It seems that I was one of the few people who liked The Millenium Dome, as it was called when it was called when it was first built. I had a couple of very enjoyable days there at the start of the century. So, when I was given the tickets to walk over the roof of it, as a birthday gift, I was delighted. It’s called the O2 arena now and the walk over its roof is “Up at the O2” with a tagline of “Get over it” – which might be a reference to how unpopular the venue was when it was opened.
The tours run every 15 minutes from roughly 10am until 10pm, although the start and finish times do vary from day to day. You can book them a long way in advance, but I would recommend waiting until you have a good idea of what the weather will be like before booking. They run whatever the weather, rain or shine and only cancel if there are gale force winds or if there is lightning within 5 miles.
It was a lovely sunny October day, the 30th, on the day we did it and although I’d imagine it would be an interesting experience in a thunderstorm, I suspect it would not be as pleasant. The walk up and down is quite steep at times, 30% maximum gradient, but the path is wide, and you are hooked up to a safety harness, so the journey to the top and back did not feel dangerous at any point. There are grips to hold your shoes on the steepest parts, but I bet the surface becomes quite slippery in the rain.
The podium at the top is big and provides beautiful panoramic views of the city skyscrapers and of the Thames east of London. The only cameras you are allowed to bring are those that will fit inside your zipped pockets. They do have gilets with zipped pockets, that they will lend you, if your jacket does not have zipped pockets. The pillars do make it a bit difficult for someone of my limited photographic ability to get photos that do justice to the views. The maximum group size is twenty and our guide, was very helpful with lots of information and offers of picture taking.