Formerly 'The Mile Long Bookshelf'

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Climbing the O2 Arena!


I'm adventurous but only a little. I like to leave my comfort zone sometimes but not too much. New experiences make me nervous even if I end up enjoying them. So when I was asked if I wanted to climb the O2 last summer... I didn't particularly, but I made the leap anyway.

My main worries were that I wouldn't be able to do it, or that I wouldn't be good enough, or that I'd lag behind everyone else, or make a tit of myself in some way. I'm petite, not very strong, I have anxiety, and I have issues with my knees, so climbing the O2 which is 52 metres high? Um...

We got to the box office which is in a small building to the left of the O2's main entrance. From here, you can see the walkway that goes up and over the dome, and due to the amount of time slots they offer, you'll probably see a group already on their way up.

We entered a room for our induction where we were shown a safety video and how to use the equipment. And then I got my super stylish climb suit, boots and harness, which could only mean one thing... it was time to start the ascent.

Our guide clipped us to a rope in the middle of the walkway, with us commoners on one side and the guide on the other to help us along. There was no going back...

And I wasn't the slowest of the group! It was hard work, especially on a hot day, but when we got to the top the views of London were so worth it. Bloody windy though.


Surprisingly, the way down was most difficult, although even with my shit knees it was fine. Slightly scary though, going forwards down a practically-vertical slightly bouncy walkway... but when I got down, I truly felt like I'd achieved something. I'd done something I would never usually do, and it was such an incredible experience. In fact, writing this post is making me want to do it again!

I really, really recommend the Up at the O2 experience. Everyone's in the same boat, and the guide's job is literally to get you through it. So if you're looking for something slightly wacky and exhilarating to do in London, this should definitely be somewhere on your list. It's nice to feel like you've achieved something not for any financial/career reason, but solely for yourself.

I'm thinking sunset, next time...


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