Unusual Activities In London – Part 2
Reaching New Heights… The 02 Climb
I’m certainly embracing the amazing Shonda Rhime’s concept of saying yes to opportunities as demonstrated in her book Year of Yes and my closest group of friends are certainly taking advantage of it! The latest idea was that we spend our May bank holiday on the roof of the iconic 02 building (formerly the Millennium Dome) especially in the light of me never climbing anything before and not having a great relationship with heights this one took a moment of consideration. Even when we went to Las Vegas a few years ago I opted out of the helicopter ride and Grand Canyon trip even though I knew the views would be utterly spectacular I decided to keep my feet firmly on the ground spending the day in an aquarium and doing some shopping instead.
When you constantly say no, you one day come to realise how much you miss out on either because you are ‘too afraid’ or ‘too busy’ so I decided this would be my boldest year yet even if I feel a little shaky thinking about what may come my way. Don’t get me wrong there are still some absolute ‘no go’s’ but I am opening up to a world of new possibilities for my Unusual Activities in London Series certain I can share some great options and guides with you in a hope it will encourage you to do things a little differently in your own lives.
“Always do what you are afraid to do” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Right let’s get to it, what is up at the 02? The Skywalk consists of a 90-minute experience, guided by an instructor you and your group quickly bond over a quick induction session before learning how to get suited and booted with the climb suits, harness and shoes provided. The walkway spanning over the building’s roof is specially designed and actually quite bouncy, although I wasn’t allowed to test out it’s trampoline ability all in the name of safety. This was probably for the best though as it has been quite a rainy day and we had to manage with a slippery surface which was a challenge on the steep climb down!
If you are worried about safety believe me you are well looked after, connected via cable during the entire walkway. Phones are stored in the specially built in pockets of the suit and you can only use them whilst on the observation platform but you do get enough time for pictures, videos and taking a deep breath whilst absorbing the magnificence of the building and surroundings as well as reflecting on your achievement.
I was lucky enough to be there the night of the Ed Sheeran concert so could hear the amazing crowd and music below as I took a few group shots then mapped out some of the famous landmarks along the skyline. It’s a great activity to get the heart racing and of course perfect excuse for celebratory drinks or a meal afterwards in one of the many restaurants and bars in the 02 or along the River Thames. It was also great to get to know other climbers from other parts of the world in London for the first time as well as other locals looking to experience the city from a new perspective as I did.
If you want to get involved booking is advisable whether taking on the sky walk challenge alone or in a group as it gets busy especially at peak times. I recommend a twilight session so you can be above ground during sunset and get to see stunning 360° views from the observation platform with moody blue skies and twinkling lights across the water, all at 52 metres high.
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