The original British Monopoly board game involves buying and renting certain London streets and certainly for me holds a lot of fond childhood memories. When I learned that this famous game could also be a unique running challenge, to see how many London Monopoly streets and stations you can visit, I knew I wanted to give it a go.
I based my challenge on the following article – https://www.runnersguidetolondon.co.uk/monopoly-challenge.html – as the rules seemed straight forward and repeatable (I want you guys to have a go too!)
- You can start anywhere in the city, taking any route you like (as long as it follows public roads and footpaths).
- The aim is to ‘buy’ (photograph) the street signs belonging to original Monopoly board as you can within 60 continuous minutes.
- The 60 minutes begins when you reach your first street sign or station.
- You don’t have to run down the streets themselves, just photograph one of the official London street signs, before moving on to whichever street you want to target next.
- The four train stations can be photographed just the same, but the photograph must be of a main entrance way showing the name of the station in large lettering.
- You can only stop the watch in certain instances, called Free Parking, which are where you either;
- cross at traffic lights (use the crossings rather than take on the traffic) or
- take a photograph of the street sign.
- Free Parking does not apply for bathroom or drink stops (these are called landing on Waterworks) or for stopping to check a map or GPS (this is called landing on The Electric Company).
Changes to the Board
Before you set off it’s worth noting some of the Streets are not now the same as in the game;
- Mayfair is not actually a street at all, but a suburb (just north of St James’s Park). So instead look for Mayfair Place, which, helpfully, is within the suburb of Mayfair.
- Bond Street is now called New Bond Street (the northern section) and Old Bond Street (the southern section)—either will do.
- Piccadilly: As one leads into the other, it is fine to photograph signs for either the street or the circus
So how did I tackle the challenge? Well being that I was at a conference in Regents Park, I started at Marylebone and headed South and then came back to finish at Kings Cross Station.
My Properties, in order were;
- Marylebone Station
- Oxford Street
- Park Lane
- Mayfair (Berkeley Square as Mayfair isn’t actually a street – although after checking the rules again I should have tagged Mayfair Place)
- Regent Street
- Coventry Street
- Leicester Square
- Bow Street
- Fleet Street
- The Strand
- Northumberland Avenue
- Trafalgar Square
- Pall Mall (East)
- (New) Bond Street
- Euston Road
- Kings Cross Station
So 18 properties all in 18, although the perfectionist in me doesn’t like Berkeley Square.
I really enjoyed this challenge – it was more than just running, it was a lot of planning and thought about the route and where I would find a street sign (heavy use of Google Street View advised). Similarly timing your run is important – I was running down Oxford Street at 5pm, which was slow because of the sheet volume of people.
I would highly recommend you give this a go the next time you’ve got a couple of hours free and want to see London in a different way – let me know how you get on!
Maybe I’ll try the whole board next…