London’s history is as great as the city itself. Established nearly 2,000 years ago by the Romans, it has stood the test of time. The iconic London skyline is the perfect representation of this, with buildings like Westminster Palace, St. Pauls Cathedral, and The Tower of London interspersed with modern glass structures like The Gherkin and The Shard. So many of London’s buildings are recognised around the world, and one of the most recognisable is the 02 Arena.
Originally opened in December 2000 as the Millenium Dome to house an exhibition to celebrate the arrival of the new millennium, it became the 02 in 2007 after years of debate about the future of the building. The failure of the Millennium Exhibition meant that the space was unusable, so it was converted into an events space, and is now one of the largest in the country.
So now we know a little about the history of the arena, did you know you can climb it? We all recognise the massive white dome, with its 12 yellow stanchions shooting into the air, but not many of us are familiar with the view from the top of it! If you are visiting the city this year and have booked a room at the Park Grand Paddington Court London, and you’re looking for an unforgettable experience to punctuate your trip, then this is the one. Ascend the walkway to marvel at the city skyline from a whole new perspective! But first, here are a few things you need to know before your adventure begins!
Useful Info & Facts
Let’s take a quick dive into the facts and features that make this structure so iconic!
- The twelve yellow stanchions that support the dome are intended to represent the 12 hours on a clock’s face, referencing the importance of Greenwich Mean Time
- With a 365 metre (one for each day of the year!) diameter it is one of the largest structures of its type in the world
- The yellow support tower reaches an incredible 330ft into the sky
- The entire structure actually weighs less than the air contained within!
- At its peak the dome is 52 metres high- one metre for each week of the year!
The Dome is centrally located, and thus easy to reach thanks to London’s excellent public transport services.
Via the Tube…
If you are arriving on the tube then head for North Greenwich Station on the Jubilee Line. If you are heading to the 02 from your Hotels Near Lancaster Gate then you can walk to Bond Street Station, or hop on the Central Line from Lancaster Gate station.
Ferry/ Uber Boat…
If you are arriving by water taxi (the coolest way to arrive) then hop off your boat at the North Greenwich Pier, and you will have a pretty clear idea of where the arena is from there! If you are coming from your Hyde Park Hotel then hop on the District or Circle Line to Westminster, and head to the Westminster Pier.
Arriving by Car…
If you are arriving by car from your London Heathrow Hotel then head to the Blackwall tunnel or A102, and you will be able to enter the MIllenium Way Car Park directly.
Tickets and Options
There are several different options for the type of climb you can do, and all tickets must be booked in advance. Remember that the climb is only available on certain days of the week, and there are limited tickets, so plan ahead to avoid disappointment.
The Daytime Climb runs throughout the day, up to 1 hour before the sun sets. On a clear day you can see up to 15 miles!
Head up as the sun goes down and enjoy the city skyline against the backdrop of an incredible sunset.
Birthdays, Anniversaries, special occasions- whatever you are celebrating you can enjoy a champagne toast atop the dome.
Summit the dome when the sun has set and enjoy the atmospheric sky as the light dwindles.
Why Climb the 02?
As one of the best activities in central London there are many reasons to climb the dome. If you are looking for something to do with the whole family on your next city break, or if you are celebrating a special occasion, climbing the 02 will be something that you and your party will remember forever! The climb itself is relatively steep, but you will be secured by a harness and some top of the line safety equipment. Achievable by all abilities, the view at the top will be worth it!
Not many people realise you can get an adrenaline fix in the heart of the capital, but you can! Feel the breeze in your hair as you ascend above the Thames. Here is how your experience will pan out!
Prepping for the Ascent
You will have to sign all the paperwork and waivers- the boring stuff. Next you will meet your guide who will get you suited and booted, then talk you through the safety features. You will then be led to the start of the climb!
The climb is fairly easy, although you may feel it in your legs once you start to advance up the 28 degree slope. You will be secured to the safety line, and the grippy mats under your feet will ensure you can’t slip.
Once you have conquered the climb you will arrive at the viewing platform, able to accommodate 40 people comfortably. Take in the views and feel the wind in your hair at 52 metres above the city. You will have time for pictures and to catch your breath, so don’t rush!
The descent is the fun part, ease yourself down, take your safety kit off and enjoy the memories and photos for a lifetime.
So there we have it, everything you need to know before you climb the 02 Arena. Make sure you bring a camera, and wear some comfy clothes. These are memories you’ll have for life.