If you’re after a fun adventure while in the big smoke then set aside the London Eye and the Shard as The O2 is definitely where it’s at.
The iconic landmark building lies out towards Greenwich at 52 metres tall providing fantastic views of the city.
More so, rather than just take in another London view, it is a fantastic family challenge as you climb the roof.
A few weeks back we were invited to visit The O2 and test out the climb, a guided walking experience that lasts about 90 minutes. Suitable for anyone from 8 years of age, it’s a fun challenge that provides a great sense of accomplishment and some pretty spectacular views of Canary Wharf and the Thames.
Following a safety briefing video, visitors are kitted up with special trainers, and during non-covid times there’s also a jump suit. And then the fun begins!
Heading outside with a group or up 16, you begin the climb to the central platform. The climb itself is a gradual incline up a special path slightly raised above the roof. Starting steeper before it starts to plateau, the springy walkway allows you to take in the magnificent city-wide views. Every person completing the climb is harnessed on and you move the harness along the safety line as you walk for safety at all times.
The central platform is the pinnacle of the climb. Each group is given about 15-20 minutes to appreciate the stunning 360-degree panoramic views and capture the signature selfie. Lots of information wraps around the viewing platform highlighting key landmarks in the distance, and our guide shared some interesting facts – relevant and non-relevant!
The climb down actually seems tough than the incline, although very little in it, it feels steeper and has a larger impact on the legs.
The O2 is operating within government guidance, however we felt completely safe and secure at all times. There were a lot of hand sanitiser units and social distancing is easily adhered to, from the staggered entry at arrival, briefing sections and then the climb itself allows you to walk at your own pace with respectful distance between climbers. While all the inside activity requires a mask to be worn, the climb itself takes place outside and masks are optional for visitors.
The climb can be undertaken during the day or later into the evening, with different times of the day offering a distinctive take on the city.
While I remember The O2 as the original Millennium Dome, it’s a fantastic experience to be able to share with my daughter, aged nine, to achieve together. There’s also the kudos and tales to regale to friends of climbing a London modern landmark structure.
The O2 in itself is best known for being a major London concert venue today, but when world famous singers aren’t gracing its presence; the venue is also filled with a wrath of dining establishments and a plethora of shops that make up the Icon Outlet. Major brand stores such as Gap, The Body Shop and Nike all have big stores with up to 70% off so make a day of it with lunch and bag a bargain in the process.
Climbs start from £30 per person and are suitable for aged 8+. For more information and to book, visit www.upattheo2.co.uk