14 things you may not know about the Tower

Emirates Spinnaker Tower is now 14 years old! That’s the equivalent to 168 months or 5110 days or 122,640 hours that we have had our doors open to the public.

14 years has flown by and we’re proud to still be providing memorable experiences to all of our guests. It’s been an exciting 14 years to say the least, we’ve welcomed royalty, held over 200 weddings and broken a Guinness world record!

We thought what better way to celebrate our 14th birthday than to share with you 14 interesting facts.

1.Since our grand opening on 18th October 2005, we have seen over 4 million visitors; and that doesn’t even include our party guests!

2. We have four team members who have been with us for the entire 14 years. Bernie Welch, our technical manager, Paul Pycroft, our receptionist, Andrew Murray one of our café team members and Louy Daniel Lative, one of our guest services team member. They know more about the Tower than anyone else! If you’re lucky enough to be here when one of them is working then definitely make the most of their knowledge.

3. The high speed lift in one of the legs of the tower travels upwards at an angle and takes just 28 seconds to reach View Deck 1 at 100 metres.

4. Our glass floor was the largest glass floor in Europe for a long time. Moreover, it’s made up of four panes of glass, each of which measure 2050 x 950 mm, making the floor a total area of 7.79m2. The overall thickness is 60mm and can hold a total weight of 288 stone; the equivalent of 2 black rhinos!

5. In high winds, the Tower can flex up approximately 150mm. If you feel it move when you’re up there; don’t worry it’s perfectly safe.

6. Our popular high tea experience lives up to its name, served 105 metres up in the Clouds Café. 10,426 high teas for two have been served since the launch of Clouds Café in October 2010. That’s 20,852 fruit scones that have been scoffed!

High tea for two with a view!

7. There are 560 stairs to the top of Emirates Spinnaker Tower. If every visitor in the last 14 years had climbed the stairs rather than taken our speedy lift, 2.2 billion stairs would have been conquered. To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to climbing Mount Everest over 37,000 times.

8. There are a total of 50 show lights and 7 aircraft warning lights on Emirates Spinnaker Tower, and until September 2019, our system ran from a system of floppy discs!

9. There are 120 windows in the tower. These our abseiling team cleans these every month. Not many people can say that’s their job!

10. The lift can transport 350 people up the tower every hour. So, it travels at 14km per hour with the maximum capacity of 26 people at one time.

11. There have been famous visitors to the tower such as Kate Middleton, Emma Bunton, Alisha Dixon, Richard Branson, Paul Martin, The Overtones, Melinda Messenger, George Sampson, Ben Ainslie and Jordan North who was searching for fellow Radio 1 DJs, Nick Grimshaw and Greg James!

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

12. The oldest person in the world to abseil is Doris Long, MBE. Amazingly, at aged 101 years and 55 days, she abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower on 12th July 2015 breaking the Guinness World Record. Moreover, this was her 14th abseil after she took up the activity aged 85. The Spinnaker Tower is 170m (560 ft) high in total and she abseiled from 92.96m (305 ft).

Daring Doris Long MBE

13. Emirates Spinnaker Tower’s legs are built using a ‘slip forming’ method. So, this involves pouring concrete in a continuously moving form. Whilst ‘slip forming’ is not a very unusual method, it is believed that the Spinnaker Tower construction was the first time such a method had been used on hexagonal legs not at right angles to the base – the Tower’s legs are constructed at an angle of approximately 2 degrees, eventually merging at View Deck 1 level.

14. Over 16,000 people have taken on the famous Spinnaker abseil challenge since it opened in 2011!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our guests who have visited us in the last 14 years and we look forward to welcoming many more.