Ever wondered what London looks like from 53 metres above North Greenwich? No? Bet you’re wondering now! You can find out with a ticket for Up at The O2, which is the ultimate AAA pass and gains you access to the roof. From there you’ll be able see across the capital, spotting famous sites like the Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, The Shard and Canary Wharf.
You’re probably raring to get up there now, but hold your horses because, well, safety first. There will be a couple of videos you need to sit down and take in beforehand, but don’t sigh just yet because they’re genuinely entertaining. After that you’ll strap on the relevant gear: boots, suit and harness, all of which is supplied. Then – and only then – you can begin your ascent. One of The O2’s guides will lead you along the springy walkway all the way to the top, where you can breathe in the fresh air, take a selfie or two and discover some facts about London’s landmarks before heading back down. It’s worth noting that the descent is much steeper than the climb up, so if you’ve got bad knees this isn’t the attraction for you.
Up at The O2 is suitable for ages 10+ and at least 1.2 metres tall; and accessible tours for those with disabilities, including wheelchair-users, are also available. Oh, and one piece of advice? Don’t forget socks!
VIDEO: Here's what it's like to tackle the climb
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For our 9th wedding anniversary my wife and I decided to tackle the walk up and over the O2 and add a celebratory glass of champagne at the top.
You have a set time to make the walk and you get a short video presentation on what to expect. Next you get fitted for special walking shoes, a light jacket, a harness and safety device. More on that in a bit.
The shoes are comfortable and the jackets and harnesses get fit to your body well. Once you are set with your gear you walk out to the starting area and up to the top of a platform where you begin your accent. There are two lanes for you to traverse. On one side all the participants walk and on the other the guide walks. They alternate sides with each group so they have equal wear. Now as for the safety device: On one end is a locking "D" ring that hooks up to two safety points of the harness and the other end slides along the cable that runs between the two lanes. In order for you to move you must actively push the cable end forward. If you don't you won't move. Also, if you let go for any reason it will lock in place on the guide cable and prevent you from sliding back or off the walkway. I will admit I am not a super fan of heights but I felt completely secure in this set up.
As for the walk itself, it's a pretty steep incline to start and so you need to pace yourself. The walkway is suspended above the roof of the O2 so it will wobble a slight bit due to everyone's foot falls on it, but it's completely manageable. After you go up about half way to the top it starts to become less steep. Eventually you reach the top and it's a platform to see some amazing views of London and the surrounding area.
Once you start your way down it's more of the same but you'll want to be even more careful because there will be slightly more pressure on your knees and the balls of your feet since you are going down hill. On this side you go all the way down to the pavement so the incline is greater for longer. I wish they could extend the walkway past the building when you go down to lessen the incline, or just put in a slide.
Regardless, it was a really great experience and a great way to celebrate our anniversary. Thank you to our guide Liam for such a wonderful excursion and keeping us all safe at all times.
Went to climb the O2 on Saturday evening and the weather was absolutely horrible (don't worry that they give you close and boots to prepare you for the climb) but this helped to make the adventure even more exciting.
Completely loved every minute of it and the views from the top are amazing!
Fantastic. I don't like climbing, I don't like heights but I loved this. My son dared me to do this with him for his birthday. The instructions and safety talk at the beginning are well done but slightly frightening. You feel like you are climbing up a trampoline and the bouncy surface helps you along. The sights at the top are great and a perfect opportunity for a Selfie. It really isn't hard to do you need basic stamina and fitness levels. Do it - Challenge yourself you will have fun and be proud of yourself at the end!
OK, fact fans here's one for you - I don't do heights. Never have and never will. I was offered the opportunity to do a similar climb over the Sydney Harbour Bridge when I was Down Under and the very thought of it made me nearly pass out. The big difference is that someone like me looks at the Bridge and thinks 'Meccano' but the O2 is different. For those who can remember back to the turn of the century the O2 was the Dome and that's the key word, as for those of us of a vertiginous persuasion, it offers all of the climbing with none of the long way down. On arrival you check in and go into the briefing room where you sign away your life on a series of disclaimers and then are treated to a quite frankly cringe worthy briefing video that even the staff were apologetic about. Then to business - the suits are optional but help with making you feel part of an extreme activity and it was early enough in the morning even in Summer that they didn't make us hot. With straps and harnesses all in place our leader took us to the point of embarkation. At this point he mentions casually that the walk way has been designed to replicate the surface of the dome itself and is slightly bouncy. BOUNCY! No one said anything about bouncy until I'm stood there trussed up like a Christmas turkey with an excited missus and a dozen other people primed to go. So with an audible gulp I clipped my harness to the rail and off we went. And do you know what? I flipping loved it! The bounce was minimal the slope gentle enough for someone of reasonable fitness and the wind in your hair makes it a far more energising than the rather tame Shard we did later that day. You genuinely get a sense of height without the drop - perfect for wimps like me. There is just about adequate time on the viewing platform although we did have to move on as the next group was approaching. The climb leader took loads of photos of me and the good lady and there were some good views to be had. It's a bit of a shame that the buildings of Canary Wharf block the view of some of the city's more iconic landmarks. Perhaps the highlight was noticing that in the guide that runs around the platform, which is incidentally cast in stone, the Gherkin has been spelt as the Gerkin. Must have been an interesting team meeting in Quality Assurance that day! And so the descent begins and, like a kid on a ride outside a supermarket, as soon as I came to a halt I wanted to start again. Sadly there was neither time nor disposable income for that. on a day that I was generally quite high up (this, the Emirates Cable Car and the Shard) this was the undisputed highlight. You should do it!
I can just recommend this! If done it last weekend and it is an amazing experience! The wind up there and the view was really exciting! But it is quite expensive though...