LDN Experiences

Published on May 14th, 2015 | by Gavin


Up at the O2, Greenwich Peninsula

You may be aware of the near pant wetting experience I had abseiling from the top of the ArcellorMittal orbit in the Olympic Park a couple of months ago (if not, check out this YouTube video which speaks for itself). Being gluten for punishment, I decided to take part in another thrill seeking adventure by climbing the 50 metre high roof of the O2 Arena is Greenwich- why do I always agree to such madness?!

The O2 is one of the most recognisable landmarks in our city after it was first opened in 2000 as the Millennium Dome. The Up at the O2 experience opened in 2012, and gives visitors the chance to view the iconic live music venue from a totally different perspective. The entire experience lasts an hour and a half including safety briefing, ascent, descent, and up to 15 minutes taking in the sights from the viewing platform at the peak.

After getting one of the cringiest safety videos out of the way (and I mean Keith Chegwin levels), we were soon into our safety harnesses before making our way to the base of the man-made mountain. I decided against leading the group in favour of a midfield role, that way I wouldn’t be responsible for taking everyone out in a domino effect if I take a tumble.

Despite being relatively fit, the first third of the ascent is a lot more testing on the legs than I imagined; my burning calves thank me when the climb eventually evens out onto a gentler slope. This is the point where I can really start enjoying the views, recognising bends in the Thames, the One Canary Wharf building, and the ExCel arena in the near distance. Despite a fear of heights, it hasn’t bothered me at all, which I put down to the fact we’re not facing a vertical drop and  I have complete confidence in the equipment and our guide.

After about 20 minutes we reach the summit and everyone scrambles for their phones (the only thing you’re allowed to carry) to snap the obligatory selfie (minus selfie stick as they are prohibited- hooray!). We’re lucky to have chosen a day when the sky is clear so most of London’s tallest landmarks are clearly visible- I can imagine a wet and gloomy day to be a bit insipid, but today is perfect. The 15 minutes fly by and sadly we have to make way for the next group who are massaging their legs just as I was not too long ago.

Once safely back on land, I have time to reflect and can’t think of a thrill seeking adventure I’ve enjoyed more than Up at the O2 since we began I’m A Londoner’s LDN Experiences. In terms of the fear factor, it was a doddle compared to the abseil (my pants remain Pampers dry). The views may not be as spectacular as the Sky Garden or Duck & Waffle, but as an overall experience, sitting on a roof garden pales in comparison.


Up at the O2 is priced from £28 per person. Climbers must be at least 1.2metres tall and over 10 years old.


Up at the O2, O2 Arena, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0DX

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About the Author

Born and raised in Croydon, South London, Gavin is a lover of cocktails, a passionate foodie, and a self-proclaimed ‘dancing god’. A (relatively) normal guy that decided to start blogging about his experiences around the city he loves.

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