Reviews Tourist Attractions Travel

Emirates Air Line and the O2 Arena


I think it’s usually important (and super fun) to take time to be a tourist in your own city occasionally. There’s a reason that certain attractions become famous and you should check them out at least once before writing them off. I’ve been wanting to ride the Emirates Air Line over the Thames since it opened in summer 2012. Unfortunately, many people in my life in England seem to have a paralysing fear of heights. That left this girl with no ride companion for the longest time.

things to do in London
View from a cable car going across the Thames towards the O2  (Greenwich) side.
The Emirates Air Line is a cable car (or gondola, if you prefer) system that go across the Thames from Greenwich to the Royal Docks.  Not only is it great for experiencing the Thames from a unique angle, you can see the Thames Barrier and have great views of the city all at the same time.
If you have an Oyster card (a London metro card) then you get discounted prices on the trip tickets, a fact I love!
The western boarding area in Greenwich is just a short walk away from the O2 houses a massive arena (the 2nd largest arena in Europe), a movie theatre and loads of restaurants and bars. You can also climb the O2 dome but that will have to be another trip.
things to do in london 02
 One of the staircases to climb the O2 dome.
things to do in London O2
The O2 is some of it’s glory.
things to do in london outside O2 arena
Shoes: Joules c/o
Outside the O2 there are loads of facts about the Greenwich observatory, time and space because Greenwich is most famous worldwide for……you guessed Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian.
We wandered around the O2 before circling back to the Emirates Air Line to give Sam time to conquer his fear of heights. I’m mentioned before that I have knack for always wanting to do things that involve heights. Like the Eiffel Tour and the Sagrada Familia. But Sam once again pushed his fear aside so that we could experience something that I wanted to do. (Secretly, he likes that I insist on doing these things because he loves saying he’s done them, even if the first few minutes are a bit unsettling for him.)
things to do in london in the emirates gondola
 Just after boarding the Emirates Air Line.
things to do in london: view from the emirates airline
 View from the cable car of sailboats moored on the Thames. The Thames Barrier is in the background.
sam on the emirates air line
 Sam enjoying (or tolerating) his flight.
things to do in london, ride the emirates air line
 You could see into other cars when they passed you. Which I thought was both really neat and existentially hilarious. Obviously I took a picture then.
things to do in London, ride the emirates air line
Approaching one of the towers.
Once on the Royal Dock side we walked along the river for a bit until we reached the Royal Victoria Dock Bridge, which is a footbridge in the Docklands.  The bridge is very, very close to London City Airport so planes taking off pass right above your head!
sam and the thames royal victoria dock bridge
 Sam looking handsome on the Royal VIctoria Dock Bridge
royal victoria dock bridge
 Amanda: Trying to catch planes since 1988.
After our walk around we headed back to take a cable car back across the Thames at sunset.
emirates air line at sunset things to do in london
 Ascending out of the Docklands.
things to do in London ride the emirates air line at sunset
This was the first outing for our new and first camera.


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  • Kim

    My mum is scared of heights but I managed to convince her to go on this with me last month. She had her eyes closed tightly on the way up but was OK once we had finished the ascent. The views were stunning.

    • That’s how Sam was in the end as well. Hope you both enjoyed it – you really can’t beat the views! x