You’ll never look at London the same way again after playing Pokemon GO
Hold the phone. Pokemon Go has finally dropped in the UK.
With the excitement of a kid with a shiny new toy, we discovered a whole different side to London when we got our hands on the app.
Here’s what we learnt about Pokemon GO after taking to the streets of central London this morning. Going for a walk will never be the same again…
London’s blue plaques make it unique to the capital
You’ll need pokeballs to catch ’em all… Obtain them at so-called Pokestops around the city, many of which are located at the capital’s blue plaque landmarks, giving the game a distinctly London feel.
Discover new public art and sculpture
You’ll be heading to Pokestops a lot — at least at the beginning of the game. As well as blue plaque sites, they’re located around sculptures across the city such as the Horses of Helios Fountain by Piccadilly.
Love London’s historic buildings
In some ways, Pokemon GO is a cultural guide disguised as a game. London’s rich architectural history comes to life in the app when you arrive at — and learn about — some of the city’s historic buildings. One of our favourites was the 1798 former Exchange and Bullion Office building just by Chinatown.
Learn about monuments you never even noticed
Everyone knows about Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, but there are also statues of Major General Sir Henry Havelock, WWI nurse Edith Cavell, as well as Charlie Chaplin in Leicester Square nearby. Collect your pokeballs and learn all about them in the process.
Expect popular destinations in London to get even busier
Pokemon GO gyms are in famous London hotspots like Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. Our trainer’s level was too low to go into gym battles so we’re not quite sure what happens once you ‘step in’. But as trainers level up, expect more and more people to arrive at these places with their noses glued firmly to their phones.
Ghosts appear in Trafalgar Square
In most urban areas, the most common pokemon you come across are Rattatas, Spearows and Pidgeys. Occasionally though you’ll find a Caterpie, a Shellder and even a Gastly in broad daylight by Trafalgar Square. Head to parks for leaf-type pokemon or walk down the Thames to catch your Magikarps and other water types.
Use Pokemon GO to find the scenic route
Correction: the ‘scenic’ route is now whichever way has the most pokestops, rare pokemon and gyms.
Hot tips on where to find Pikachu and friends? Let us know at The Spaces