I’ve been to London a lot throughout my life. My parents love the city and took me there quite often when I was younger. They passed the love on, and I’ve gone over by myself and with friends multiple times in the past few years. Back in July, I went over again with my parents and I convinced my mum to climb over the 02 Arena with me. It’s sounds a bit insane but it is actually a tourist attraction that is safely run by professionals, we’re not just crazy daredevils with a death wish. I thought I’d done most of the tourist things there are to do in London, but this was a new experience for the two of us and we honestly hadn’t heard that much about it. I thought the idea was so cool, though I’m going to be honest I was a bit nervous. However, my nerves proved unnecessary and (spoiler alert) I thought the experience was brilliant!
BEFORE GOING UP
Okay, so I hate starting on a negative note, but the O2 website was awful. I tried to book tickets online and just gave up. That was back in July though, and in doing a bit of research for this post, it looks like they’ve improved things now. Thankfully, we went on a Tuesday and it wasn’t too busy so we were able to buy at the box office, but I would suggest booking ahead if you were going during peak times so there is a limit to how many people they take up on each climb and the slots can fill up quickly. Tours go everyday (weather dependent) and although their times vary throughout the year, it seems like they go once an hour at the very least.
When you arrive for your climb, they make you fill out a bunch of forms and watch a video. They give you all the equipment you need and talk you through how to put it on. We only had 6 other people in our group, which felt like a good size, and our tour guide was extremely nice and helpful. He made us all feel at ease. You’re only allowed to take your phone and/or camera up, and they have to fit in the pockets of the gilet they gave you, but they provide everyone with a secure container to put the rest of your stuff in to keep them safe. Once everyone was ready, they took us all outside and up a couple of flights of stairs to a platform you can see in the picture above. They then take a couple of pictures of you that you can purchase later and you start your climb!
WALKING UP AND OVER
Honestly the thing I was most afraid of was that I wouldn’t be fit enough for the climb up (I really need to work on that) but thankfully, while it’s a bit heavy going at the beginning, I didn’t find it terribly exhausting. You’re clipped on while you climbing up and down, and you have to moanvouvure you’re clip over multiple joints as you go. They explain how to do it, and help you if you need it so it’s not something you have to worry about. When you get to the viewing platform at the top, you’re free to walk around, and our guide had water if anyone needed it!
The view from the top was cool but to be fair, there are definitely better views of London. However, I personally loved the experience. If you’re looking for something a bit different and exciting to do, this is it. You get a bit of adrenaline pumping but it’s definitely not too hardcore and most people will be more than capable of doing it. I’m not particularly afraid of heights but I always felt safe and our guide was always there to help anyone who needed it and point out things of interest along the way.
GOOD THINGS TO KNOW
During the colder months, they give you a full suit to wear. When we were there, they just gave us the harness which goes between your legs since the weather was nice. I had shorts on under my dress, and they did offer my mum bottoms to put on since she was also wearing a dress but she was fine without them. None the less, it might be a good idea to wear shorts, or leggings during the colder months, just to make things more comfortable.
All in all, we had a great time. It’s a unique experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone headed to London who is looking for something fun and a bit different to do. When we were finished, we took the ferry to Greenwich Market which I would also recommend. It brings you around The O2 along the Thames and you can spend the afternoon wondering around the market or the park. If that’s not your thing, you can also hop on the Emirates cable car at the O2 and see some more London views.
Love Jane x
P.S. You can book tickets and learn more at Up at the O2 website here!