Finding the Fab Four’s Abbey Road is not so easy

11 London streets, plus transit station carry iconic name

  • Cheerleaders for the St. Louis Rams NFL team pose for photographs on the Abbey Road zebra crossing made famous by the Beatles in London, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012.  The Rams are to play the New England Patriots at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 28 in a regular season NFL game. (AP Photo/Dave Shopland/NFL UK) Cheerleaders for the St. Louis Rams NFL team pose for photographs on the Abbey Road zebra crossing made famous by the Beatles in London, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012. The Rams are to play the New England Patriots at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 28 in a regular season NFL game. (AP Photo/Dave Shopland/NFL UK)
  • A tribute band dressed as members of British band, the Beatles, walk across the famous pedestrian crossing on Abbey Road, in London, in a recreation of the Beatles' Abbey Road album cover as hundreds of people  gathered to mark the 40th anniversary of the album, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)A tribute band dressed as members of British band, the Beatles, walk across the famous pedestrian crossing on Abbey Road, in London, in a recreation of the Beatles' Abbey Road album cover as hundreds of people gathered to mark the 40th anniversary of the album, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
  • Characters from the recently-opened Universal Studios' release "Chicken Run" mimic a scene in a photo of the Beatles used as the cover for the band's "Abbey Road" album, during the opening ceremonies for a new attraction called "Chicken Run Maze," which is based on the movie, at Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif., Tuesday, June 20, 2000. (AP Photo/Universal Studios Hollywood, Michael Tweed)Characters from the recently-opened Universal Studios' release "Chicken Run" mimic a scene in a photo of the Beatles used as the cover for the band's "Abbey Road" album, during the opening ceremonies for a new attraction called "Chicken Run Maze," which is based on the movie, at Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif., Tuesday, June 20, 2000. (AP Photo/Universal Studios Hollywood, Michael Tweed)
  • Tourists cross over the zebra crossing in Abbey Road in London, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. The world-famous zebra crossing which features on the cover of the Beatles' Abbey Road sleeve has been given "listed" status by the Government. The crossing - just outside the renowned Abbey Road studios, where the Beatles recorded much of their output - has been given Grade II listing by heritage minister John Penrose. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)Tourists cross over the zebra crossing in Abbey Road in London, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. The world-famous zebra crossing which features on the cover of the Beatles' Abbey Road sleeve has been given "listed" status by the Government. The crossing - just outside the renowned Abbey Road studios, where the Beatles recorded much of their output - has been given Grade II listing by heritage minister John Penrose. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
  • Bonhams Auctioneers staff dressed in Beatles outfits similar to those worn on the cover of their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, walk across the crossing at Abbey Road in London  to where an announcement was made of the sale of the original lyrics for John Lennon's song ' A Day in the Life'  which appeared as a track on the Sgt. Pepper album, in London Tuesday Jan. 31, 2006. The lyrics are to be sold in a sealed-bid auction concluded on March 7 with an estimated price of 1.5 million,  (US$2.6 million, 2.1 million), London, Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)Bonhams Auctioneers staff dressed in Beatles outfits similar to those worn on the cover of their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, walk across the crossing at Abbey Road in London to where an announcement was made of the sale of the original lyrics for John Lennon's song ' A Day in the Life' which appeared as a track on the Sgt. Pepper album, in London Tuesday Jan. 31, 2006. The lyrics are to be sold in a sealed-bid auction concluded on March 7 with an estimated price of 1.5 million, (US$2.6 million, 2.1 million), London, Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
  • In this file photo dated Feb. 16, 2010, a man walks across the zebra crossing made famous from the album cover of The Beatles 'Abbey Road' in front of Abbey Road Studios, seen at left, in London. Feb. 16, 2010. Struggling music company EMI Group has shelved plans to sell Abbey Road, the London recording studio made famous by The Beatles. The company now says, Monday Feb. 22, 2010, it wants to keep the facility and is talking to "interested and appropriate third parties" about a revitalization project. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori, File)In this file photo dated Feb. 16, 2010, a man walks across the zebra crossing made famous from the album cover of The Beatles 'Abbey Road' in front of Abbey Road Studios, seen at left, in London. Feb. 16, 2010. Struggling music company EMI Group has shelved plans to sell Abbey Road, the London recording studio made famous by The Beatles. The company now says, Monday Feb. 22, 2010, it wants to keep the facility and is talking to "interested and appropriate third parties" about a revitalization project. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori, File)
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LONDON — It’s a mystery tour, but it’s hardly magical.

More than nine miles from the striped crosswalk made famous by the Beatles album “Abbey Road,” this drab transit station in east London keeps drawing confused fans of the Fab Four into unwanted jaunts through a gritty, industrial area just south of London’s Olympic Stadium.

Abbey Road Station has no relation to the Beatles’ Abbey Road Studios, the birthplace of the eponymous album and a London tourist landmark. The glass-and-metal station is wedged among a train depot, warehouses, and gloomy public housing projects, a world away from the leafy, suburban street pictured on the album’s cover.

It didn’t take long for American visitor Christie Johnson, 22, to figure out she was in the wrong place.

“It didn’t look right,” the Denver resident said. She and her embarrassed host — English student Melody Vettraino — wanted to see the iconic crosswalk on a whim.

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The sign for east London’s Abbey Road Station is seen against the ... more >

At the nearby Star Newsagents, 36-year-old Paramjeet Kaur said her convenience store saw an average of a dozen Beatles fans a day.

Outside, 19-year-old Nathan Johnson said he was constantly seeing visitors stride across the small, uneven intersection outside the station to re-create the pose struck by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison on the 1969 album cover — even if the newcomers have come to the wrong place.

“All the time,” Mr. Johnson said, smiling.

London counts at least 11 Abbey roads, with potential tourist pitfalls in neighborhoods such as Barking or Bexleyheath, both of which are on the outer edges of central London. In the British capital as elsewhere the common street name harkens back to the medieval priories that once dotted the area.

But Abbey Road Station, which opened last year, is the only one in London to bear the name. Given the Beatles connection, some have urged the capital’s transit authority to modify its maps.

Transport for London officials said Tuesday there are no plans to change the station’s name.

Spokesman Allan Ramsey said in a statement that it is unfortunate that some visitors get confused but that the problem could be remedied if visitors just did their homework.

Christie Johnson, a semi-professional soccer player, said she wasn’t too disappointed to have gone to the wrong Abbey Road, explaining that she wasn’t that big of a Beatles fan anyway.

She said she mostly just wanted a picture of herself on the famous crosswalk to show her friends. Now, she’ll have a different story to tell.

“I’ll say we tried,” she said. “It’ll get a good laugh.”

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