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One of my top bucket list items has always been to walk the Beatles Abbey Road crossing in London.
So a few months ago, I decided to be a tourist in my capital city.
Abbey Road is the home of The Beatles recording studios and the source of the famous picture on their 11th studio album cover.
I didn’t really know what to expect at all, but I knew it would be a popular tourist attraction as so many now go there to grab a photo to the distaste of regular driving commuters.
It was an entertaining experience and a bit of a scrum, but I ended up getting a nice picture as evidence for my bucket list tick off!
So I want to manage your expectations – it won’t exactly be like standing with Lennon, Ringo, Harrison and McCartney when you go. It was a few decades past since that infamous photoshoot.
But, it’s still worth the visit and one for your history books.
Keep reading for more top tips on crossing Beatles Abbey Road in London.
Top tips for the Beatles Abbey Road crossing in London
1. The Beatles Abbey Road crossing can be found at St. John’s Wood
Unless you like to walk places, you’ll most likely get the tube around London.
It’s the best way to see the city and make the most of your time.
You can buy day passes individually or invest in a tourist ‘Oyster Card‘.These come with big savings and have a cap so are the best way to go!
Once you’ve boarded the tube, you can catch the Jubilee Line and get off at St. John’s Wood tube station.
Make your way up the escalator and head straight on all the way down the street opposite the tube entrance. Turn right and you’ll see the crossing.
Don’t worry, loads of people will be there! So, just follow the crowds.
2. The Abbey road crossing will be busy, especially on weekends
I had to laugh when I got here as it was so busy! There were so many tourists queuing to cross a zebra crossing.
If you had no idea who The Beatles were or their album, you’d probably think everyone was crazy.
There were crowds who just sat and watched the people come and go. They would laugh at all the crazy poses and angry drivers with road rage!
If you are visiting on a weekend, it will be busier. So make sure you plan enough time into your day if you do want a good picture.
3. Watch out for the local drivers road rage
Although the Beatles Abbey Road crossing in London is a tourist attraction of sorts, it’s also a busy road with local commuters.
The British highway code states that you cannot drive over the crossing at all while pedestrians are on it.
This means they will have to wait when you’re taking a photo.
Try not to take too long and make sure to pick a moment when there is less traffic. Or, you’ll get an angry queue of drivers.
There will be beeping from some of them too, Londoners are not known for their patience. At all.
4. Be patient to get a good snap!
I would recommend visiting on a weekday if possible and after rush hours (7-9) and (4-7pm).
But it can get quite busy on the roads at all times of day. It is London after all!
Wait your turn
If you’re looking for a photo without anyone else in it, you’ll need to wait for a good moment to cross.
There will be people approaching the crossing all the time, who aren’t prepared to wait.
But, just let them get on with it and have their photo. There’s plenty of time.
You will need to be patient if you want a good photo at the crossing.
There’s tourists, pedestrians, tour groups and others all waiting for a photo.
If you do want a good one without anyone in it, just be patient and your time will appear. Plus, you’ll need to be mindful of traffic.
Mind out for Traffic
For the most part, the drivers understand that this is a tourist attraction.
But, others aren’t so mindful and they do have a point!
It is the main road above a tourist attraction.
There will be buses, bikes, cars, vans and trucks all wanting to get through and some won’t be prepared to wait.
Be careful and thank the drivers who wait for you.
5. Don’t forget to visit the cute café and gift shop!
After your trip, you can head back to the station and pick up a nice little souvenir for your visit on top of your photos.
The café at St. John’s Wood Tube station is a lovely little shop which sells you a nice cuppa. It also has a range of Beatles merchandise and ‘I crossed Abbey Road’ gifts.
There was no better way to top off my tourist visit to London than with a plectrum to commemorate it!
Drum rolls please….the prize for the cheesiest souvenir go to….
If you want more Music tourism in London..
I also decided to extend my tourist visit while I was in London. I was eager to pay homage to David Bowie at his memorial in Brixton.
There are some real gems in London that celebrate the UK’s amazing musical history. So, make sure you check them out!