There is an unusual means of transportation in London, running between Royal Victoria and Greenwich Peninsula: it is the Emirates Air Line cable car link that gives you a view of London from a height up to 295 feet – 90 metres. The Emirates Air Line cable car is dog-friendly and can be a great experience (unless you or your dog are afraid of heights or moving/vibrating surfaces) that you can combine with a number of dog-friendly activities in the area, for a dog adventure in East/South London. All you need to know about it in this post. (Last Updated 19/7/2020)
Dogs allowed on Emirates Air Line cable car link
Is Emirated cable car dog-friendly?
Yes, the Emirates Air Line cable car link is dog-friendly, so you can enjoy the experience with your pooch. According to its FAQs, the only limitation is that animals should be carried at all times. This is most probably due to safety reasons – which makes sense if you think that you have to get on an off from a (though slow-)moving cable car. From our experience, staff seems quite relaxed about this rule though: we hadn’t realised about this rule when we visited until the time of drafting this post.
In any case, the Emirates cable car has step-free access, so in case you are travelling with kids/buggies, or you or your dog have mobility problems, you don’t have to worry.
When to go
The duration of the “flight” varies depending on the time of the day: during rush hour the 1 km trip takes 5 minutes, while on normal times it lasts 10 minutes. After 7pm the cars slow down even further, and the round trip has a 25-minute duration, or 12-13 minutes each way (for no extra charge), that can allow you to enjoy a more relaxing experience. We would recommend going for the longer flight to allow for an extended experience if you can.
Cabins arrive every 30 seconds circa, meaning that unless there is a long queue, you shouldn’t have to wait for long. When we visited (on a weekday evening) we didn’t find any queue.
The opening hours of the cable car are quite convenient. Both Summer and Winter times start at 7am on weekdays, 8am Saturdays and 9am Sundays and run until later in the evening (depending on the season and day of the week, closure is between 9pm and 11pm – find the full opening hours here). In case you miss the last cable car don’t worry: the station is at walking distance from North Greenwich station, close to The O2 Arena, where you can get the Jubilee line, or Silvertown station where you can get the DLR. There is also the Thames Clipper docking at North Greenwich Pier.
Closures. Please note that in case of strong winds or lighnting and thunder the service may be disrupted. In addition, there may be some planned closures, such as on Christmas Day and for regular maintenance. You can check whether there are any disruptions at this page or call their information line.
Conveniently, you can use your Oyster card (or your contactless) to pay for the Emirates cable car fare, touching in and out as you would at any TfL station. The pay as you go fare, if you use your Oyster Card, is £3.50 each way for adults and £1.70 for children older than 5 years, while dogs and younger children travel for free (you can find more about the fares, discounts etc here). You can also purchase return tickets for £7 adult or £3.40 child online on their website. Please note that fares are higher in case you don’t have an Oyster Card, with the single fare costing £4.50 for adult and £2.30 child.
Emirates cable car also offers a non-stop return private cabins experience for £60 (max 9 people), but to be honest, if you don’t go on peak times and you have a bit of luck, it is not that unlikely that you may be able to enjoy a cabin for yourself, so it may not be worth the price if it is only a few of you. Finally, there are tickets for Champagne flights for £28, where you are given a glass of the fizz and fast-track entrance.
Why to visit Emirates cable car
The view. The first reason to visit is definitely for the view. Seeing East (and South) London from a height, with the river running under you and some landmarks such as the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf on the background, as well as other attractions is truly an stunning view, especially on a sunny day.
The area. There is plenty to do in the area (see further below), so it can be a nice one to discover a new part of London both from above and exploring on foot the Royals Docks and North Greenwich neighbourhoods.
Photobooth. At the Emirates Greenwich Peninsula station, next to the exit you will also find a photobooth where you can get a free souvenir photo (you can choose a city background for it), which is sent to your email address – a fun memory!
A few tips for your visit:
- Keep your dog on a leash
- Be mindful of closing/opening doors
- Choose a sunny day and avoid peak hours
- Bring your Oyster Card
This experience is not recommended for…
If you or your dog are scared of heights, of vibrating/moving surfaces, or your dog is worried by certain noises, this is not the experience for you. The height you will reach is quite remarkable: 295 feet – 90 metres, and especially when you pass by the poles there are some noises and vibrations that may worry your dog if he/she is a nervous/shy type.
If, on the contrary, you have a confident hound and you like a view of the city from above, the Emirates cable car ride is something that you should definitely try. It can also be a good place for a training session if you are training your dog to getting used to all possible different environments.
Our dog-friendly experience
When we took the Emirates Air Line cable car with Argo I wasn’t sure about his reaction, but all went well. The cable cars move very slowly when they reach the station, so you have all the time to get on with your dog without a hassle. Also, as mentioned, dogs are supposed to be carried, and we can see that this rule may be particularly relevant when onboarding/off-boarding.
Once you get on the cable car, we were careful until the doors shut and then we could relax for the ride. We were lucky that there were not many people waiting and we could enjoy a whole cable car all for us! This meant being able to let Argo look around and choose the most comfortable position. At the beginning of the ride, he was very quiet and calm and walked over the cabin, but he changed his mind as we passed over the poles at mid ride, and preferred to stay grounded on the floor of the cable car for the rest of the trip.
When we got to the Greenwich Peninsula station, Argo was ready to get off and we decided to stop by at the photobooth for a (bit of a cheesy) snap: we managed to look awful in all the test photos and in the final one (so I won’t be sharing it to preserve a bit of dignity!).
We had dinner at the Jetty Peninsula and on our way back on the Emirates cable car, Argo was more confident and looked down at the river while we were travelling back in the beautiful yellow, orange colours of the sunset. We loved the evening and recommend it as a an evening out plan.
Dog-friendly things to do in the area
There is plenty to do on both banks of the Thames, if you visit Emirates Air Line cable car link with your dog.
North bank: Royal Docks with your dog
On the North bank of the river, before or after taking the Emirates cable car from Royal Docks, you can:
1. Have a stroll in Royal Docks
From Royal Victoria station it takes just a couple of minutes walk to the Royal Docks and the area around the basin is a good place for a stroll. The Royal Victoria sandy beach unfortunately is not dog-friendly and dogs cannot go for a swim either, but you can have a nice walk around the docks.
2. Go for SUP with your dog
3. Stop at a dog-friendly bar
You can stop for drinks at dog-friendly The Oiler Bar on the docks nearby: a lovely beer bar on a boat. From there (apart from live world cup football matches) you can often enjoy the perfect view of wakeboard acrobatics.
4. Visit Trinity Buoy Wharf
Not too far there is Trinity Buoy Wharf, where you can enjoy a walk among peculiars artwork, views of the river, an American diner (dogs allowed outside only), a small Faraday exhibition and more (all about a dog day out there in this post). A little curiosity: Trinity Buoy Wharf is where my favourite band, Bastille, recently filmed a music video of theirs.
South bank: Dog-friendly Greenwich Peninsula
On the other side of the river, where the Emirates cable car lands in North Greenwich, the dog-friendly activities you can enjoy are many too:
1.Have a walk on The Tide
The Tide is the new complex in North Greenwich. It is interesting to walk on the suspended path, which plays with optics and more.
2. Visit and have a meal at Jetty Greenwich Peninsula or another dog-friendly eatery at Greenwich Peninsula
The Jetty Greenwich Peninsula is just a short walk from the Emirates Greenwich Peninsula station, and if you go on an evening you can enjoy a great stroll on the river at sunset.
The Jetty, which is dog-friendly and once hosted the lovely dog-friendly Vagabond Food Cafe, now replaced by the alfresco Hej Coffee, which offers breakfasts and lunches, bringing coffee, food and drinks. We haven’t had brunch at Hej Coffee, but the place is enchanting, with those perfect colours and designs, plants of any kind, little objects with gracious designs… quite instagrammable.
As you walk on the jetty you start feeling in such a peaceful oasis, full of plants, flowers and colourful wood boards. The Jetty is the place for urban gardening and they have plenty of events that include urban farming, live music, supper clubs, workshops and more. They seem also very eco-friendly and even have waterless toilets (it may sound weird, but you need to check this out, and contrary to what you may think, it is odourless).
If you don’t fancy the Jetty, Craft London, near the O2, welcomes dogs! Unfortunately, it is currently closed until further notice.
3. Walk The Line art trail
The Line art trail runs around The O2 (and up to the Olympic Park) and features scupltures and other pieces of art (we previously talked about The Line in our guide to dog walking trails and routes in London). You can admire a few of these in the area, as described in the Line’s official map.
4. Cross the Prime Meridian
Most people pose across the prime meridian line at Greenwich Royal Observatory, but you can do it at Greenwich Peninsula too!
How to get there
The Emirates cable car departs from Royal Victoria and Greenwich Peninsula.
If you are coming from East/Central London, it is very easy to get to Silvertown, taking the DLR from Bank or Tower Gateway (towards Beckton) to Royal Victoria. Instead of the usual underground trips, you also get to see some landmarks on your way, like Canary Wharf’s skyscrapers. I love the DLR also because, if you are lucky to get a spot in the first rown of the front, you (and your dog) can enjoy the perfect view and even pretend to be the drivers.
If you are looking to arrive at Greenwich Peninsula as your departing station, apart from the Jubilee Line stopping nearby at North Greenwich, you can alternatively get the Thames Clippers river bus to North Greenwich Pier. There are also tickes combining Emirates cable car + Thames Clippers + Aviation Experience, but I am currently checking whether the latter is dog-friendly.
Find how to get to Emirates cable car North Greenwich terminal with Citymapper.
We hope that this can inspire your day/evening out! Since this post was first published, we have been tagged in many pics and told about lovely experiences – we love seeing your photos on the Emirates Cable Car – tag us on social media and let us know if you liked it!
E N J O Y !