Calling all Monopoly gamers! Here is a fun way to bring the familiar Monopoly game to life in the streets of London. Along with this activity being a fun way to relive a part of your childhood, it is a great way to see a large portion of London. Also, if you are a Harry Potter fan, you’re in for a surprise…
Bright and early we set off from Chapter Spitalfields. It was a rather warm day, but we were very excited for the adventure that lay ahead. We started by taking the tube from Liverpool Street Station to Angel Station and took our first picture. Did we care that we looked absolutely crazy for having a photoshoot in front of the tube station? Nope. It was a great start to the day and set the pace for the rest of our adventure.
Next, we walked through Islington to our next Monopoly bucket list item. Unfortunately, on the way we got sent to Jail. Luckily, there are a ton of places in London to make into a jail, but we only had to pose behind bars once. We hit a series of parks, streets, and shops on our way to our next destination. We were getting more comfortable in our excessive picture taking, but I hate to say that we still looked incredibly awkward.
As we made our way to the home of the infamous Platform 9 ¾ featured in Harry Potter: King’s Cross Station, some of us were hard core fangirling. It's not every day that you get to see where the Boy Who Lived went off to Hogwarts each year. We stopped in to see the magical platform, but we refused to wait in the extremely long line. Instead, we settled for a picture outside the station.
We continued discovering London through the eyes of a Monopoly enthusiast. We tried to be creative in our pictures, and we stalked about 6 buses trying to find one that read “Euston Road”. Alas, we were unsuccessful in the attempts of a bus picture. However, we did get our share of buses, as we dodged quite a few crossing the street. Once we found a street sign, we decided to go for a funnier photo, but I’m afraid the looks we were getting were far funnier than the picture.
On our stroll down Oxford Street, our group decided to jump in on the latest trend and get a UK fidget spinner along with our beloved Union Jack top hat featured in the rest of our adventure. This was a game changer to say the least.
Bond Street was next up on our list, and we were still flying on cloud 9 from our recent purchase. I think we stopped in every telephone booth to take a picture. We found a pub called Bonds on Bond Street - how appropriate. While we were here, we stopped through the West End to take a picture under the wall of flowers.
Next up was Regent Street. Named after George, the Prince Regent, Regent Street remains another historic street central to London now famous for its West End shopping attractions. We popped in and out of the many shops along the street and stopped into check out the boots to add to our Monopoly game pieces.
We couldn’t resist, and we hopped in two telephone booths in Soho and took a picture under the Carnaby sign (we had to incorporate being tacky tourists).
Next, we got LOW under the Little Marlborough Street sign. We had fun exploring the little alleys around this area of town. On your walk down the street, definitely stop by the famous St. James Palace.
Just off Piccadilly Circus, Vine Street was a hidden gem and a nice break from the chaotic crowds. We enjoyed the brief shade and snapped a picture in front of the street sign. Our picture is a little bit like “Where’s Waldo?” but the Union Jack top hat edition. Can you spot the hat? It isn’t too hard to find, but we thought we were being very clever.
We left the small side street and headed into one of London’s busiest districts. It’s hard not to feel the buzz and excitement of the many shops and restaurants of Piccadilly Circus as you walk through. The curvy streets are home to big name brands as well as local London style and food. We window shopped and stopped at a central statue to snap a pic.
We cut through Coventry Street on the move between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. Those being two of the busiest foot traffic centres, we passed loads of street performers and vendors.
At the end of Coventry Street, we jumped in and out of the fountains that surround a statue of author William Shakespeare in Leicester Square. Then the water shut off, and we stood in the fountain for about five minutes waiting for it to come back on. It almost looked as if we were about to join the many street performers and put on a show.
Next, we stopped by Trafalgar Square, home to the National Gallery as well as iconic art and statues. On our walk through, we sang with a local man who let us add his dog to our collection of game pieces.
After walking down the street a bit, we finally we found the iconic bus that we had been searching for. We snapped the long awaited photo underneath the location Trafalgar Square. Again, cue the strange looks by the bus driver as we pretended to get “hit”.
Continuing on, we made our way down a former highway into the City of London. Pall Mall remains a major through road from the City of Westminster to Trafalgar Square and into Central London. We hopped up on the railing to snap a pic with the historic street sign.
Despite warnings to keep our distance, we got up close and personal with the horse guards outside of Whitehall. Some members of our group were not keen on horses, so it was a pretty comical event. Whether it is good news or bad news, we were not the centre of attention here. Everyone seemed to be fixated on the guard in his fancy uniform parading around with his sword.
Another significant street to central London, Northumberland Avenue runs from Trafalgar Square to the Thames Embankment in the East, containing many shops and restaurants in between.
Then, while strolling down the Strand we found the perfect official top hat to add to our game pieces. We took turns trying it on while chatting up the shop owner about his Monopoly knowledge. It was a fantastic hat, but we were still partial to our Union Jack hat.
A central road to Covent Garden, Bow Street links the many theatres and retail stops that fill the neighbourhood. On just our short walk, we passed entrances to the Lion King, Les Miserables, and The Book of Mormon.
Next, we cut over to Fleet Street where we posed by the iconic, red Royal Mail box. Hey Mom and Dad, look out for our postcard.
At our last stop, we snapped a great photo of some of the staff at Chapter in front of Liverpool Street Station. Of course, the infamous Union Jack top hat was featured. It was a hilarious finish to our crazy day.
Overall, it was a great day. The Monopoly board was the perfect way navigate the busy streets and see the city piece by piece. We highly recommend that you try our game or make your own version to do with your friends. You learn a lot about London, make great memories, and really figure out how many ways to pose for a picture there are.
-Beau, Bonnie, Grace, and Jojo … four interns from the United States staying at Chapter Spitalfields for the summer.