Every time I visit the O2, I see people climbing to the top and always think to myself how cool it’d be to do that. When the opportunity came my way however, I realised that my tea of heights wouldn’t even let me experience it so I pass it on to my friend and colleague Akesha and below is her review.
I was so excited to experience Up At The O2 as I hadn’t heard a great deal about it. We we’re booked for the sunset climb at 6.30pm and the booking receipt states that you should arrive around 15 minutes before your time slot, which we did, but despite this we didn’t start our briefing until 6:30 anyway so I think that’s just to make sure no ones late.
Once it was our time we were taken through to watch an odd video briefing, (which even our
guide prefaced by saying how weird it is) that provided all the safety information about the climb. Once that finished our guide reinforced the safety info to really hone in on the importance of it. We were then taken through to the equipment part to get our jackets and our harnesses and told to use the toilet. I already needed it so that was fine, but I would say if you don’t, force one out anyway because there is literally no way for you to go once you’re on your way up.
In regards to the safety gear, we were given a jacket (not a bodysuit – phew), climb shoes and a harness. You’re allowed to bring your phone/little camera up but have to keep it zipped up in your jacket pocket until you get to the “viewing platform”. You have to leave your bags and shoes in a box, which is stored in a large container in the dressing room. The safety harness is pretty comfortable, the only annoying thing is the attachment that you have to wear that hooks you onto the building which you have to just let dangle between your legs – awks. You can hold it but it’s gets heavy.
Once you finally start the climb after all that kaffufle, that’s when you realise how worth it it is! Firstly there is no need to be scared as you are literally attached to the O2 so there’s nowhere to fall off and the mechanism you’re attached to you have to pull through each section stopcan’t really slide back or forward -you’re completely in control. The first part of the climb is the hardest – it’s like walking up an impossibly steep hill but super slowly so it’s not too taxing on the old heart! On the way up your tour guide talks to you a bit about a few sights and I, a life long south Londoner, even learnt so new things about my stomping ground! Once you get to the viewing platform you’re able to unhook yourself and walk about
(or sit down) and take pictures/take in the view.
Now I’m not going to lie and say it’s a view to rival The Shard, as of course the O2 isn’t the same structure or height, but what I loved about it was that you got to see the a lesser known part of the city in all its glory. So much focus is shone on Central London so it was nice to see another side of London’s landscape. I would definitely recommend the sunset climb if you’re wondering what time to go (even our guide, Kate, said we picked the best time) as nothing really beats a stunning pink sun setting over London.
The breathtaking pictures that Akesha took Up at The O2 made me wish I go to see it with my own eyes. I do agree with her and the guide about the sunset being the best time to climb. Imagine seeing this view whilst on a date.
For more information about Up At The O2 please click here and here for opening times.