LOCATION: London, England
This item is part of my Contiki Trip Series.
I’m not a fan of the Beatles. However, a friend suggested that crossing Abbey Road was a must do while in London, so of course I added it to the list. Little did I know that the actual crossing of Abbey Road would be difficult in itself. After looking at maps and directions, there was no tell sign of where this Abbey Road really was. One of Lisa’s friends had a taxi driver dad and he was able to help point me in the general direction. After finding the general area on a map, it was extremely far from the area I was at, and I was unsure of my direction capabilities to get there. I decided to see about a Beatles tour. Unfortunately, the tours were sold out for the day and it would have been $50 for me to do. Kinda pricey for someone who isn’t really a fan. Equipped with a map and a good idea of how the London Underground Tube system worked, I decided to venture it on my own.
The location of the iconic cover is located in a neighborhood called St. John’s Wood. From the location I was at in London, I had to take three tube transfers to get to the area. Once I got to the station, I had no idea on where to go. I looked around thinking something would point me in the right direction. Possibly a sign saying “Beatles this way.” But, I was wrong, there was nothing! I came across some joggers and asked them, they were kind enough to point to the general area saying “walk down this road for about 5 minutes and you’ll come across the area.”
So, I walked….and I walked…and I walked. Still assuming some memorabilia signage would be around, I didn’t see anything. Suddenly, I came upon a busy intersection. “This seriously couldn’t be it,” I thought. After looking around I saw a few women taking photos of the street. It absolutely baffled me that this was the crossing since it had to be one of the busiest streets in that small neighborhood. How was this a major tourist attraction with this much traffic? Then, hidden behind some shrubs along a stone wall was the sign, “Abbey Road NW8.” I had arrived, but now I needed to cross the damn thing.
I found a couple who wanted me to take their picture in exchange for taking mine. I had actually brought two cameras with me that day. My good one, and my semi broken one that I didn’t care if it got stolen. I had no idea what people I would come across, and when needing randoms to take pictures you just need to be prepared. Thankfully this couple seemed nice enough. I attempted to cross, but traffic was too bad. A lady told me that I just needed to do it, but I explained that I wasn’t going to just walk out in the midst of people driving. I wasn’t ready to die for this item. Eventually the traffic stopped and I was able to cross, get my pic and then cross back to retrieve my camera then cross back just to get back to the tube. WHEW!
While Abbey Road may be a top thing to do, I was disappointed by how much effort one small, yet busy intersection could be. But, I crossed it…four times actually.
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?: No. This was disappointing to say the least.
HOW TO DO THIS: Take a Jubilee Line train to St John’s Wood Station on the London Underground system. When you exit the station cross over the main road immediately in front of the station and a comfortable 5 minute walk along Grove End Road will bring you to the junction with Abbey Road. At the junction bear right and you have reached the crossing.
Contiki Travel is HIGHLY recommended. I would do this all over again a million times. www.contiki.com