Have you braved the climb at Up At The O2 yet? No? Well, there’ll be no better time to ascend the London landmark than on Saturday, December 3, for a rather special, festive edition of the exhilarating activity. For one night only, you’ll be able to enjoy the panoramic views of London’s skyline as you enjoy a festive treat and listen to a live Christmas choir perform much loved carols.
The year-round Up At The O2 experience encourages Londoners and visitors to strap up and scale the iconic white roof of the O2 Arena across 90 minutes. You can choose from daytime, twilight or sunset climbs throughout the day; this festive iteration will take place during the Saturday’s twilight time slots.
Highest outdoor Christmas carol concert
If, like me, you have a fear of heights, you may not wish to know that the highest point of the climb reaches 52 metres above street level. However, if also like me, you can be persuaded by hot chocolate and carol singers to make the climb, then you’ll be in for a treat. Choir Vocal Dimension Chorus will entertain climbers with renditions of traditional carols and Christmas hits once they reach the summit, while you’ll be able to warm yourself up from any brisk winter winds with a complimentary Nescafe & Go Aero Hot Chocolate.
From December, climbers will have their route to the top illuminated by a brand-new installation of over 1,000 twinkling lights, creating the ideal colourful backdrop for any selfies. Dan Hurst, Head of Attractions at Up At The O2 said: “Christmas is such a magical time of year and nothing says Christmas like carol singing, so we’re thrilled to offer our customers a unique experience that they won’t get anywhere else this year.”
What to expect from the climb
Last week, I got a little sneak preview of the festive Up At The O2 edition – and given my fear of heights, it was a Christmas miracle that I agreed to attend. However, I’m so glad I did. We started our journey at Base Camp, which is located just to the left of the entrance to the O2. A friendly team member – our guide for the climb – took us through a video safety briefing, and then it was time to swap our shoes (the O2 provide climbing shoes with grip, if yours aren’t suitable) and harness up. No photos are allowed during the climb itself, so we snapped a few at ground level, before securing our phones in our pockets, ready for the photo ops at the summit.
Our climb guide checked we were all secured, and fastened us to the safety panel that runs down the middle of the climb’s pathway. Be warned, the initial few meters are pretty steep (30 degrees, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but tell my calves and triceps that!), but then it levels out, and you can stroll comfortably, admiring the view. At the summit, the carol singers – donning Santa hats, of course – will lift your spirits even higher than where you’re standing with renditions of favourites like Jingle Bells, Merry Christmas, and even the semi-haunting Carol of the Bells. With an Aero hot chocolate in hand, you’ll feel super festive. After the carol performance is over, you’ll have time to snap photos, with the stunning backdrop of the city and just take it all in.
The climb back down is pretty easy. Until you get to that 30 degree spot again. However, if like me, you have any trouble, the climb guides at the O2 are so incredibly supportive, patient and friendly. They coaxed me down in good time (the second Christmas miracle of the night), and I can’t speak highly enough of the staff there. I very much recommend the entire experience, whether you are a Christmas fiend, adrenaline junkie, neither or both!
To partake in a Christmas climb at Up At The O2 yourself, book one of the following time slots: Saturday, December 3, 4.15pm, 4.30pm, 4.45pm, 5pm, 5.45pm, 6.15pm or 6.30pm. The climbs are priced at £41pp – same as a standard twilight climb – and you can upgrade for £8pp if you fancy a glass of Champagne Lanson at the summit too.