The O2 Arena is one of the biggest event venues in London. Every year there are countless concerts, sporting events, and comedy shows at the O2 Arena. There is also a shopping area and plenty of restaurants. But the most epic thing the arena has to offer is Up at the O2, an opportunity to climb to the top of the arena. From the top you’ll get a 360 degree view of the Thames, Greenwich, and the London skyline. Are you up for the challenge?
How to get to the O2
The O2 Arena is located at Peninsula Square in Greenwich, London. There are may different ways to get to the O2 but the easiest are by the Tube or by ferry.
If you’re using the Tube and coming from central London board the Jubilee Line traveling towards the Stratford underground station. Disembark at the North Greenwich station. From there it’s a 2 minute walk to the front of the O2.
For those who want a bit of sightseeing while traveling to the O2 jump on one of the MBNA Thames Clippers. The RB1 service to the North Greenwich pier departs approximately every 20 minutes from the Embarkment, London Eye, and London Bridge piers.
A really fun way to get to the O2, if you’re on the opposite side of the Thames is by using the Emirates Cable Car. At a little over 300 feet high and spanning over 1 kilometer the Emirates Cable Car is the highest observation point over the river Thames. You can buy a one-way or round trip ticket. If you do this you’ll get an amazing view of the O2 and the London skyline.
What to Bring for your o2 Arena Climb
To be honest, you don’t need to bring that much with you as most of the equipment you’ll need for the climb will be provided.
After watching a brief safety video you’ll be given shoes (regardless of the ones you are wearing), a safety harness, and either a wind vest or jumpsuit (depending on the time of year.)
I recommend bringing:
A water bottle for afterwards
You camera – as long as it’s small and can fit in a zipped pocket
Warm layers, hat, and gloves if it’s cold
Socks to wear with the loner non-slip shoes
Everything else will be put in a blue plastic box to be sent to the opposite side of the arena for your to retrieve after the climb.
Climb the o2
Once you’re suited up out your camera or phone into your zip pocket to get ready to go. You can’t take photos while you’re climbing, but can once you get to the platform at the top. You’ll head outside and go up to the platform for a safety briefing and to learn how to use the equipment. Before you officially start the climb an in-house photographer will take your photo a few times including a photo of you on the blue platform. You can purchase photos after the climb.
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The climb to the top can take a while. It’s pretty steep and depending on how good the person in front of you is at working their safety harness it how fast or slow you’ll go. The views on the way up are amazing so take the time to enjoy the climb.
Once you make the climb, the platform at the top gives a 360 degree view of the Thames, Greenwich, and the London skyline.
All along the edge of the platform are informational plaques all about London. They tell climbers all about the areas that their looking at as well as giving a bit of history.
If you book a celebration climb, you’ll get your glass of champagne at this time.
While climbing up the 02 was awesome, the climb down is a little scary. It was like hiking down the steepest decline ever. In one of the most recent James Bond movies be slides down the side. While I wish that was possible it isn’t. Bummer. Take your time and lean back as you walk.
When you get to the bottom make sure you take a photo with the “I Climbed. I Conquered.” sign and use the hashtag #upattheo2 on social media.
From there you’ll return all your loaner gear and get your stuff back. To get back to the main entrance on the O2 take a left out of the office and walk all the way around the arena.
Would you Climb the O2 Arena? Or have you done it already? Let me know in the comments.
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