Pokémon Go is the latest phenomenon to hits the streets of London. It is looking to rapidly become the biggest cultural phenomenon for a generation. Pokémon Go is a game on a mobile app which uses augmented reality to place Pokémon in the real world, which you can then go out and catch, incubate and hatch from eggs, train and battle. You don’t need a to be a fan or even have knowledge of the original Pokémon trump card game to be successful or to even enjoy playing.
London is a fabulous place to explore at the best of times but what I have noticed is that Pokémon Go is bringing people together. I have spoken to more strangers in London in the past few weeks more than perhaps in my 13+ years of living in London. Parents have shared their stories of how for the first time in years their teenage children don’t mind being seen with them if they are able to catch Pokemon. One German chap was so happy to finally have something to be able to do with his 20 yr old son that he told me “I have been geocaching for years and when my son was young he would come with me but he grew up and lost interest. But now we are on our first visit to England together. I find geocaches and he catches Pokemon!”
No doubt wearing my Mystic team t-shirt has provided an ice-breaker for many who have seen me frantically tapping my screen at the sight of a gym. Hey, I even got a free coffee from Pret a Manager as the server was a fellow team Mystic member! London suddenly seems a much more friendly place.
For those more culturally inclined there are additional benefits too. Firstly, the game encourages you to get out and about, either walking or cycling. As part of Pokémon Go you are not only able to catch Pokémon but you can also breed them from 2km, 5km and 10km eggs. I have 278 eggs now and have found Caterpie, Weedle, Pidgey, Sparrow, Oddish, Paras, Magikarp, Zubat and Rattata in 2km eggs, Squirrel, Charmander, Kakuna, Pidgeotto, Ekans, Sandshrew, Nidoran (male and female) Diglett, Meowth, MankeyMachop, Abra, Weepinbell, Geo Dude, Dodo and Cloyster in 5km eggs and Magmar, ScytherGrowlithe, Arbor, Bulbasaur and Pikachu from 10km eggs.
In addition to incubating eggs, as you walk in London you will go past Pokéstops, posts which when activated will release Pokéballs, much needed potion, raspberries and revives. This has been one of the most enjoyable elements of the game for me as some Pokéstops have highlighted real life features on the street that I have simply missed. Being a London Tour Guide, it really does remind you that there is so much to see and learn in London.
The best places in London where I have caught some of the more interesting Pokémon I have packaged together into Pokémon Go London adventures:
Southbank to the West End, London Bridge to Tower of London and a night time Light up London where we will be celebrating the opening of the NightTube lighting up London with neon sticks and portable fairy lights.
Private Pokémon Go London adventures available from £80 for up to 6 people. Get in touch
What people have said about our Pokemon London adventures:
“This was great fun. A well planned tour, in which Hazel, the Guide gave everyone individual attention to help them get to grips with Pokemon Go. Would definitely recommend Hazel as an excellent, friendly and knowledgeable London guide.”
“Okay, So being a VERY mature student and taking up Pokemon-Go … I know, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, however, I had a Blast! Hazel was very knowledgeable not only of her surroundings and the area and buildings of London around us, but she had some impressive facts and pointers to aide those beginning, and well immersed in the game. A very enjoyable 2 hours meeting and socialising with the tour crowd, they were a good bunch of people. The tour was suitable for everyone from 6/7 upwards, and I am sure the average age group was 42! I would definitely look out for any of Hazels tours and tag along.”
“Hazel is a friendly and knowledgeable guide. She kept everyone of all ages entertained in a lively walk around central London, giving everyone attention so all got the hang of capturing Pokemon along the way and improving their playing skills. Really good fun and recommended.”
“I went on this walk yesterday will a group of people. We met up in the Southbank armed with our fully charged mobiles. You have to have the Pokemon Go app installed on your mobile. Our leader Hazel then put us through our paces by explaining what we had to do. Being as Pokemon Go is extremely popular it might take sometime to download. We then set off on our walk stopping on the way to play our game. I managed to increase my Pokemon Go levels from level 2 to level 5. I so enjoyed this walk that I continued playing this game long after the walk had finished.”
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