The O2 Dome was built to commemorate the arrival of the third millennium and, throughout the year 2000, it housed the Millennium Experience. It’s since been converted into a huge entertainment complex with the second largest capacity arena in the UK at its heart.
The more adventurous among us can pay to climb up and over the roof! It starts with a sharp 30 degree incline then levels out a bit before you arrive at a central viewing platform with 360 degree views across the South East London skyline.
At my 50th birthday picnic, my friend Sian suggested she could challenge me to climb the O2 with her as she’d always fancied giving it a go. So, I added it to the list and we finally got around to booking a sunset climb in May 2022. Our mutual friend Jonathan joined us, and we, the intrepid three, set off for North Greenwich station on the Jubilee Line!
After a short briefing at base camp, we were kitted out with appropriate footwear, harnesses and clips, and off we went.
The walkway is made from a rubbery substance that’s kind of bouncy but firm. It’s quite odd. The first incline is ridged to provide traction as it’s quite steep. You’re attached via a wire rope and clip to a central safety rail, and there’s a safety catch every metre or so to navigate over, but it’s all pretty simple stuff. We managed a few giggles on the way up with Jonathan cracking jokes and the official guide regaling us with stories.
Once you hit the viewing platform, you really get the wow factor. We spotted Shooters Hill, The Orbit structure in the Olympic Park, Canary Wharf, London City Airport and, of course, Old Mother Thames winding her way through the city. Fabulous stuff.
I enjoyed the adrenaline of the climb and the views, and I’ll admit to being more nervous than I realised ahead of the experience. I was all in a fluster about what to wear and whether my shoes would be robust enough (they’re quite strict about that), etc etc, and realised my stressiness was actually nerves!
I didn’t need to be nervous, though. The staff were brilliant and the whole process was very smooth. It was fun and I’d do it again!