First look at England's longest and fastest zipline at Hangloose Adventure in Bluewater near Dartford

Final preparations are under way for the maiden "flight" across the longest and fastest zipline in England.

When it opens early next month the Hangloose Adventure at Bluewater Shopping Centre in Greenhithe will give thrillseekers an adrenaline-fuelled experience billed as the "closest you can get to flying" without stepping foot on a plane.

Hangloose Bluewater site manager explains the vision behind the project

A 15.5-metre dispatch tower sits atop a 40-metre chalk cliff inside the quarry creating a combined vertical drop of more than 180 feet.

Each of the four 725-metre zip lines are set to be fastened into place ahead of the first "flights".

Final preparations are now gearing up as the same team of safety engineers behind rides at Disney and Legoland sign off the last remaining safety checks.

It has been more than three years in the making but is hoped the signature attraction will bolster Bluewater's leisure offering while also attracting overseas visitors from afar afield as Japan and America.

Earlier this week the official crash test dummy, dubbed "Manikin Mike" by the creators of the project, became the first to safely traverse the drop.

This is the view that will greet you from the top of the Hangloose Bluewater dispatch tower
This is the view that will greet you from the top of the Hangloose Bluewater dispatch tower

On top of the dispatch tower, Hangloose Adventure Bluewater site manager Chris Lane was on hand to show us the ropes and guide us through the vision.

He told KentOnline: "There are not many of these around, particularly in the UK, so that in itself makes it pretty unique.

"You have to build this big tower which is five storeys tall up here and that has given us just the right drop.

"We have used every inch we can of height and length to make this as unique as possible."

The trained pilot and engineer previously worked on the firm's activity centre and zip wire at the Eden project in Cornwall.

He explained how they wanted to go bigger and better while also meeting key sustainability goals to protect and enhance the 50 acres of surrounding Green Flag awarded parkland at Bluewater.

The dispatch tower at Hangloose Adventure being erected last month
The dispatch tower at Hangloose Adventure being erected last month

One of the most unique features about the zip line, he explains, is how "close you get to the water" with riders safely suspended just 6ft above the lake at the halfway juncture.

Chris said: "It is so tranquil, its really peaceful out there as there is no one else around you apart from your friends flying on the other lines."

And for those scared of heights or perhaps a bit nervous about taking the plunge he offered this re-assurance.

He said: "The build up is nerve-racking because it is not a natural thing you do every day.

"The second you start flying everyone starts to enjoy it. You realise you are secure, safe, and it's really smooth...

"It is the closest you can get to flying without being in a plane."

Our reporter Sean Delaney checks out the facilities ahead of the launch
Our reporter Sean Delaney checks out the facilities ahead of the launch

That's not the end of the fun either.

He added: "Over the next few years we are going to be introducing other activities including bungee jumps, skydive machines, and the largest swing in Europe."

The opening of Hangloose's zipline attraction was delayed slightly but is now expected to launch on June 7.

Discounted tickets, of up to 10%, are now available to book here.

Read more: All the latest news from Dartford

For more suggestions of things to do with the family in Kent click here.

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