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 – “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 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.
Dreamgirls — soul music from 1960s America – 19 Nov 2016 to 12 Jan 2019 – The Tony Award-winning musical Dreamgirls is about a struggling soul group from 1960s America.
Princess Diana — Her Fashion Story – 24 Feb 2017 to 17 Feb 2019 – Diana's Fashion Story at Kensington Palace is an exhibition of iconic dresses that show the evolution of her style
42nd Street — High-kicking Broadway hit – 20 Mar 2017 to 5 Jan 2019 – 42nd Street tells the story of a Broadway dancer who gets her shot at stardom when the leading lady gets injured.
Poster Girls — A century of art and design – 13 Oct 2017 to 1 Jan 2019 – Poster Girls celebrates the work of female designers who worked for London Transport over the last 100 years
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.
Superbugs — The Fight For Our Lives – 9 Nov 2017 to 10 Mar 2019 – Learn how scientists are fighting back against the bacteria that are growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics
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 November
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)
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans