Marble Arch Mound falls flat: London's latest attraction offers refunds

New project is located near capital's busy shopping district

A new 25-metre hill known as the Marble Arch Mound has opened to the public in central London, but failed to make a positive impression on visitors.

The attraction, which cost £2 million to build, consists of 130-steps leading through trees and greenery to a viewing platform at the top.

The temporary structure overlooks Hyde Park and Oxford Street, one of the city's busiest shopping districts, and is a short stroll from Regent Street, Bond Street and Piccadilly.

It was designed by Dutch architecture company MVRDV and commissioned by Westminster Council in a bid to boost footfall to the area following the coronavirus pandemic.

However, visitors are being offered refunds due to “teething problems” with the attraction.

A day after it opened to the public, parts of the man-made mountain in central London are “not yet ready for visitors”, Westminster Council has admitted, adding it was “sorry for the delay”.

The authority said it is working to resolve issues “over the next few days”.

Some visitors say they have been left underwhelmed by the attraction, which costs between £4.50 to £8 per ticket.

One user on Twitter described the development as a “poor idea” while another said the proposals “did not match reality".

Anyone who booked a ticket for the first week will be contacted and offered a refund as well as a free return ticket “so they can see the mound at its best”, the council said.

But there have been some complaints following its opening that work is still ongoing, with some people taking to social media to pan the attraction.

In a statement, Westminster Council said: “We are aware that elements of the Marble Arch Mound are not yet ready for visitors.

“We are working hard to resolve this over the next few days.

“The mound is a living building by design.”

Rachael Robathan, leader of Westminster City Council, added: “We really hope the scheme will serve two purposes. First, to draw and encourage people back into the centre and Westminster. We know that footfall is still down by about 50 per cent, so we really need to show that it’s open for business.

“Second, I hope that when people climb up here and see these fabulous views, they’ll be able to see Oxford Street through fresh eyes.”

Updated: July 27, 2021, 10:42 PM