‘London’s worst attraction’ Marble Arch Mound closes after six months

·2 min read
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2021/08/13: A bus drives past the recently reopened Marble Arch Mound. 
The deputy leader of Westminster city council, Melvyn Caplan, has resigned after the costs of the artificial hill jumped to £6 million. (Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The Marble Arch Mound is closing. (Getty)

The much-criticised Marble Arch Mound described as ‘London’s worst attraction’ is closing this weekend.

The 25-metre high artificial hill, which sits at the corner of Hyde Park and Park Lane, will no longer be open after Sunday.

Westminster City Council commissioned the attraction with a budget of £3.3 million but by completion, it had cost almost double that at £6 million, leading to an apology from officials. 

Refunds were offered the day after it opened to the public on 26 July following what the authority called “teething problems”, with visitors complaining it was still a building site.

A visitor branded it “the worst thing I’ve ever done in London” while others compared it to an abandoned theme park.

In August, council leader Rachael Robathan announced that her deputy Melvyn Caplan had resigned with immediate effect after the “totally unacceptable” rise in costs.

Watch: Marble Arch Mound branded London’s ‘worst attraction’

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2021/08/13: Visitors seen at the recently reopened Marble Arch Mound. 
The deputy leader of Westminster city council, Melvyn Caplan, has resigned after the costs of the artificial hill jumped to £6 million. (Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The costs of the artificial hill jumped to £6 million. (Getty)
Visitors climb the Marble Arch Mound in central London, a 25-metre high installation built to provide members of the public with sweeping views of Hyde Park, Mayfair and Marylebone. The deputy leader of Westminster council has resigned after the total costs for the mound nearly doubled to £6 million. Picture date: Friday August 13, 2021. (Photo by Domiinic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Visitors climb the Marble Arch Mound in central London. (Getty)

The Mound, planned by Dutch architect company MVRDV, was designed to give views of the capital’s Oxford Street, Hyde Park, Mayfair, and Marylebone.

It was part of a scheme to increase footfall in the shopping district as lockdown restrictions eased.

Read more:

Senior Westminster council staff hid and 'ignored' Marble Arch Mound cost warnings

Marble Arch Mound: call to review ‘culture of complacency’ at council

Thousands now flock to derided attraction as spectacular light show draws crowds

Tickets first cost up to £8 but entry was made free following the initial negative reaction from tourists.

Despite the poor reception, the hill has had around 250,000 visitors.

A council spokesperson said: “The Mound has done what it was built to do – drawn crowds and supported the recovery in the West End.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2021/08/10: A woman walks her dog past the Marble Arch mound reopened to visitors who will not have to pay to go up in August.
The mound which cost Westminster Council around £2M was closed after heavy criticism from visitors at the end of July, the council apologized admitting it was clearly not ready.
Changes are still being made to the artifact at the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane and a play area and cafe that were supposed to have been created inside had not been started on last week. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The deputy leader of Westminster city council, Melvyn Caplan, resigned over the cost. (Getty)
A visitor ascends the Marble Arch Mound, a new temporary attraction, as another stands on the viewing platform at the top, next to Marble Arch in central London on July 28, 2021. - A temporary tourist attraction at one end of London's busy Oxford Street has been forced to offer refunds to visitors amid widespread disappointment and derision of the grass-clad viewing platform. The 25-metre (82 feet) Marble Arch Mound had been envisaged as a draw for tourists who have typically stayed away from central London during the pandemic but only one day after opening, the local Westminster Council on Tuesday admitted it is
The attraction was forced to offer refunds to visitors amid widespread disappointment. (Getty)
Pedestrians walk past the Marble Arch Mound, a new temporary attraction, next to Marble Arch in central London on July 28, 2021. - A temporary tourist attraction at one end of London's busy Oxford Street has been forced to offer refunds to visitors amid widespread disappointment and derision of the grass-clad viewing platform. The 25-metre (82 feet) Marble Arch Mound had been envisaged as a draw for tourists who have typically stayed away from central London during the pandemic but only one day after opening, the local Westminster Council on Tuesday admitted it is
Pedestrians walk past the Marble Arch Mound. (Getty)

The mound was erected beside the iconic Marble Arch monument and was covered with grass and young trees.

Visitors can ascend the structure via a path to see what the council described as “views never seen before by the wider public”.

But, following an internal review, the council apologised and said it “must learn the lessons of the Mound project”.

The review concluded a series of errors in judgement, coupled with a “lack of sufficient oversight” led to the failure.

It also found “robust” processes were “circumvented – driven by the desire to open the Mound as soon as possible” – a failure which the council admitted was “unacceptable.”

The Mound is due to be deconstructed, a process which could take up to four months, with the materials – including trees and plants – reused.

Watch: Bad reviews for ‘laughingstock’ Marble Arch Mound

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting