Discover More, London by Leila Peterson in London, UK

We sent Leila out with a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: London to get her perspective on what it means to use a travel guide in her hometown.

Umbrellas, snow shoes, bursts of sunlight, surprise heat waves, beautiful parks, and amazing little pieces of history scattered across the city.

Name:Leila Peterson

Place you live:

London, UK

Can you sum up the people of London?

A lot of really talented people here, and luckily everyone I’ve met so far have been so nice.

What was the experience like looking through a DK Eyewitness Travel Guidebook for your own local city?

Exciting! I visited Fenton House in Hampstead first, caught the train down to Borough Market, walked along the Thames to The London Eye and then made my way back to the George Inn for drinks before heading home. There were so many more places I wanted to visit for this project, it was hard narrowing it down.

Did you find anything new or inspiring about London in the book? 

I came across so many hidden gems. Aside from the popular sites like The London Eye and Borough Market, I found Fenton House, which was beautiful and full of so much history. There were apple trees, lawn chairs, and a large garden surrounded by rose bushes and lavender. I spent a good portion of time lying under the trees. I also chose to visit The George Inn for drinks. Shakespeare and Charles Dickens were visitors to the historic inn!

How did the guidebook influence the photos you went out to take of your city?

I was originally planning to just visit the London Eye and Borough Market, but I found Fenton House and The George Inn while I was reading the book and decided to add them to my route.

Tell us about the photos you shot for this project?

I shot the photos with the intention of portraying a story of my day from beginning to end. Planning my journey, visiting the sites, and photographing all the beautiful things about London that stood out to me along the way.



Describe a perfect day in London?

Coffee at Ginger and White, catching the train into the city and walking along Regent’s Canal. A small lunch at one of the cafés along the water, drinks in the park with my husband, and an ice cream (with flake) from the ice cream truck.

What do you love about London?

How much there is to do and see! I’ve been here for almost a year, and feel as though it would take years to see even 1/2 of all the things I’d like to.

What do you dislike?

The winter

What would be surprising about this place to an outsider?

I can’t really speak for anyone else, but for me, I was shocked by how culturally diverse the food is in London. You can get anything from good Korean BBQ to an American style burger.

If London was a person or character who would they be?

Peter Pan. It’s been around for so long and holds so much history, yet is thriving and alive after all these years. It never gets old for me, there’s always so much going on.

What was your impression of the DK Eyewitness Travel Guidebook?

The book made it really easy for me to discover a lot of great places. The information on the towns was so detailed and the London Underground map in the back of the book really saved me a few times!

There’s just something so fulfilling about sitting down with a book and planning out a journey, the whole experience was a lot of fun.




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Name:Leila Peterson



Best place to eat?

Boca Di Lupo in Soho for Italian food, and Koya in Soho for the best Udon.

Best place to drink?

I love going to The Paramount Bar for the 360 degree view of London. Make sure you make a reservation beforehand, they don’t normally allow walk-ins.

Local tip?

Some great places/things to do are: Regents Canal and the London Zoo, Hampstead Heath in the spring and summer (we like to throw a blanket out on the grass and have drinks and snacks), and on Bank Holidays they hold a carnival on the Heath. Geffrye Museum, South Bank, Somerset House and ice skating there during the winter months, Notting Hill market on Sundays, and Columbia Road farmers market! There’s so much more, but that’s a few of my favorites.

For the visitor?

I’d start the day at Borough Market, buying lunch from one of the food stalls (the Vietnamese curry is really good), then walk along South Bank toward The Tate Modern Museum. You’ll pass a lot of things like London Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Clink Museum, OXO tower and restaurant, The Golden Hinde, Vinopolis, and The Anchor Pub. When you reach Tate Modern, take the Millenium Bridge over to St. Paul’s Cathedral and climb to the top for an amazing view! Make sure the cathedral is open to the public before you plan your trip.