido

The Parliament Hill Lido is a great example of the modern and fashionable 1930s. It was built in 1938 and cost a mere £34,000; The most expensive Lido in London at the time. It was Grade II listed in 1999.

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I dropped by on a visit to Hampstead Heath and was stunned by it. Why oh why hadn’t I done this earlier?! It was as if I had been teleported back to perfectly preserved, simpler times of the inter-war years. Astonishing panoramic view of the surroundings and striking art deco architecture captivates instantly. It’s a real throwback and an art deco classic. The pool measures a grand 61 x 27 metres as Lidos were designed to give the look of an ocean liner at a time when people did not travel abroad so frequently.

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The revival of these architectural gems is mostly thanks to the fiercely passionate communities who love them. They stepped in with local campaigns to save them when many were being shut down or abandoned due to a decline in their popularity. The campaigns were backed by heritage bodies who also recognised the architectural value of these stylish buildings.

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The Parliament Hill Lido is a stunning example of the preservation efforts of the local community. The pool was lined in stainless steel in 2005 giving the water a sparkling, metallic shimmer. The surrounding buildings perfectly reflect the design of the Lido. On a hotter day, I could have expected to queue to enter the pool. However, as it was a mildly warm day there were only a few regulars to contend with.

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Socialising at the Lido

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Entrance to the cafe.

As it was in the 1930’s, Lidos are not just places for swimming. They are national institutions for bathing and socialising. You can sunbathe, eat in the cafe, picnic, read a book or simply relax.

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So, as the tides turn for these national treasures, not just in terms of their popularity but also in that they are once again in vogue – be sure to step into the art deco terrace of your nearest Lido and be a part of their modern revival.


The nearest station to Parliament Hill Lido is Gospel Oak and an adult day pass costs £7.

For opening hours and more information – 




5 pictures to make you reconsider life and move to the French country side.


  1. This fromagerie in the sun for all your cheese related needs.



2. A walk through these fields towards blue skies.



3. This cheerful little cottage.



4. This quaint little car park complete with flower beds.



5. This crumbling restaurant that’s up for sale. I am SOLD!