Every since I was a kid growing up watching action movies, I have harbored fantasies of running towards a chopper under enemy fire, grabbing the landing struts and being carried off to safety. It appears a lot of other people have similar fantasies from the reaction I got when I said I was going to be taking a flight over London in a helicopter.
The London Helicopter is a new experience aimed at giving people the chance to take a ride in a helicopter and see London up-close from above. It takes off from the Battersea Helipad heading west along the Thames towards Putney before banking sharply back around and then following the river through the city and out to Canary Wharf before heading back. It’s a great experience for anyone who wants to see London in a different way and also gives you the awesome chance to go for a ride in a helicopter at the same time.
I turned up on a Saturday morning and was greeted by the lovely staff before being given a short safety briefing and getting into the chopper. I didn’t really know what to expect but as soon as you take off you feel the difference from a plane, rather than just moving forward you can go straight up and down and rotate around; it’s quite a strange feeling at first but once you get used to it and start taking in the view you realize how awesome it is seeing London from that perspective, The pilot was fantastic, giving us a running commentary of what we were seeing. But some of the major landmarks don’t really need any introduction. Getting to fly right past the Shard was pretty spectacular, and it seriously is an engineering marvel and looks beautiful up close, appearing almost transparent with the reflections of the clouds and sky.
Following the river along past Canary Wharf made for another great part of the experience, as we got to see the Thames Barrier just before heading back past the city. I also enjoyed a great view of the Tower or London, and with the installation of poppies on display at the moment now is definitely the perfect time to go.
I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who is either a fan of helicopters and wants to do something different, or just someone who loves London in general. I found it really interesting to discover where things are in relation to what I had in my head; it’s like when you only get the tube everywhere and don’t know where anything is and then getting a bus one day and realising the layout is quite different. Well, it’s like that but a hundred times better!
For anyone who is nervous about flying in a helicopter: don’t be, it’s a great experience.
Over and out.
For details on booking please visit http://www.thelondonhelicopter.com/