Up at the O2 is an amazing way to experience London from up high and try something a little bit different.
The O2 in London was originally built as the Millennium Dome to house an exhibition for the Millennium in 2000 and is the eighth largest building in the world (by usable volume). It’s had a varied history but is now home to an indoor arena, shops, restaurants and exhibition space.
Up at the O2 allows you to climb up and walkover the outside of the dome. The top of the dome has a 360 viewing platform that gives amazing views of Greenwich, the Olympic Park and Canary Wharfe.
What to expect:
On arrival you report to a small building on the outside of the O2 where you are signed in and given a disclaimer to sign. Once everyone in your group has arrived there is a short safety video to watch before getting ready to climb.
You need to wear shoes that tie or Velcro on to your feet with a deep tread. If you don’t have them or staff don’t feel your shoes are suitable then they will provide you with a pair of hiking type trainers. They have various sizes so you will be able to find a pair that suit you (make sure to bring socks).
You can wear your own clothes but there are jackets and gillets available to borrow if you feel you need an extra layer. Hats and gloves are recommended for colder weather, gloves especially as you will be using your hands on the climb and they will get cold.
Phones and cameras can be taken up but they need to be in a zip or button pocket while you are climbing so again if you don’t have a suitable pocket then you can borrow a jacket or gillet.
Once you are dressed and ready to go then your belongings will be stored in a lockable flight box that is driven around to the other side of the building for you to collect at the end of the climb.
You will be given a harness to wear and shown how to put in on and how to use the clip system as you climb. At no point going up or down are you not clipped on but you do need to move the clip around each post you get to. At the beginning of the climb there are a couple of photo opportunities from the professional photographer, these are available to view and buy at the end of the climb.
You climb as a group and do small sections at a time so that the group stays together. The climb leader is on the other side of the walkway to the group so can go up and down as needed to check everyone is okay and help anyone that needs it.
At the top there is a fenced off area, once you are inside and told it is safe you can unclip and enjoy the views. If you have ordered drinks then they will be served at this point. Other wise you have about 15 minutes to enjoy the views, use the maps to spot landmarks and take some photos.
The climb down the other side is easier but steeper in some parts and finishes at a small building where there is a gift shop, toilets, the option to buy photos and snacks. You also collect your bags and belongings at this point.
From Up at the O2’s website –
- Minimum age: 8 years old
- Minimum height: 1.2m
- Maximum weight: not weigh more than 21 stone/130kg/286lbs
- Maximum measurements: maximum waist measurement 125cm, maximum upper thigh measurement 74cm
- U18s For climbers aged 8 to 17, the ratio is 1:5 adults to minors
- Up at The O2 is not suitable for pregnant customers
There are various options for your climb; day, twighlight or evening. There are also packages available that include drinks at the top
There are lots of restaurants and cafes in the O2 itself for before or after your climb. There are also some shops in the O2.
The nearest tube station is North Greenwich on the Jubilee line, there are also lots of buses that will take you to the O2. There is also the option of getting the tube to Royal Victoria and then getting the Emirates Air Line across the river to the O2, this is a short walk.
Car parking is available at the O2 and there are also taxi options.
What if you are scared of heights:
I am not a massive fan of being up high but I didn’t mind this. You are secured on tightly and there are no steep drops on either side. I focused on the person in front of me and was fine.
We visited in March 2022 when Pip was 9. She absolutely loved it and even volunteered to be at the front of the group on the way up.