Licence to Thrill – Up at the O2

Have you ever wanted to dare to experience something new and invigorating? then why not climb over one of London’s most iconic landmarks. Up at the O2 is an experience like no other and you will get a stunning 360 degree panoramic view to a thrill.

The Millennium Dome then the O2

Before I tell you about my fun journey to the O2 and my exhilarating experience here is some further background of the O2.  

It originally opened up back in 31 December 1999 as the Millennium Dome and was created as a monument to space and time. Did you know that each of the yellow pillars represents the 12 months of the year, the height of 52m is for each week and it is 365 degrees round to represent each day in the year. During it’s time whilst open it had a number of exhibitions and events throughout the year.

It closed at the end of 2000. It then went into redevelopment for a new indoor entertainment complex which was undertaken by Meridian Delta Ltd. Construction of the arena started in 2003. It reopened in 2007 and was renamed after its primary sponsor, the telecommunications company the O2.

The O2 then has become an iconic example of architectural significance in the London. You can do many activities within, be it to see a concert, watch a movie or even visit an exhibition.

O2

From June 2012 it then became possible to walk over the O2 where visitors can venture up with colleagues, friends and/or family joining the 200,000 people and counting who have conquered Up at the O2! The whole experience lasts 90 minutes from the briefing to the climb and you will literally be walking over stars. 

Getting to the O2

This was the first ever time for me to do anything as exhilarating and challenging as the O2 as I have never hiked up anything in my whole life apart from stairs.  So the challenge was on.

Travelling to the O2

Starting the day off I travelled part train and part MBNA Thames Clipper from London Eye to get to the O2. Why not carry on by train you might ask? well I love ships and cruises (read my blogs on my cruise adventures at www.lovecruisesworldwide.com).  

MBNA Clipper

This was my first time sailing on the Clipper down the River Thames and I was highly impressed. The sailing was smooth, the views were lovely, the seating inside was luxurious and very comfortable thus making the journey to the O2 a pleasurable one.  

So rather than travelling down in the underground getting all hot and sweaty I highly recommend the Clipper anytime. Easy, regular time schedule, relaxing, pleasurable and views to admire.

The O2 can also be reached by bus, Taxi/Uber, cycle and/or the Emirates Air Line Cable Car.

Up at the O2

Up at the O2

Induction

The whole experience started with me and my blogger friends meeting up 15 minutes prior to our booked time of 7.15pm at the reception of Up at the O2. 

Up at the O2

Regina, Rhian, me, (Joanne), Mr Dummy, Luisa-Christie, Peter and Lucie 

We were all given waivers to sign which was then followed on by a short video induction. After we was given a brief talk by one of the explorers who will be guiding us up to the top of the O2.  Our guide for our thrilling adventure was Nathan. He then kitted us out with all the essentials we needed from the climbing shoes, suit and harness. I recommend wearing trousers as the harness is quite uncomfortable.  

After being kitted out with our climbing suit, boots and harness we all felt like a urban mountaineer.  It was now up, up and away.

The hike begins  

Time for us to conquer the epic heights of the O2 with our experienced guide Nathan who talked us through every step of the 350m walk.

Up at the O2 us

Ascending up to the top of the O2 via a long walkway suspended 52m above ground it started to make my legs tremble and my heart start to beat but once I stepped on the purple walkway I then felt like a kid on a trampoline as it was so bouncy, the resistance not to bounce on it was so hard but we was not allowed.  The walkway is made out of the same material as the dome so the dome is like a big trampoline but one that is not allowed to be jumped on.

At first the incline up to the top of the O2 does not look too bad but as soon as you start to walk you then realise that actually this is steeper than you initially thought and quite hard work. However I am unfit and have never hiked in my life. The steepest point going up is a 28 degree angle.  The other challenging aspect for me was getting pass each new section as after every metre or so there is a safety line which you have to shift your harness along.  Nathan had to help me on a few occasions.

A view to a thrill

Up at the O2 coming down

Upon reaching the top of the O2 we were 52m above ground level and 2m above the surface of the O2 roof.  I felt like I had conquered Mount Everest as this was my first ever hike.

The view from the observation platform was spectacular with a 365 degree panoramic view of the capital.  I could see so many famous landmarks from the Gherkin to the Shard. We were very lucky to have clear skies when we ventured up in the evening and watched as the sun set over London which felt heavenly.

Whilst up there you could learn more about London by reading/looking at the metal etchings all around the edge of the platform which showed what buildings you could see or gave an historical fact.  

02

Also Nathan was on hand to give some more modern interesting facts such as there has been approximately 200 marriage proposals up on the O2, what movies have been shot in London, how the James Bond film ‘The World is Not Enough’ was filmed on the O2, how Ian Fleming came up with the name Goldfinger for his book etc. but I won’t say anymore as you will find out more interesting facts about London if you brave the climb to the O2.   

The Descent

Descending was slightly scarier as the steepest decline of the walkway was a 30 degree angle.  With each step I also felt like I was going to topple forward (but I didn’t).

However it was not as strenuous on the legs going down thankfully. 

Celebration all around   

Once down it was time to celebrate as I can now officially say I have done my first ever hike and

Up at the O2 us

“I CONQUERED THE O2”    

Verdict

It was the most exhilarating and most physical experience I have ever done and achieved.  I highly recommend to anyone as the views were amazing and with me hiking up to the O2 to take in the wonderful view rather than say a lift I felt like I achieved something.  

So forget the lift at the Shard or being stuck in a pod at the London Eye get on hiking Up at the O2 instead as you will feel a sense of achievement.   

Nervous? Don’t be as the guides will be with you every step of the way.  

Want to book but have a few questions?

Can I climb to O2?

Up at The O2 is accessible for most people as long as you are over 9 years old and don’t weigh more than 21 stone.  

Even disabled guests and wheelchair users can climb the O2. Click here for further information.

How many people can be in a group?

A group can have up to 16 people.  

Can I take my camera or Go-Pro along?

No. But you can take your mobile with you. It has to be carried in the phone pocket on your climb suit and can only be used on the observation platform.  Anything else can be stored in their lockers.

Book

You can book either online Up at the O2 or you can buy tickets on the door but it is advised to book ahead to avoid disappointment.

 

Thank you to Up at the O2 for letting me and others from Love Pop Ups London come along to walk the walk.  This experience was complimentary from them but all views are my own honest opinion.

Click link below to read all the other bloggers & reviewers opinions.  All their views are of their own honest opinions.

Up at the O2

 

 

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