Officially known as the "Emirates Air Line", this cable car across the Thames was launched in June 2012 as part of the London Olympics transport system. It carries people between The O2 and the ExCel Centre on the other bank, with fantastic views of the O2 Arena, Canary Wharf, London City Airport, and the Thames Barrier further up the river.
A word of warning: The cable car is very high (those with vertigo should be aware!) and it sways ever so slightly as it dangles from the wire -- you can definitely feel it move. But that is what makes it so fun! It's also very easy to ride -- if you've got an Oyster Card you don't even need to buy a ticket. You can just swipe it through the barrier in the same way that you do on the London underground.
The small cars travel the 1.1 kilometres in five to ten minutes (the speed will vary depending on how busy the terminals are, because they slow down to let the people on and off). If you're lucky then you might even get a cabin all to yourself, but during busy times you might have to share with up to ten people. (You can pay for a private cabin if you like, but the cost is extortionate for a 5-minute ride.)
Craig has been on this ride a few times (but not willingly, he's scared of heights!), and you might like to read his reviews before you go -- here, here and here. He recommends combining a trip on the cable car with a boat ride back to Westminster from the pier at the O2.
Note: Whilst the cars were certainly useful during the London Olympics, we feel that they are less so now, because unless you're actually watching an event at The O2 or the ExCel Centre there is very little for you to do at either end of the journey. There are plenty of restaurants and pub-type places inside the The O2 (which you can enter without a ticket), and there are also a few shops and restaurants at the ExCel end -- but that's about it.
Have you got a review? Or a question about this event?
Guest – “Would I be able to take a small overnight case on the cable car ?”
Admin – “Of course, yes. They do have members of staff standing in front of the cabins, though, so you might have to open it and let them look inside.”
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Talk about Cable car across the River Thames
If you enjoy great views then you might like these other London events…
Westminster Cathedral’s bell tower – Every dayWestminster Cathedral's campanile is one of the city's best viewing platforms, rising 210 feet over the streets of Victoria.
Have a ride on the London Eye – Every dayEvery tourist should spend an hour riding the London Eye at the start of their break, as it gives a great overview of the city.
Whispering Gallery at St. Paul’s Cathedral – Monday to SaturdaySt Paul's Cathedal has got three domes that you can climb up -- the Whispering Gallery, Stone Gallery and Golden Gallery.
Climb up Big Ben, and see the bell – Monday to FridayThis tour will take you all the way up to the top of the clock tower, where you can stand next to Big Ben as it strikes the hour.
Climb to the top of The Monument – Every dayThe Monument to the Great Fire of London has a balcony at the top, which gives tourists some decent views of The City.
The Shard — for fantastic views of London – Every dayEnjoy the stunning views from the top of The Shard -- London's tallest skyscraper -- more than 1000-feet above the city.
See the view from the top of Wellington Arch – Every dayThe balconies on Wellington Arch have views of Constitution Hill, Apsley House and part of Buckingham Palace's gardens.
Sky Garden, in the Walkie-Scorchie’s roof – Every dayThe Sky Garden is a three-story garden that spans the top three floors of 20 Fenchurch Street (aka the Walkie Scorchie).
Bond in Motion — collection of James Bond cars – 21st March 2014 to 31st December 2016"Bond in Motion" is a huge collection of original cars, bikes and boats used during filming in the 007 James Bond movies.
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