If anywhere in London’s made for a selfie, it’s the observation platform at Up At The O2.
Standing against the backdrop of Canary Wharf, or angling the lens to squeeze in both the Thames Barrier and a smile erases thoughts of being 52m above ground level.
Granted, you’ll have to leave the selfie stick at home. Everyone trekking up the tent needs to don a special safety jacket – and the coat pocket is just not big enough. But there’s an official snapper for those family photo album memories.
Spending a Saturday afternoon scaling the 28 degree gradient of the world’s most popular music venue was my 18th birthday gift to my cousin, Ciaran.
And it was the perfect present to mark the milestone.
Beforehand, our group of climbers had trooped into the briefing room, a space bubbling with nervous energy.
Fun facts and trivial tit-bits in the light-hearted safety video were good stress-busters for scaredy-cats.
And who knew the Dome’s 52m height was designed to reflect the number of weeks in a calendar year?
You’re kitted out with shoes, a vest and a carabena and then the switch from solid ground to spongy walkway begins.
Attached to the cable system there’s the freedom to soak up the surroundings. To the left, Canary Wharf’s towers. And emerging on the right, peeking over the crisp white dome, the shapes of the Excel and the Crystal.
When you’re at the viewing platform you can unclip, explore and capture that perfect landscape shot.
Our guide Chris gathered the group to point out the East End landmarks for non-Londoners.
With developments springing up all around – including the Intercontinental Hotel at The O2 – the scenery in your selfie will be out of date in a couple of months.
But that’s the perfect excuse to return.
Tickets start from £28.
Through the eyes of a youngster
Up At The O2 by Emily Medina Kennedy (aged 12)
With the cold weather across our faces, we set off, up The O2, gazing over the twilight cityscape while boats passed the River Thames.
My Dad and I were determined to walk up to the top of one of London’s most famous landmarks. We changed into special clothes wrapped with straps and chains and watched an instructional video before mounting the Dome.
You had to fiddle with the safety gear to manipulate it through a metal contraption, however the instructor was there to help and everything was perfectly safe. Bouncing up the pathway that led to the summit, we discovered a city full of life and adventure.
London lights shone like stars in the night sky. I gazed around at the memorable moment hearing the laughter of the group. Ecstatic, we descended our journey finished. The twilight turned to darkness like the city had fallen asleep. We entered the base and changed clothes, saying goodbye to our voyage.