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England Travel Tips 
Discover the Real England   



  By Mike Valeriani
Regions: N West N East Yorkshire W Midlands E Midlands East S West S East

Map of London

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On the Road Map:

Map of London AZ London.A map of London is essential when moving around the capital. Many people use a tube map, but this doesn’t at all give you a realistic idea of the distances and shape of the city, as the underground map (which is available for free at any tube station) is a simplified map where the rail paths do not correspond to reality.

I don’t advise you to purchase a map in your own country, as these may not be very accurate or updated. In London there is one very popular map that comes in all sizes and shapes: the “AZ London”. You can find it at just about every corner shop of the capital. I am not a fan of this publication, as maps are (to me) a bit crowded and sometimes confusing. What I love about it is the story of how it came to life.

Phyllis Pearsall, inventor of the map of London.Phyllis Pearsall (1906--1996) was a modestly successful portrait painter whose father was an Hungarian map maker that migrated to England.

One September evening of the year 1935, Phyllis was going to a friend’s party armed with the only map of London she could get at that time, a 1919 Ordinance Survey Map that was definitely not doing the job. She got lost and it took her ages to get there.

The very same evening the idea popped into her head while telling the tale of her journey to her friends.

The next morning at 5 o’clock she was on the road, beginning a 3.000 miles journey on foot, walking the 23.000 streets of the capital by herself. Her father didn’t believe in this idea and criticized her, also because women at that time were doing very little outside of their homes. A year later 10.000 copies were born out of a printer shop and WH Smith gave it the push it needed.

The AA map of London.It was an historical success that repeated itself in every city of the world. She was the first to think about it.

Having said all this, nowadays there are many map makers that copied the original idea. The best maps of all are the once from the AA - the Automobile Club. They are slightly harder to find, but any bookshop or petrol station will stock them.

It might be a good idea to get yourself one of those maps that open up big and wide, so that you can have a real idea of where you are going, compared to the most popular book style map of London.




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