As a kid my cousins and I used to spend hours and hours playing Monopoly on the floor at our grandparents place. Every school holidays we would spend a sizable junk of our day buying and selling properties, building them up with houses and hotels to increase the rent that we would receive when someone landed on our properties, passing GO, going to Jail without passing GO, being wiped out when we had to pay property taxes, and occasionally landing on free parking.
We lived in New Zealand, 12,000 miles away from London (and the streets of the monopoly board), on the other side of the world. I don’t think we knew (or even cared) that the streets and railway stations, of the game we loved so much, were real.
We could recite the order that each property appeared in on the board without looking, and we knew the cost of each property, the rental that had to be paid on each property if it was an empty lot, had one, two, three or four houses, or a hotel. We were obsessed with the game.
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Having moved to London several years ago, and walked many of the streets of London during my various walking adventures, I had visited many of the streets on the monopoly board and two of the four railway stations. Always on the lookout for another adventure, I decided to walk from Old Kent Road to Mayfair via every property and every railway station on the board – and in the order that they appeared on the board. I wasn’t going to worry about the Chance and Community Chest cards, nor would I visit the two utilities – Electric Company and Water Works. The Monopoly game was originally created in the US in the early 1900’s and it wasn’t until the 1930’s that the UK edition was created, and therefore the Electric Company and Water Works didn’t actually relate to any particular location – they were just places on the monopoly board. Nor did Jail or ‘Go To Jail’, reflect actual physical places, but I decided that I would visit HMP Pentonville as the Jail because it was near Pentonville Road, the property immediately before the Jail on the monopoly board, and I thought I would visit New Scotland Yard when I got to the ‘Go To Jail’ corner of the monopoly board. Also, I intended to find ‘Free Parking’ somewhere in between Vine Street and Strand – something that wouldn’t normally be easy to do in London, but I was going to do the walk on a Sunday which made it a little easier to find a parking space that I didn’t need to pay for 🙂
Walking the Monopoly Board:
I had estimated that the walk would take me something between 8 and 10 hours to complete and even although I was doing it on a Sunday, I wanted to start early so that I would complete most of the walk before the city became too crowded with pedestrians.
So I drove my car across South London and parked it in the car park in Burgess Park, just off Old Kent Road and then walked down to where I could find an ‘Old Kent Road’ street sign to take a photo of, before officially starting my walk from outside number 279 Old Kent Road at 5:45am.
Old Kent Road
My plan was to visit each property and railways station on the board, in order, and take a few photos – one of the street sign, and one or two of the street itself. These are the photos of Old Kent Road at 5:45am immediately before starting my walk.
Old Kent Road is the only property on the monopoly board that is south of the Thames, so the first leg of my walk was to head north and over the Thames via Tower Bridge, and up to Whitechapel Road.
Kings Cross Station
Next was the long journey north west to Kings Cross Station. By the time I got here I had already been walking for 1 ¼ hours and was only half way along the first side of the monopoly board.
Kings Cross Station is immediately next to St Pancras Station and the two stations are commonly referred to as ‘Kings Cross St Pancras’. St Pancras Station looks much more interesting than Kings Cross so I thought I would take a photo of that station too:
The Angel, Islington
Unlike the other properties on the monopoly board, The Angel, Islington isn’t a street but is a property on the corner of Islington High Street and Pentonville Road (according to Wikipedia) but when I arrived there I decided to take a few photos of different places in the area. These are the best of them:
Next, it was back down past Kings Cross Station to Euston Road.
And back past Kings Cross again to Pentonville Road
There are nine prisons currently active in London – Belmarsh, Brixton, Feltham, Holloway, Isis, Pentonville, Thameside, Wandsworth, and Wormwood Scrubs (according to Wikipedia). There are also another 22 inactive prisons in the London area, some of which would have been operational back when the UK edition of Monopoly was created. I decided to visit HMP Pentonville as that wasn’t too far from Pentonville Road.
I had reached the end of the first side of the monopoly board in 2 ½ hours.
Kings Cross to Pentonville Prison via all the ‘light blue properties’ (The Angel, Islington, Euston Road and Pentonville Road) only took me 1 ¼ hours, but it was now another long walk through to Pall Mall via Regents Park (and I got a little lost along the way) but I eventually arrived at the first of the ‘pink properties’ 3 ¾ hours after leaving Old Kent Road.
When you play monopoly you could be forgiven for thinking that each property is close to the next one and that the railway stations are in the same area as the properties that are located on the respective side of the board, but this is not the case.
It was a 30 minute walk from Northumberland Avenue north west to Marylebone Station:
And then an hour south east to Bow Street, and the first of the ‘orange properties’:
As a kid playing monopoly I remember working out that if you could own all the pink and orange properties, and put hotels on them, you could win the game. This was because you could own a whole side of the board for a reasonable price, and because there were six properties on that side of the board (versus five on the first side) you had a 20% better chance that your opponents would land on at least one of your properties each lap of the board. And because the properties weren’t too expensive to buy, or to put houses and hotels on, compared to the red, yellow, green and blue properties, with some luck, you could get a monopoly over that whole side of the board much faster than you could elsewhere. It’s a pity I didn’t manage to carry this strategy through to real life. If I had, I would have much more time for these walking adventures rather than having to work during the week 🙂
In the 80+ years since the UK edition of Monopoly was created London has changed a little and there is no longer a Marlborough Street. There is a Great Marlborough Street and a Marlborough Road, and I decided that I would visit Marlborough Road as it seemed to me to be more within the ‘area’ of the pink and orange properties than Great Marlborough Street which is located towards the ‘green streets’.
Vine Street was actually a bit of a let down. It is the most expensive of the ‘orange properties’ on the monopoly board but in reality it is a short dead end road.
Next I had to find some free parking, but there wasn’t anywhere to park in Vine Street at all!
It was time to head west through the theater district to Strand and somewhere along the way I came across both of these parking signs:
It was now 12:30pm and I had been walking for 6 ¾ hours already and was only just arriving at the first ‘red property’. My original estimate of 8 to 10 hours was looking doubtful.
After Strand I walked further east to Fleet Street. Continuing in this direction would take me to Fenchurch Station but before visiting the next railway I had to backtrack to visit Trafalgar Square. I’ve never been keen on walking back the way I have already walked so I decided that I would walk a block or two south to the Thames and then walk along Embankment towards Northumberland Avenue and then up to Trafalgar Square. This would have been a good idea in theory, but somehow I managed to get lost inside the private grounds of the expensive residential properties between Fleet Street and Embankment and it took a bit of wandering around to find an unlocked gate to get out of the grounds again.
After leaving Trafalgar Square at 1pm it took me another 45 minutes to walk back past Strand and Fleet Street and up to Fenchurch Station:
And then another 45 minutes back to Leicester Square, which is only a few hundred meters north of Trafalgar Square!
And when I reached Leicester Square, which I had already walked through earlier in the morning enroute to other properties, I found that there wasn’t any room to walk due to a red carpet premier. The whole area was packed with people waiting to see some celebrities so I took a couple photos and then walked down a side street to get around the crowds to and on to Coventry Street (which actually runs off Leicester Square).
Coventry Street runs in to the last of the ‘yellow properties’, Piccadilly.
Go To Jail
It was now 2:45pm and I had been walking for 9 hours when things suddenly went wrong! I almost ended up in Jail after running in to this policemen at New Scotland Yard:
But fortunately I had one of these:
And was able to continue my walk to the first of the ‘green properties’.
Another change to the London map during the last 80+ years appears to be that Bond Street no longer exists and has been replaced with ‘New Bond Street’, but there is a Bond Street Station so I decided to visit that:
Liverpool Street Station
After leaving the last of the ‘green properties’ it was another long walk east to Liverpool Street Station. It was getting hot and I wasn’t walking fast, which meant it took over an hour to get there, and another 1 ¼ hours to get back to Park Lane.
I was now in to the most expensive area of the monopoly board – where landing on Park Lane with a hotel on it would set you back £1,500, and £2,000 for Mayfair. Land on Park Lane and then throw a double 1 and your game could be over!
On the monopoly board, Mayfair is an area, not a street. I decided I would finish my walk at Mayfair Place, but before that I wanted to visit the centre of Mayfair – the Mayfair Post Office:
The walk ended up being a total distance of 54 miles (87km) and had taken me 12 ½ hours. Not a fast pace, but I had stopped at 28 properties or stations along the way to take photos, as well as a couple other stops for food and water. I actually felt surprisingly good, which was just as well, as I still had to walk another 4 miles back to Old Kent Road and Burgess Park where I had left the car !
45 thoughts on “Walking the Monopoly Board”
Myself and 2 two friends are planning to do this same Monopoly in route in May this year so it was great to find your website and all your photos. We are doing it as a charity fundraiser for Guys Hospital where my friend’s dad has recently gone through extensive cancer treatment. We are really excited about the walk and are training hard around the Warwickshire countryside to get some miles in our legs.
I would appreciate your advice on a couple of things from your London experience: did you plan your route before you started? By this, I mean did you plan a street by street walk or did you get to the Old Kent Road then rely on google maps to get you to the next at Whitechapel Road and then so on? Just wondering if we had a detailed plan it would be easier than relying on our mobiles and their batteries!
I really look forward to hearing from you!
I used http://www.mapmywalk.com to map out the route I planned on walking but didn’t use that on the day. For many of the streets I knew roughly where they were and if I didn’t I used Google Maps on my phone. To save battery on my phone I kept it in flight mode when not using Google Maps. I did get lost on a couple occasions which meant that I walked further than intended, but I really enjoyed the walk and the extra distance didn’t matter.
I hope you enjoy your walk. Please let me know how it goes.
Loved the article and well done. I just wanted to mention a typo you’ve made by naming it the Stand a couple of times instead of Strand. Just my OCD kicking in.
Thanks Gordon. Believe it or not, this is the most popular article on this blog, with plenty of people reading it every day, and you are the first to comment on this. I have made the changes 🙂
Well done. We know many of the sites. But have really enjoyed reading your account. We have laughed so much not at you expense but at you experiences. Again well done
Thanks Jack. I often talk to children (cubs and scouts) and this walk is one that I often talk about. Many of them don’t realise that the places on the monopoly board a real – even although they live in the London area themselves.
I had been planning the monopoly walk for years and even saw your blog back then. Finally did it last winter but needed three days to complete minus the jails, water work and electric company hahaha.. cant imagine how you manage to cover in just 12 hours.. wow…
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Well done! Wish me good luck as I am planning on doing it with my daughter and her friend this Sunday. They both 9 years old … we therefore definitely will take a bus here and there. The aim is really to give them a tour of the city in a fun way.
I must admit that it was a big surprise to me that many people out there have though of doing the “Monopoly Walk”.
Thanks for the great article & tips
Awesome! Enjoy your adventure.
Hi Richard. I am planning a Monopoly Board Walk and came across your blog which is very detailed and follow the monopoly board as it appears. In 2010, Monopoly celebrated its 75th anniversary and plotted the cards on the London streets and plotted GO too. In their map, Marlborough Street do exist and it’s in the Borough of Fulham, which is quite out of the way. What’s your thought about it? It’s awesome that you did 54miles in 12.5hrs. I aimed to do it in 2days as a tarmac training walk.
That doesn’t sound right to me. There is a Great Marlborough Street and a Little Marlborough Street which are both in London, but again, they are away from the area where Bow and Vine Streets are.
Enjoy your walk. What time of the year are you planning on doing it?
According to the OS Monopoly Map, Vine Street is in Aldgate, East London too. I will be doing it next week and will do both Vine Streets and Marlborough Street off Elystan Street in Fulham and Great Marlborough Street. It’s fun so why not doing it all. Thank you
Hi. I put together the following gpx file, starting at Go (as per OS 2010 article – Lambeth North Station), and visiting all the properties and stations (26 locations). Not in the correct order, but in approximately the shortest distance of 27km, finishing at Angel. I plan to do this as a run in the near future.
What order will you be visiting the properties/stations in? Please list them as I’m sure that other people reading this will be interested.
Apologies I never replied earlier, here is the route. I am hoping to do it again next weekend in sub 3hrs. The photos I was able to take during lockdown were truly once in a lifetime, pictures of a deserted Regents Street, not a single sole in front of Buckingham Palace, truly amazing.
1. Go (Lambeth North) 2. Old Kent Road 3. Fenchurch Station 4. Whitechapel Road 5. Liverpool Street Station 6. Fleet Street 7. Strand 8. Bow Street 9. Leicester Square 10. Coventry Street 11. Trafalgar Square 12. Northumberland Avenue 13. Whitehall 14. Pall Mall 15. (Great) Marlborough Street 16. Piccadilly 17. Vine Street 18. Regents Street 19. Oxford Street 20. (New) Bond Street 21. Mayfair 22. Park Lane 23. Marylebone Station 24. Euston Road 25.
Kings Cross Station 26. Pentonville Road 27. The Angel, Islington.
How did you get on Mark?
Loved this, well done!
Amazing. I used to play Monopoly too when I was a kid, but either the international or Indonesian version. Now my 7-year-old son had been asking me to play Monopoly with him everyday! We were playing the London version and he was super excited when I showed him this post. Haha. Thank you.
That’s great to hear. Hopefully he might get to see some of the places on the London monopoly board one day too.
I loved your description of your Monopoly Board walk, and all your excellent photographs. Good to know there are so many enterprising people out there who still love exploring London on foot.
I think I can explain the puzzle of the orange properties – they all have a law and order connection. Bow Street in Covent Garden was the location of Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, now I believe being turned into a hotel. Marlborough Street is actually Great Marlborough Street, location of another court which is now the Courthouse Hotel. Vine Street is indeed the miserable little dead end off Swallow Street, but Vine Street was once much longer and it was the location of the West End Central police station. All three buildings were still functioning when the London version of the Monopoly Board was introduced to the UK in the mid 1930s. Vine Street police station was where the Marquess of Queensbury was taken to be formally charged with libelling Oscar Wilde.
So there’s a bit of geeky background for you. I am working on a book of London walks, nowhere near as ambitious as yours as regards length, but each one starting or finishing at a Monopoly board property and exploring the area and the history around it. Like you, I have grouped together some of the properties. Even if it never makes it into print, it will have had a great time researching and writing it and doing the walks with my geriatric walking group, all of us now retired and revelling in the joy of having freedom passes.
So we are forward to getting back to London walking again once it feels a bit safer. Best wishes Richard and keep posting.
Wow! Thanks for that information Linda, and please add another comment here when you complete the book. It sounds like it would be great to read.
Linda, is your book out? I’m going to London next week and want to do this walk.
Richard thanks for the amazing guidance!
No book. But let me know how you get on with the walk.
I love London and love walking, so my son suggested we give this a go. Found your site interesting and very helpful. Thank you!
Great! And thanks.
Hope you enjoy your walk.
Love this! Although noticed a typo – it’s ‘Marylebone’ and not ‘Marleybone’. Sorry to be that person haha
Thanks Lauren. I can’t believe that no one else has noticed this. I have now corrected the spelling. Thanks.
That’s funny because as a kid I always mis-pronounced it that way and still to this day think of it as “Marleybone”!
I finally got round to completing the 26.7km route in 2h42m. The distance could probably be shortened to closer to 25km, but I wanted to take in some of the nearby highlights such as an empty Buckingham Palace.
The version of a FKT I decided on was starting at GO and visit all 26 places and station in the quickest time possible. I believe that the shortest route is as follows, but there are certainly many variations in the central area. The route I took was as follows; 1. Go (Lambeth North tube station) 2. Old Kent Road 3. Fenchurch Street Station 4. Whitechapel Road 5. Liverpool Street Station 6. Fleet Street 7. Strand 8. Bow Street 9. Leicester Square 10. Coventry Street 11. Trafalgar Square 12. Northumberland Avenue 13. Whitehall 14. Pall Mall 15. Piccadilly 16. Vine Street 17. Regents Street 18. Marlborough Street 19. Bond Street 20. Mayfair 21. Park Lane 22. Oxford Street 23. Marylebone Station 24. Euston Road 25. Kings Cross Station 26. Pentonville Road 27. The Angel, Islington. You also take in many other notable tourist sites such as Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.
Intrigued by your journey, I undertook it myself last week, though allowed myself the use of the Santander bikes in conjunction with walking between the various places. I also added in proxy locations for the utilities and even the tax squares to really make the most of the journey. My total time took me around 12 hours and I covered about 100km over the day – and really enjoyed it.
Thanks for the blog – I also have a selfie at each location and am very pleased with my challenge!
I really enjoyed it when I did it too.
Thank you fir taking the time to write this blog post, it has always been a bucket list dream to complete the monopoly board tour of London! I am visiting in a couple of weeks and will start planning my route now. Although I would like to do it in order I may cheat a little and for convenience rearrange my route to cut the walking times down.
How did your walk go?
Hi.Great Monopoly Walk!
Hi ! Did you know that your Fenchurch Station is actually called Fenchurch STREET Station!
As an alternative, my family “played” a Monopoly game, and we had to go each location as the dice determined. We did use public transport, as well as walking on occasion, and we limited ourselves to completing one circuit of the board. Our two boys loved it, and it added a touch of the unknown to the journey, as it was the two dice that decided where we went to next.
Growing up in Australia, the UK version was our board too! m
My parents kept is when we moved back to the States and I played it will my kids, nephew and nieces when ever we came home to Reno, Nevada ! I flippantly said one day in 2008 how much I would love to visit all the spots if I ever got to London.
I am SOOOOO thrilled that this turns out to be a THING! My eldest daughter and I are going to England in May and we are going to do it!! Thank you SO much for your fabulous post and pics! Cheers!!
Please let me know how you get on. I’m sure that you will enjoy it.
Hi , loved reading this, I’ve been fundraising for the last three years since my 15-year-old son took his own life and I’ve started a new fundraising page called a Ewans kind where I raise money for local children’s mental health charities. Each of his birthdays I’ve done a fundraiser i.e. a wing walk, parachute drop, and an abseil off the tallest abseiling tower in the uk, but I’m looking for something challenging and I think this is it as it will be much harder for me to do this due to me having arthritis in my ankles and feet. Do you know of a slightly shorter route please??
I’m sorry to hear about your son. Regarding a shorter route for the Monopoly Board walk, I know that some people have walked to all the streets via the shortest possible route. i.e. not in the order they are on the board. I think that reduces the total distance to about a marathon, but I don’t know the actual route, sorry.
Good luck with your fundraising.
Looking to plot a charity walk for Monopoly London in a few months.
So pleased to have found this blog.
As it’ll be a walk, does anyone know what the quickest way to do it is, as I’m expecting there to be a small group of us.
Regarding a shorter route for the Monopoly Board walk, I know that some people have walked to all the streets via the shortest possible route. i.e. not in the order they are on the board. I think that reduces the total distance to about a marathon, but I don’t know the actual route, sorry.
Good luck with your charity walk.
Looking here for the same reason. If you scroll back through the comments to 15 November 2020 a guy called Mark has given details of a 25/27km route he did.
Good luck 😃
Great description and awesome mileage – thank you and well done. Hoping to lead this as a run to raise funds for charity so your blog has been a great help. Thank you