We'll take you up the old Kent Road, visit you in jail and live it up in Mayfair! There are 40 squares on the traditional London Monopoly board and the names are oh-so-familiar from family boardgame fights. But we bet you've not visited half the places on the board - nor know these fascinating facts...
1. Old Kent Road
Top purchase for cheapskates! Originally known as Watling Street, the OKR was even mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and it’s where folk were hanged for treason in the 16th century. Wot Cher Knocked ‘Em In The Old Kent Road was a popular music hall song. Listen to it here!
2. King’s Cross Station
Built on the site of a fever and smallpox hospital. (Maybe steer clear of the on-train sandwiches!) It also contains the only Platform 0 of London’s 14 railway termini.
3. The Angel, Islington
‘The Angel’ was first a pub, then a hotel, then a tea shop… In fact it was only included on the Monopoly board because the makers of the game met up for a cuppa at the Lyon’s Corner House there. It’s currently a Wetherspoons. Class.
4. In Jail
The expression ‘in The Clink’ comes from London’s The Clink Prison, which dates back to 1144 – one of England’s oldest and most notorious prisons. Now it’s a museum, and makes for a super day out – see www.clink.co.uk. Just visiting!
5. Pall Mall
Forget watching the footy, this street name comes from a ball game called pall mall or pelemele – which used to be played here in the 17th century. It originates from the word pallamaglio, which literally means ‘mallet ball’ and was similar to croquet. On 2 April 1661, Samuel Pepys scribbled in his diary: Went into St. James’s Park, where I saw the Duke of York playing at pelemele, the first time that I ever saw the sport!
6. Bow Street
Home to Oliver Cromwell in 1645, and in the 18th century it acquired a reputation for pornography and brothels. When naughty playwright Oscar Wilde was arrested at the court here in 1895, he ordered tea, toast and eggs from the Tavistock Hotel just down the road. Dare say there’s a McDonald’s somewhere nearby these days for a coffee and a McMuffin…
7. Fleet Street
One of London’s many buried waterways, the River Fleet, still runs under the cellars of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub on Fleet Street. Britain’s first newspaper, the Daily Courant, was published nearby in 1702. Read all about it!
No, the name is nothing to do with luminous yellow Piccalilli pickle. In 1612, a Mr Baker built a big house here and made his fortune by selling picadils – stiff collars worn by trendy gents of the time. Locals called his pad Picadil Hall, hence Piccadilly.
9. Oxford Street
Rumour has it there’s a secret underground street beneath this famous shopping thoroughfare, with cobble stones and abandoned Victorian shops. Some say you can get to it via the cellars and basements underneath Selfridges and Forever 21. But, shh – it’s so secret, no-one knows for sure…
Prince Phillip had his stag do here; Jimi Hendrix lived here – next door to composer Handel (though not at the same time); rockers Mama Cass and Keith Moon both died here – in the very same room (though not at the same time)…and 50 Berkeley Square is recorded as the most haunted house in the whole of London. So much so, over the years it’s said every person who’s witnessed the spooks has died of the shock. Blimey! With all that going on, it’s no wonder it’s the most expensive street on the board!