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 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 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 of this event – “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”
School of Rock – 22 Oct 2016 to 5 Jan 2020 – The Jack Black movie 'School of Rock' has been turned into a West End mind-blowing musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – 6 Nov 2017 to 28 Sep 2019 – 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' is all about overcoming prejudice, with songs by The Feeling's Dan Gillespie Sells.
TINA — The Tina Turner Musical – 21 Mar to 21 Dec 2019 – TINA tells the story of Tina Turner, from her humble start in Nutbush to her transformation into a global superstar.
Watch some magic at the Magic Circle – 9 Apr, 14 May, 4, 18 Jun, 3, 17 Sep, 8, 22 Oct, 5, 12 and 19 Nov 2019 – Look around their museum and then sit down to enjoy an evening of magic at the Magic Circle's very own headquarters
Magic Realism — Art In Weimar Germany – 30 Jul 2018 to 14 Jul 2019 – Magic Realism is an exhibition of paintings created during the Weimar Republic years, between World Wars I and II.
Slavery, Culture & Collecting – 15 Sep 2018 to 15 Sep 2019 – This exhibition explores the connection between some of Britain's oldest cultural organisations and transatlantic slavery
Feliks Topolski — Drawing Debden – 1 Oct 2018 to 28 Jun 2019 – The Bank of England Museum will be putting on an exhibition of work by Feliks Topolski about the Debden printing works.
If you enjoy taking photographs of the skyline then here’s our pick of the best viewing spots in London
Look for more children’s events taking place in May
If you enjoy Emirates Air Line then you might like to visit London Eye (catch the train from Royal Victoria to Waterloo), O2 Arena (you can walk it in 7 mins), The Shard (catch the train from Royal Victoria to London Bridge), Sky Garden (catch the train from Royal Victoria to Monument) and Thames Clippers (catch the train from Royal Victoria to Waterloo)
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