Pokemon-GoAre you playing Pokémon Go yet? Do you know where the Gyms and PokéStops are in Catford? If you don’t know what Pokémon Go is but need to exercise or enjoy walking, read on.

Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that allows you to catch pocket monsters in real life surroundings. You can play on your iPhone or Android phone.

Once you’ve downloaded the app you might get lucky and catch your first Pokémon indoors as I did. However, you really need to get some comfortable walking shoes on and go outside if you are going to master the game.

How to play

Open the app and create an avatar for yourself. Make sure your phone’s GPS is switched on. Open the front door and go outside.

From the official Pokémon website: As you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you’re near a Pokémon. Once you’ve encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone’s touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it.

So basically, you walk around Lewisham with your phone on and your app fired up. You can watch your avatar on the screen as you walk. If you come across a Pokémon the phone vibrates and you’ll see the little critter jumping around on your screen.

Before you catch it you can turn your camera on to take a picture of it. Don’t leave your camera on whilst you are walking around as it burns battery power.

PokeStops and Gyms

Pokemon spotted near the Catford Cat. #pokemongo

A photo posted by @catfordcentral on

Up where I live I’ve only seen two Pokemon so far whilst walking. I’ve actually caught more in my house than outside.

Once you get to Catford Island its game on. I caught three Pokémon in that area. This is a good time to remember to be aware of your surroundings.  Look up from your phone to make sure you don’t accidently walk into the road and other people.

As well as chasing Pokémon, you should look out for PokeStops. They are a good way to grab some goodies such as eggs, Poke Balls and other freebies. I thought there would at least be a PokeStop on Sandhurst Parade but nope. This sounds like a great opportunity for the Corbett Residents Association to register Sandhurst Parade display board as PokeStop.

PokeStops are blue icons indicated on your screen. They are placed at important cultural spots, such as statues, public buildings and the like so, the Abbosthall Playing Fields on Abbotshall Road and Holy Cross Church on Sangley Road are currently the only PokeStops along my route before walking into central Catford. Up in the other direction, Torridon Post Office and Torridon Library are PokeStops. 

In Catford central, the PokeStops I’ve encountered so far are at the two statues, the Black Horse and Harrow pub, the post office, several churches along Rushey Green, Broadway theatre, the Broadway (near Costa), the Pensive Girl statue outside the Civic Suite as well as the Civic Suite itself, Catford library and St. Dunstan’s College. I’ve seen more on the map, I just haven’t walked in those directions yet.

Catching Pokemon in Catford

A photo posted by @catfordcentral on

There are a few gyms on the High Street, including The Catford Cat (of course)  and Rushmores Garage. There’s also a gym at the church opposite Holbeach Car Park. Gyms won’t mean much to you if you are below level 5. At the time of writing I’m a level 3, no strike that I’m now a level 4 (just caught one levelled up) and would love to know what goes on in the gyms.

Anyway, as a newbie I’m focusing on catching Pokémon and learning to train them plus reaping the benefits of all that walking. All my Pokemon were caught during the day. I don’t know if you catch rarer ones in the evening. I’m planning a trip to Lewisham next to see what they have there.

Happy hunting!

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I started playing this yesterday and whilst it’s a good idea to get people walking there is one downside you forgot to mention. The constant server crashes are annoying! I decided to go for a walk this evening but although the game starts up nothing registers on the map. It’s like you are walking around aimlessly but the reality is you are not connected to the server properly.

If the developers can sort this out then I might even be willing to travel into the city where I’ve read there are rare Pokemon.