Photo Monopoly

Whilst I was in London (Dec 2009 – Jan 2010) I met-up with my friend (and fellow Sydney Medical School student) Owen, who’d dropped by en route to his elective attachment in Tel Aviv. Over a drink in a Hammersmith pub, we made a bet about whether I’d be able to take a photo at each place on the Monopoly board during the rest of my time in London. It became clear, as I was hunting for all the places on the board, that some of the properties were chosen completely arbitrarily (e.g. Vine St, which has no significance whatsoever). And whilst it wasn’t entirely straightforward – Mayfair and The Angel aren’t streets, and Old Kent Rd was out of the way in Southwark, SE1 – I did eventually manage to get the photos and win the bet! So, without any further ado… (Photos are available at higher resolution on my Flickr photo monopoly set).

Railways set

Whilst Kings Cross and Liverpool Street are major National Rail stations, I found the choice of Marylebone and Fenchurch Street stations a little puzzling as they are two of the smallest stations in London. I think Paddington and Euston stations would’ve been better choices (even in the 1930s).

King's Cross, Marylebone, Fenchurch St and Liverpool St railway stations

Brown set

The photo here was taken on Whitechapel Rd, Whitechapel, E1, just outside The Royal London Hospital facing towards the City (“The Gherkin” building at 30 St Mary Axe is clearly visible). This is an area of historical and continuing socioeconomic disadvantage, reflected in its selection as the cheapest property on the board. I lived here for over a month and will reserve my thoughts for another post. In contrast, A2 Old Kent Road, Southwark, SE1, was quite typical of the A-roads leading out of central London.

Whitechapel Rd, Whitechapel

Getting there
Whitechapel Rd: Whitechapel tube station
Old Kent Rd: Elephant & Castle tube station then bus or ~2 km walk

Sky blue set

The Angel is a building on the northwest corner of Pentonville Rd and Islington High St, Islington, N1. Originally a coaching inn near the start of the Great North Rd (A1), the historical building lends its name to the surrounding area in Islington (e.g. Angel tube station). Pentonville Rd and Euston Rd, part of A501, are major roads in N1 and NW1 heading west from The Angel.

The Angel, Islington

Getting there
The Angel, Islington: Angel tube station
Euston Rd: Kings Cross St Pancras, Euston, Euston Square or Warren Street tube stations
Pentonville Rd: Angel or Kings Cross St Pancras tube stations

Purple set

The three streets in this group radiate outwards from Charing Cross, the historical centre of London. Whitehall and Northumberland Ave are home to many British government offices, whilst Pall Mall is home to St James’s Palace and various traditional gentlemen’s clubs.


Getting there
Pall Mall: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Green Park tube stations
Whitehall: Westminster, Embankment or Charing Cross tube stations
Northumberland Ave: Embankment or Charing Cross tube stations

Orange set

This group appears to be the most arbitrarily selected on the board. Bow St is a street in the Covent Garden district, WC2, and the location of the Royal Opera House. Great Marlborough St (presumably the “Great” was dropped for formatting reasons) in the Soho district, W1, is the location of the Tudor wing of the historical Liberty & Co. department store. Vine St is in the Piccadilly Circus district, W1, and is of no apparent significance.

Great Marlborough St, Soho

Getting there
Bow St: Covent Garden tube station
Great Marlborough St: Oxford Circus tube station
Vine St: Piccadilly Circus tube station

Red set

Trafalgar Square, WC2, is a famous public square adjacent to Charing Cross in the heart of London. It is the location of Nelson’s Column and the National Gallery. Strand and Fleet St, part of A4, are major streets heading east from Trafalgar Square. Important buildings on Strand include Australia House, King’s College London and the Royal Courts of Justice. Fleet St continues to be synonymous with the British press, although all major news agencies have since moved their offices elsewhere.

Fleet Street

Getting there
Strand: Charing Cross, Leicester Square, Embankment or Temple tube stations
Fleet St: Temple or St Pauls tube station
Trafalgar Square: Charing Cross tube station

Yellow set

Coventry St is the main thoroughfare between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. Leicester Square is at the centre of London’s cinema and theatre district. Piccadilly, part of A4, is the home of the Fortnum & Mason department store, Ritz Hotel, Royal Academy of Arts, and Hatchard’s bookshop.


Getting there
Leicester Square: Leicester Square tube station
Coventry St: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube stations
Piccadilly: Piccadilly Circus or Green Park tube stations

Green set

This group is the heart of London’s shopping district. Regent and Oxford Streets are the major shopping streets of London, intersecting at Oxford Circus. Of note, the flagship stores of Selfridges & Co. and John Lewis on Oxford St are the second and third largest department stores in the UK respectively. New/Old Bond Street (the two streets are contiguous) is another major shopping street in the upmarket Mayfair district.

Regent St, Mayfair

Getting there
Regent St: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus tube stations
Oxford St: Marble Arch, Bond Street, Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road tube stations
New/Old Bond St: Bond Street, Oxford Circus or Green Park tube stations

Navy set

The upmarket Mayfair district is the home of many luxury shops and hotels. Although Park Lane no longer enjoys the prestige it had in the 1930s, as it has since become a major road on A4202, it nonetheless still features several 5-star hotels and luxury car showrooms. Marble Arch is located at the northern end of Park Lane. In choosing a landmark to represent Mayfair, I decided that The May Fair Hotel would serve as a fitting metaphor for the board game.

May Fair Hotel, Mayfair

Getting there
Park Ln: Marble Arch or Hyde Park Corner tube stations
Mayfair: Bond Street, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Oxford Circus tube stations

8 thoughts on “Photo Monopoly

  1. Next assignment: Take pictures with the Monopoly counters (hat, boot, dog, etc.) in them…. 😀

  2. @Hoe Yin- Interesting challenge. Couple of questions though:
    i. Does it have to be to scale?
    ii. Can I use Photoshop?

  3. Did you check how much it cost to stay in the hotel? Is it anywhere near 2000 quid? 🙂

  4. Nice work! Good to see you making use of your time =)

    Although… jail? And waterworks?

    And could you geolocate them all on a google map mashup, too, please?

    ps: when are you back?!

  5. Pingback: London: First City of the Empire :: medicinalchemistry

  6. You have taken quite a challenge, but you have managed to do it. I like the picture you have done of Mayfair. That is my favourite district in London. Which reminds me that I have to try the services of some of the Mayfair hotels next time I go to London. I go there often but I have never thought of accommodating in Mayfair until now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *