Up at the O2: Climb The O2 Arena in London!

Since we were living in London for a few months, we were determined to explore this beautiful city inside and out. We were excited to have the opportunity to tick something off of our London Bucket List… we were going to climb Up at The O2 with our kids (well, one kid anyway).

The O2 Arena is the 9th largest building in the world and hosts mega concerts and events. It was originally called Millennium Dome and was built in 1999 just in time for the turn of the millennium.

The O2 is located right next to the river Thames on the Greenwich peninsula in South East London. The area around the O2 is a large entertainment district and there’s a shopping mall that wraps around the arena itself. ‘Up at The O2’ is a guided walking experience that takes you up and over the roof of the O2 arena. You can book tickets for Up at the O2 here.

Up at the O2 - basecamp at the O2 in London

things to do in london with kids: climb over the O2 arena

Up at The O2: Daytime Climb!

We arrived at The O2 ‘basecamp’ and began to fill out the waiver (standard safety stuff for this type of thing). Then we were given special shoes and taught how to use our safety harnesses. We left our personal belongings in a locker, but we were able to bring phones in a zipped pocket to take pictures.

The guide showed us how to attach, walk, and un-attach our lines, and after practicing a couple of times we were ready to go. I’m not a fan of heights, so climbing to the top of this 52-meter arena felt slightly uncomfortable.

climbing the O2 arena in london - fitted and kitted

Just so you get the idea, The O2 is a massive dome with a blue walkway suspended above the dome. The surface of the walkway was soft and unstable. It’s a bit like walking along a trampoline, and it took a few steps to get used to the instability of the path and the bouncy feeling. Regardless, we felt incredibly safe as we were attached to the safety rail the whole time. Using the harness and climbing gear does take some getting used to, but it’s not really that complicated and after a few minutes we were climbing like pros!

climbing up at the O2 arena in london with kids

The first section is the steepest with an incline of 28 degrees, but after the climb flattened out, we were treated to the most stunning views of London from every angle.

Up at The O2: The Viewing Platform

We reached the viewing platform, unclipped from the safety rail, and we were able to soak in the 360-degree panoramic view of London. The platform is suspended from twelve support towers; it was incredible up there on top of the world!

london experiences with kids: up at the O2

views from the top of the O2 arena in London

After soaking in the views from every angle, we reattached ourselves to the guide rail and began to walk down the other side. Walking down was a lot faster and easier despite the fact that we were facing a steep incline downhill. I tried not to think of the 52-meter (170ft) height and breathed my way through any feelings of discomfort. It wasn’t long before we were back at ‘base camp’.

Going down the roof of the O2

Kid looking up from basecamp at Up at the O2 climb in London

The experience of climbing such a massive structure was thrilling. We felt proud we pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone as a family.

Can I Climb Up at The O2?

Probably, but there are a few rules.

It was incredible up there on top of the world! Up at The O2 is a great attraction for anyone visiting London and the guides are incredibly helpful and patient. If you have a sense of adventure you will enjoy this experience.

  • The O2 climb can be booked during the day, at sunset, or at twilight for different views of London.
  • Climbers must be at least 10 years old, at least 1.2 metres tall, and weigh less than 21 stone.
  • Under-18s must be with an adult, and there must be one adult for each two children.
  • For full details go to the Up at The O2 website

Satisfied climbers

Up at the O2: Insider Secrets

Are there only daytime climbs? 

While daytime climbs are popular, many aren’t aware that the O2 also offers twilight and sunset climbs. These special timings provide climbers with the chance to see London’s skyline bathed in golden hues or lit up at night, offering a completely different and magical experience compared to the day climbs.

Are there any special climbs on holidays?

The O2 occasionally hosts themed climbs that coincide with events or seasons, such as Halloween or Christmas. These climbs can include additional entertainment or decorations to enhance the festive spirit. Check the schedule or call them before you book to see if your visit aligns with any of these unique experiences.

Can you bring a backpack or camera on the climb? 

Many first-time climbers don’t realize that personal belongings, including phones and cameras, are not allowed on the climb for safety reasons. However, climbers are provided with suits that have pockets for small essentials, and lockers are available for larger items. The climb guides often take photos during the experience, which are available for purchase afterwards. You might be able to sneak your phone on if you only take photos when you get to the top.

Is the O2 walkway bouncy?

Yes – very! The fabric walkway that stretches over the roof of the O2 Arena is really quite bouncy, it’s like a taut trampoline. This adds an unexpected element of fun to the climb. This design is intentional, to help absorb the impact of climbers’ footsteps, but it also requires a bit of extra balance and can be quite the workout!

Are climes cancelled because of the weather?

No, the O2 climb was designed to be an all-weather outdoor activity. You’ll be wearing all-weather suits and boots to handle various conditions, including rain. In cases of extreme weather conditions — like very high winds or electrical storms — climbs may be postponed for safety. That means you can plan your climb without worrying about the weather forecast, no matter how wet you might get.

Would you climb Up at The O2 in London?

Let me know by leaving a comment below and join me on Instagram and Twitter!

*** This article is sponsored but all opinions are my own***

About The Author

Samantha

I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Nikki | 30th Sep 20

    I love reading about your traveling experiences. I also enjoy watching you be a mother that’s delighted by her family.

    • Samantha | 30th Sep 20

      ahhh thank you Nikki! I am truly trying to embrace every second I have with them… as we have seen this year… life can change in an instant!

      XX

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