The climb over the O2 Arena is something I have been itching to do for ages and when the opportunity came up I grabbed it with both hands. For me the O2 Arena holds a special place as I remember many a school trip there in 2000 when it was just the Millennium Dome, and over the years I have seen a lot of live shows here from Spice Girls and Girls Aloud to Bring Me The Horizon and Foo Fighters.
The O2 Arena in itself is really interesting; did you know that there are 12 spikes to represent the 12 month’s of the year, it is 52m tall to represent the 52 weeks in a year and it is 365m in diameter to represent the 365 day’s in a year. This planning behind the building in itself is pretty impressive and anyone whose been here will know how big it feels with loads of bars and restaurants inside alongside a cinema, bowling alley and of course the huge arena holding around 20,000 people.
When we first arrived it was time for all the safety side including signing a waiver and watching a video about what to expect then it was time to kit up. You’re provided with shoes which have good grip on them which is good as I was only wearing vans when I arrived. During the colder months you’ll get an overall and in the warmer month’s it’s a gillet which is what we got. If you have longer hair you will need to tie this up as it can get pretty windy up the top.
Next up it was time to don our harness’ and head up the stairs to the start of the walk. Our guide Nathan was great at explaining how everything worked and it seemed like it would be a breeze going up (literally). We managed to take a few photos before we started the walk although this isn’t usually the case but you are permitted to take a phone or camera up to use at the viewing point at the top providing it’s sealed away in your jackets pocket.
The walkway itself is made of the same material as the main dome and feels a little bouncy underfoot so we had to resist such urges to jump on it like a trampoline *oops*. There’s no steps up to the top it’s just a slanted walkway and the walk up didn’t really feel that steep even when it got more vertical which is good as I’m not at my fittest at the moment and I didn’t struggle with the walk. When we reached the top we were greeted with stunning views out over London and were lucky to have full viability with views out as far as Wembley and Alexandra Palace which was pretty special.
Our guide did a rundown of what everything was that you can see which was really nice as it added a bit of context especially for those visiting London. After a 15 minute stop at the top we started to make our way down and I have to admit this did feel a lot steeper than going up and did make my knees hurt a little due to the angle but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. The whole thing took over 90 minutes which was a lot longer an experience than I was expecting and it was so much fun.