London’s Folly

I’ve spent a lot of time in London over the last two centuries and I’ve visited hundreds of local tourist attractions. I even wrote a guidebook for budget travelers to the city. But I’ve never seen anything like the latest tourism failure from the Westminster Council.

The Marble Arch Mound or Marble Arch Hill is a temporary, 25-meter(82 ft) high artificial hill erected near the famous 1820s Marble Arch by Hyde Park. It has a viewing platform on the top that’s reached by climbing a metal stairway and  a planned interior event space. There were also plans for an art gallery and a foodhall. The exterior was supposed to be covered in grass and lavishly landscaped. However, when the Mound opened to the public on July 26th, it lacked all of the advertized amenities. After the initial visitors complained about paying £4.50 to climb some stairs for a uninspiring view of Oxford Street, it quickly closed shortly afterwards.

According to the Westminster City Council, the attraction will soon re-open and stay up until January, 2022. I still don’t see why anyone would pay to climb a small artifical hill when London has so many more attractive viewing spots, including some pretty great real hills.

This entry was posted in Architecture, Europe, Tourism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to London’s Folly

  1. margaret21 says:

    August is traditionally ‘the silly season’. They got it nailed.

  2. Lovely blog. Thanks for sharing

  3. definitely a different approach to a tourist site…seems so out of place next to that beautiful archway

  4. The hills of green grass – I agree!

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