There are places around the world that are famous simple because one of the Beatles was once there doing something. The Abbey Road Zebra Crossing is one of these places and should be an otherwise unspectacular zebra crossing on a thoroughfare just outside of central London, but is the most famous crosswalk in London, if not the entire world. The road crossing is so famous that people know exactly where it is upon seeing an image without any of the Beatles being present, and so well recognized that single color drawings are immediately identifiable by millions around the world.
The album Abbey Road features the Beatles walking single file across the northwestern zebra crossing on the intersection of Abbey Road and Grove End Road. The simple crossing is well visited, and has become something of a tourist and roadside attraction on its own. Because of its proximity to the Abbey Road Studios, the crossing is a small part of the Beatles’ tour of London.
There have been conspiracy theories for many years that claim the cover of the 1969 album is evidence that Paul McCartney had previously passed away and was replaced with a lookalike. It is said that his bare feet prove he’s a corpse, and that the clothes worn by the other Beatles suggest they are part of a funeral procession. Since Paul McCartney is alive and well to this day, it seems extraordinarily unlikely that this theory is true.
Visiting Abbey Road Zebra Crossing
- The nearest Underground Station to Abbey Road is St. John’s Wood on the Jubilee line. The station itself is something of a historical landmark and was built in 1939.
- The station building is located at the corner of Finchley Road and Acacia Road and is the the closest stop to Abbey Road Studios.
- Do not be confused with the Abbey Road DLR station in east London which is a stop on the light rail and not the underground.
- The only exit of the station will drop you on the northeast corner of Finchley Road and Grove End Road. Abbey Road Studios and the famous Zebra Crossing are about 500 meters west down Grove End Road.
- Grove Rend Road turns into Acacia Road at Finchley Road, so if you find yourself on Acacia, you are going the wrong direction.
- There is a live webcam of the crossing so you can check it out before you go.
- The bus stop is Abbey Road/Grove End Road and there are two busses from central London.