O2 Centre climb: Entertaining with fantastic panoramic views of London

Nathalie Raffray and her son on the 02 summit

Nathalie Raffray and her son on the 02 Centre summit - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

If you have a fear of heights be assured that a climb to the top of the Millennium Dome is fine as long as you remember you're quite safe.

The O2 Centre climb is 52 metres at its highest point with stunning 360 degree city views at the top.

Unsure what was involved, but also intrigued, I signed up to climb the O2 Centre's iconic roof to mark my birthday.

The ascent path at the O2 Centre climb

The ascent path at the O2 Centre climb - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

I am not great with heights and always, always like to have something to hold on to if presented with one. 

From the moment my companion and I registered we were met with friendly, helpful staff which was reassuring.

We sat down down with our group to watch an orientation video with fun facts like the 12 yellow pillars supporting the dome symbolising the 12 months of the year and hours on a clock face in a nod to the time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.

The O2 Centre, shopping and leisure centre where you can climb the iconic roof

The O2 Centre, shopping and leisure centre where you can climb the iconic roof - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

The video also included a safety briefing... namely to resist bouncing on the path, however great the temptation.

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We were then given trainers, as our own shoes didn't have an appropriately deep enough tread, and a gilet with pockets to put our mobile phones in as we were not permitted to take photos on the ascent and descent, only when we reached the platform at the top.

Strapped up with harnesses, our guide helped us attach ourselves to a metal handrail, that reminded me of those don't buzz the wire loop games.

O2 Centre climb Guide Martin helping people attach their harnesses to the handrail

O2 Centre climb Guide Martin helping people attach their harnesses to the handrail - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

The rubber path is really bouncy, so you have to tread carefully, and although steep, we were going so slowly it wasn't too strenuous. 

At one stage, about a third up, I looked back, and my stomach lurched. I felt momentarily sick and quite dizzy as I promptly reminded myself that I was completely safe, no gust of wind was going to blow me off this. 

Up at the O2 looking south

Up at the O2 looking south - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

With our pre-ordered drink in hand, we had about 20 minutes to look around when we reached the top, with panoramic views of Canary Wharf, the Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, and Greenwich and other landmarks such as the Shard building.

Panels on the platform perimeter highlight facts about London

Panels on the platform perimeter highlight facts about London - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

Around the platform perimeter there is also information about London's history, the wildlife, flora and fauna - twenty minutes goes fast.

Our guide also pointed out landmarks and interesting facts, such as planes having the steepest descent into City airport because of cable car wires in its path.

Guide Martin speaks to the group on top of the O2 Centre roof

Guide Martin speaks to the group on top of the O2 Centre roof - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

The descent was harder than the ascent, and I had to hang on a bit tighter so I didn't slip. 

This is a entertaining 90 minutes from start to finish. 

The greeting when you finish the 02 Centre climb

The greeting when you finish the 02 Centre climb - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

Prices start at £35.

Nearest tube: Greenwich North.

For more information visit: www.theo2.co.uk/up-at-the-o2/climb