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Monopoly Tour of London

The London Monopoly board is iconic. Every Brit has sat around one at some point in their life and laughed, cried, argued and probably witnessed the board being launched across the room amid claims of cheating and foul play. Over the years the board has developed and been adapted to various franchises but the original 1930s layout remains strong and is known to all.

The idea to walk the real-life Monopoly board gave a couple of opportunities; the challenge of completing the route itself, and to explore London and see some areas that you wouldn't necessarily normally visit. With a total of 22 streets, 4 railway stations, 2 utilities plus the infamous jail, there was more than enough excuse to explore the capital.

As an avid researcher, I was very excited about planning this adventure. After marking each location out on a map, I realised that if you just tried to complete it on the hoof, this could turn in to miles and miles of frantic crisscrossed travel around the city for very little gain. I therefore got to work planning the most efficient route possible. I set myself the following game rules:

- Collect all 7 playing pieces from the city

- Visit the Banker before passing Go!

- Visit all streets from the London Monopoly board

- Visit all other squares from the London Monopoly board

- Squares with no physical location (for example 'Chance') should be interpreted creatively

- Where possible, squares should be visited in the order that they appear on the board

- Have fun and take photos of an appropriate street sign at each location

The reason for visiting all streets in the order that they appear was to try and understand the reason for their groupings and pricing on the game board. The value of property in London has increased significantly since the 1930s, and it would be interesting to see whether the colour-grouped streets on the board still have anything in common, and if their respective rent values reflect their standing today.

The playing pieces, Chance, Community Chest and various tax squares allowed for some original ideas to be incorporated. The main consideration was the location of appropriate ideas. Anything significantly out of the way would be timely to reach so was not necessarily suitable. A location shouldn't just be chosen because it was nearby though as that isn't in the spirit of the challenge. With the only prize on offer for completion being a sense of personal achievement, you might as well aim for the best locations over speed.

I set about searching for the best locations and the best route between all of these and the named streets to complete the adventure in a respectable time. This took many, many hours and days but I assembled a succinct route that would be split over two days. Covering approximately 27 miles, this could be achieved in a summer's day (you would need the light of a long day) for a keen walker, but it would be much more comfortable and enjoyable to split across a weekend. Check out the documents below to see the route and the locations I used.

If you are considering walking the Monopoly board, I would definitely recommend it. Don't forget:

- A good pair of walking shoes

- A contactless card, Oyster card or day travel pass for use on TFL services

- Energy boosts for the route (sweets are my personal choice)

- A good sense of humour

- An amazing group of loved ones to enjoy it with

Walking just under 30 miles in two days is tiring but it is a great challenge to complete and definitely worth the effort. Check out this blog for a photo story of the tour.


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