There can’t be too many pedestrian crossings that are world-famous landmarks. Yet, on the corner of Grove End Road and Abbey Road in northwest London, the zebra crossing that served as the iconic backdrop for the Beatles’ 1969 Abbey Road album is still drawing in visitors from around the globe.
It’s an odd experience, visiting a famous piece of tarmac. This becomes especially clear when, as a group of tourists spend a little too long trying to recreate the Famous Four pose, a car horn blows to hurry them up because they are, effectively, just standing in the road!
So that you don’t make the same mistake as thousands of tourists, it’s important to note that ‘Abbey Road’ is closest to St John’s Wood tube station – confusingly, it’s nowhere near Abbey Road station, which is on the opposite side of town!
The St John’s Wood area, in North West London, is a leafy suburb with an upmarket suburban atmosphere that is really rare for somewhere so central. As well as the historic appeal of the area, there are cute brasseries and independent groceries, no doubt frequented by the people who live in the huge but high-end apartment blocks.
It’s hard to believe that somewhere so laid-back and ‘Middle England’ is only 15 minutes away from the hubbub of Bond Street, so it’s well worth the trip – even if it’s only to don a pair of flairs and do your best Paul McCartney impression.
Simon Willmore is a freelance journalist, travel writer and blogger.