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The unreal UK shopping centre you can ride Europe’s longest zipline



One of the UK’s biggest and best known shopping centres has just celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Bluewater in Kent is well known and loved as a place for a spot – or perhaps a whole day – of retail therapy.

But did you know that as well as boasting more than 300 stores the centre that’s been dubbed the UK’s “best” also offers a massive range of leisure activities too.

From having a go on Europe’s longest zipline to its largest swing, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

Skywire opened in 2021 and riders reach speeds of over 50mph as they travel down one of four 725-metre zip lines installed amongst 50 acres of parkland. A 40-metre chalk cliff creates a combined vertical drop of more than 55 metres.

Europe’s biggest swing – the appropriately-named ‘Giant Swing’ – opened in 2022. The 46 metre drop swing takes thrill-seekers, up to five riders at once, on an exhilarating experience beside the chalk cliffs.

Bluewater is also home to Skydive which is the UK’s first ever outdoor skydiving experience, Skytrek, which is a 350-metre long aerial trek adventure.  

Ballerz – launched by former footballers Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora, Roberto Carlos and Mark Noble – will also be the first air dome offering competitive football socialising. 

There is also Gravity Active (trampolines, indoor climbing walls), Dinotropolis, a dinosaur-themed kids soft play, Pirate Cove Adventure, which includes two 18-hole mini golf courses, and more.

The shopping centre has an army of fans, including on travel review site Tripadvisor.

One impressed visitor said: “There are areas for families that have children that may get bored, soft play and there is an area for wall climbing.”  

They added: “We spent around four hours just going around.

“As this is high end shopping it can be expensive in the designer outlets but it was nice just to look. We would visit here again.”

Another said: “Large mall with a little bit of everything, from higher end merchandise to lower priced stores. Several restaurants and a movie theater [sic]. 

“It’s easy to spend several hours at Bluewater.”

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