Golden ToursCable car and river cruise combo Use the 1-day River Roamer ticket to catch the Thames Clipper from Westminster to The O2, then enjoy a return ride on the Emirates Air Line cable car, then ride the boat back to Big Ben again
The cable car is No.3 in the list of London's best attractions for kids
Officially known as the 'Emirates Air Line', this cable car across the Thames was launched in 2012 as part of the London Olympics transport system. It carries people between The O2 and ExCel London, with fantastic views of the O2 Arena, skyscrapers at 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 definitely be aware!) and it sways noticeably as it dangles from the wire -- you can definitely feel it move. But that's what makes it so fun (apparently!) It's also very easy to ride -- if you've got an Oyster Card, Visitor Oyster Card or contactless card then you don't even need to buy a ticket. You can just swipe it through the barrier in exactly the same way that you do on the London underground. [Note: You can buy yourself a Visitor Oyster Card online. You can also combine them with a London Pass, to save you even more money.]
The tiny cabins 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 get one cabin all to yourself, but during busy times you might have to share it 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. You can also ask him a question about the cable car before you go. Or how about writing your own review after you've been? Then you can let people know what they're in for!
Craig recommends combining a trip on the cable car with a boat ride on the Thames Clipper, which travels from Big Ben to the pier at the O2. (The other boat companies only go as far as Greenwich, so it has to be a Thames Clipper.) A great way to get back from the ExCel end is on the Docklands Light Railway, which is an automated monorail train, so you can sit at the front and watch out the window -- check out Craig's review to see what it's like (it's a lot better than it sounds).
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.
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.”
Craig’s review – “I don't like heights. My problem with heights is this: they are always too high. Before you try and ride the cable car take a walk along the river and stare up at it for a second. You get quite a nice view of industrial London by The O2. You can see the factories and cranes and big ships across the water, the Thames Barrier, the red wire mesh of the ArcelorMittal Orb… continued”
Motown — The Story of Berry Gordy’s label – 11 Feb 2016 to 29 Dec 2019 – Relive Berry Gordy's journey as he launches Motown and the careers of superstars like Michael Jackson
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery – 31 Mar 2016 to 7 Apr 2019 – The writers behind 'The Play That Goes Wrong' are back with 'The Comedy About A Bank Robbery' at the Criterion
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – 30 Jul 2016 to 28 Jul 2019 – Palace Theatre will be showing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child -- a brand-new Harry Potter story by JK Rowling.
School of Rock – 22 Oct 2016 to 20 Oct 2019 – The Jack Black movie 'School of Rock' has been turned into a West End mind-blowing musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes.
Sunday football on Hackney Marshes – Every Sun – Hackney Marshes is the home of Sunday league football, with over 70 matches played between dozens of amateur teams.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – 6 Nov 2017 to 6 Apr 2019 – 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' is all about overcoming prejudice, with songs by The Feeling's Dan Gillespie Sells.
Hamilton — one of America’s Founding Fathers – 21 Nov 2017 to 30 Mar 2019 – Alexander Hamilton was George Washington's right hand man, and one of America's Founding Fathers.
If you enjoy Emirates Air Line then you might like to visit London Eye (catch the train from Royal Victoria to London Eye), O2 Arena (you can walk it in 7 mins), The Shard (catch the train from Royal Victoria to The Shard), Sky Garden (catch the train from Royal Victoria to Sky Garden) and Thames Clippers (catch the train from Royal Victoria to Thames Clippers)
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans