How to get to Abbey Road Crossing in London
This post describes how to reach the Abbey Road Crossing in London, also known as the Beatles Crosswalk. Located in the north London neighbourhood of St. John’s Wood, it is easily accessible by the London UnderGround. We also list several guided tours that visit the crossing.
The nearest Underground Station to Abbey Road is St. John’s Wood. There is only one exit at this station. When you exit the station, you will be on the northeast corner of Finchley Road and Grove End Road. Head west on Grove End Road for approximately 500 meters and make a right turn onto Abbey Road. The Studios – and the crossing – are right there. Use this Google Map for directions to the Abbey Road crosswalk. You could also take the 139 and 189 buses. There are also daily guided bus tours that stop at the Abbey Road Crosswalk.
Today, the music studio where the Beatles recorded that album is synonymous with not just the Beatles themselves, but with multiple music legends that have recorded at the Abbey Road Studios, owned by EMI and based at No. 3 Abbey Road. Below is a Google virtual tour of the studios. The list of those who have recorded there is quite expansive, so here is a small list of some of the better-known names who have graced the Studios over the years: Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, James Blunt, Queen, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, U2, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Mary J. Blige, Duran Duran, Oasis, Kylie Minogue, and Green Day.
You can tour Abbey Road Studios virtually with Google.
TIP: If you are a big-time Beatles fan, you might be interested in the Beatles Walking Tour. Beatles fans who have the London Pass get a free goodies bag with any £5 or more purchase at the Beatles Store.
Originally, Abbey Road was simply another thoroughfare through Northwest London and was primarily used by visitors heading toward Lord’s Cricket Ground. But in 1969, Abbey Road was changed forever when a photograph of the Beatles crossing the road (since it just so happened to be outside the studio where the album was recorded) was used as the cover for their album of the same name.
The crossing depicted on the album cover is what’s known as a zebra crossing -a pedestrian crossing known by its’ distinguishing pattern of dark and light stripes on the road that typically gives rights of way to pedestrians over traffic (making it easier for those who want to recreate the fab-four album cover!). The crossing here became so well known, and such a tourist hot-spot that in 2010 the stretch of Abbey Road here was given Grade II Listed Building status by English Heritage. This means the zebra crossing here now has legal protection as a site of historical importance and cannot be torn apart. Unusually, the zebra crossing is re-painted every three months to keep it in good shape for the millions of photographs that are taken here every year!
The road sign for Abbey Road was traditionally positioned at the usual height and location – within the public’s grasp. This meant that the sign was repeatedly defaced and removed throughout the decades. Today the sign is deliberately positioned higher than normal to prevent this. However, the front gate that surrounds the Abbey Road studios is still covered in graffiti left by visitors from around the world, looking to leave a footprint of their visit to this world-known recording location.
There are several ways to see sites in London associated with the Beatles. Here are three ways:
- Guided and Self-Guided Bus and Walking Tours of The Beatles’ London — A half-day tour that will take you across London to see places like Apple Record Headquarters, where the Beatles performed live for the last time, and the London Pavilion, where 4 of their 5 films premiered.
- You may be interested in taking our (pay-what-you-wish) London Rock N Roll Tour, which includes many Beatles’ sites in the city. Mondays and Thursdays at 14:00 (2 pm). Our tour video is below. Be sure to check out our free London walking tours when visiting the city.