Abbey Road




Though the Beatles hail from the northern port city of Liverpool, London is brimming with history of the band. Their failed Apple Boutique was located on the corner of Baker Street and Paddington Street. The band’s legendary rooftop concert took place on top of their Apple headquarters building on Savile Row. Paul McCartney even still owns a house in the Primrose Hill area.

Arguably the most famous London spot that every Beatles’ fan must visit is Abbey Road, where Iain Macmillan took the iconic photograph of the foursome walking across the street just outside of Abbey Road Studios for the cover of their album “Abbey Road.” A short walk from the St. John’s Wood underground station (where you will find a hole-in-the-wall café called The Beatles Coffee Shop with memorabilia overtaking the tiny store), Abbey Road looks like any normal street in London, but it has become so much more than that.


As I approached the street, an older man welcomed me to Abbey Road and handed me a flyer about a Beatles’ museum down the road. A few groups of tourists were standing on the sidewalk, anxiously waiting for all the cars to pass so they could literally walk in the Beatles’ footsteps. Because I was by myself, I did not get a chance to recreate the photo, but it was still very thrilling to walk across the same street as the best rock band of all time did so many years ago.

Once I reached the other side of the street, I found myself in front of Abbey Road Studios, a nondescript white building with a couple cars parked outside it. The Beatles recorded almost all of their albums there, and I could not believe such a plain-looking building was where John Lennon, after almost losing his voice, screamed out the lyrics of “Twist and Shout” in the early 1960s.

A sign on the brick wall outside the studio politely asks visitors to “Please don’t write here, there and everywhere” in reference to the classic Beatles’ song, “Here, There and Everywhere.” Instead, the sign continues to say, visitors can write on the neighboring white wall. Beatles’ lyrics, messages to family and friends, and signatures crowd the wall, along with a painting of the outline of the Beatles’ heads.

As a kid, I fondly remember being in the car with my dad and listening to a local radio program called “Breakfast with the Beatles.” This is probably why I am such a big Beatles fan today and why I knew one of the things I absolutely had to do while studying in London was to pay a trip to Abbey Road. It was an incredible and surreal experience for someone who decided to read a 1000-page Beatles’ biography last year.


Visiting Abbey Road and Abbey Road Studios is essential for any Beatles fan who comes to London. Whether you recreate the photo or not, it is worth it just to stride across the street and write on the wall outside the studio. If you do decide to do your own version of the photograph, make sure you bring three friends to pose with, and one more to take the photo.

And though you may want to get the photo perfectly right, it is probably best to refrain from walking barefoot across the dirty road as McCartney did.


Abbey Road & Abbey Road Studios

3 Abbey Road, London NW8 9AY

TUBE STOP: St. John’s Wood (Jubilee Line)