The Emirates Airline cable cars cross the Thames River and connect The Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks. On the one side you have the outer space looking O2 arena and on the other the Excel Centre centre which was recently redeveloped into Nightingale Hospital to deal with Covid-19.
Despite it being a very windy and interchangeable day we decided to take the short drive to Greenwich and go ahead with the experience. Besides it’s not like there is a lot of nourishment for families on a post-lockdown diet of staying in with a side of screen time for good measure. Or, if you’re lucky, venturing to the local park for the umteeth-hundreth time.
As we arrived we parked in the carpark for ICON at the O2 (which is free if you spend a bunch of cash in the shopping centre. So we did. Because forking £6 an hour for parking when there’s an option to get it free if you spend in the shops seemed like a good idea.)
Before we headed on the Emirates Airline we took a walk around the area, admired some of the art installations that are open to the public, took a bunch of pictures with murals and had a sandwich overlooking the river. Then we headed over to the cable cars with an excited toddler.
As it was lunchtime on a weekday, the place was pretty much deserted and most cable cars were running empty. We were warned before jumping on that it was rather windy at the top, but we were not deterred.
So we put hand sanitiser on and then jumped in one of the cabins. The cabins arrive every 30 seconds and the flights are approximately 10minutes each way. The pod fits in 10 people but because of social distancing families are encouraged to go in their own pod (not that there were that many families there.)
Riding the cable car is a unique London experience and the toddler delighted at seeing the river, the city skyline and people doing wild swimming. This part of East London is changing rapidly and it is interesting to see how the area has developed since my last visit on the Emirates Airline Cable Car in 2012 (shortly after it opened.) There is also the possibility of doing the Emirates Aviation Experience, but unfortunately at the time of writing that remains closed.
Our tickets cost £3.50 for a single fare (although we rode it back too so the total would be £7 per person). There are plenty of shops around where you can buy supplies for a picnic or if you fancy a treat Wagamama are doing takeaway (as are a bunch of other places in the area). The Tide walkway is currently closed but should be reopening in early to mid July.
Verdict: a well worth it day out. An escape from the mundane and a little break from our lockdown reality that is summer 2020.
For more information on the Emirates Airline cable cars please visit their website here. For more information on what is open on Greenwich Peninsula please visit their website her