No trip to London would be complete without delving into music nostalgia and seeing iconic rock ‘n’ roll landmarks representing the British invasion of rock ‘n’ roll. 2014 marked 60 years since the Beatles made their first North American appearance on the Ed Sullivan show; this is where it all began. A movement in the music industry that changed the sound of tunes we sing along today, the British Invasion was integral in rock ‘n’ roll history. And how better to delve into this history than with a London Rock Tour?

Abbey Road - London Rock Tour
Abbey Road – London Rock Tour

The world’s music changed and the Beatles were the main catalyst. Adoration for the fab four circled the globe with millions hoping one day they would see them perform. Although the Beatles hailed from Liverpool, in London, they left their mark with incredible musical influence; but they weren’t the only ones. Musical history didn’t stop at the Beatles.

Pink Floyd cover - London Rock Tour
Pink Floyd cover – London Rock Tour

London birthed the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Depeche Mode, the Sex Pistols, David Bowie, and many others who shaped the industry to what it is today. There are many a London Rock tour available for you to see hot spots where these influential bands and singers made their first public appearances, bought their guitars, wrote lyrics, and for some, left this world. Should you wish to see the landmarks on your own, or on a London Rock Tour, these are the top five rock ‘n’ roll landmarks (in my humble opinion) that you should not miss and that are usually included on every London Rock Tour. They transformed these musicians from local to legendary.

London Rock tour Site #1:  Abbey Road Studios

5 Rock 'n' Roll Landmarks You Must Visit in London - Fill My Passport
Tributes to the Beatles written across the Abbey Road Studio walls – London Rock Tour

Book a Tour: The Beatles London Walking Tour

The Abbey Road Studios are not open to the public, but standing on the steps of the magical building where the Beatles recorded their Abbey Road album, and where Pink Floyd did many recordings is just incredible for any classic rock fan. It is therefore a must on any London Rock Tour. Take photos, read the graffiti on the wall and pay homage to these legendary musicians. While here, take a glimpse at the official Abbey Road sign, affixed above the roadside. Sadly, due to the number of thefts, the signage for this street has been placed 4 storeys above the ground.

Pro-tip: The graffiti will be different each time you visit. It has been said that the studios photograph the wall, then paint it over on a regular basis. Check it out on your London Rock Tour.

London Rock Tour Site #2 The Abbey Road Zebra Crossing

5 Rock 'n' Roll Landmarks You Must Visit in London - Fill My Passport
Abbey Road Zebra Crossing in Kensington

To this day, this infamous zebra crossing located in Kensington attracts millions of visitors yearly wishing to emulate the famed Beatles Abbey Road album cover photo captured in 1966. Visitors come from all corners of the world to tick one of the most iconic rock ‘n’ roll landmarks off their bucket list. (So of course no matter what London Rock Tour you book, this spot will be included.) Notice that some even go barefoot? Well, that is a movement to honour Sir Paul McCartney. (Wondering why? Have a closer look at the Abbey Road album cover again…). Remember, when you are there that it is a public street and so proceed with caution.

As significant traffic jams occur frequently at the crossing (how can they be avoided with the millions of visitors attempting to capture their Kodak moments?), prepare to wait for your opportunity. Don’t fret if your photo does not turn out though. Abbey Road is now fully equipped with a webcam online! Enter the date and time you crossed and re-watch your iconic moment as many times as you like for the next 24 hours!

London Rock Tour Site #3 The Vivienne Westwood Boutique

5 Rock 'n' Roll Landmarks You Must Visit in London - Fill My Passport
Vivienne Westwood boutique – London Rock Tour

Book a Tour: Monsters of Rock Full-Day Tour of London

Head over to the original Vivienne Westwood Boutique at 44 Conduit Street where one of the most controversial punk bands in history was born – The Sex Pistols. Front man Johnny Rotten and the Pistols began their volatile career in front of this Vivienne Westwood boutique… who knew that Sid Vicious would have such taste in fashion?

5 Rock 'n' Roll Landmarks You Must Visit in London - Fill My Passport
The iconic clock where the Sex Pistols were born

London Rock Tour Site #4 Freddie Mercury’s House

Queen is a legendary band. They just happen to be my favourite. I catch myself humming “We are the Champions” every time my sports teams win, and singing “I Want to Break Free” when times are tough. I was heartbroken like many Queen groupies when Freddie Mercury succumbed to AIDS. The music world was silenced and memorials were planned for weeks on end paying tribute to this incomparable artist.

25 years after his untimely death, fans continue to show love and adoration for Freddie and visit his residence leaving fan mail and letters of admiration. Due to this fan base, his former home has become an important landmark on many a London Rock Tour. Keep in mind though that this home is still inhabited by a close friend. Tourists and visitors are unable to enter the premises and letters are removed promptly; however, take a few photos, leave a heartfelt message, and even if it is there only for a few hours, you were still able to make your own personal tribute to this incredible artist.

5 Rock 'n' Roll Landmarks You Must Visit in London - Fill My Passport
Freddie Mercury’s House – London Rock Tour

Book a Tour: London Rock ‘n’ Roll History Tour

London Rock Tour Site #5 Sticky Fingers Restaurant

5 Rock 'n' Roll Landmarks You Must Visit in London - Fill My Passport
Sticky Fingers Restaurant, owned by Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones – London Rock Tour

“Sticky Fingers” restaurant owned by the Rolling Stones member Ronnie Wood, is a trendy family oriented restaurant serving pub grub and a variety of burgers and sides. Stop by to enjoy a meal and revel in the decor of Rolling Stones memorabilia. Have a look at some of the guitars the ‘Stones used throughout their careers and rare artifacts illustrating the band’s history.

5 Rock 'n' Roll Landmarks You Must Visit in London - Fill My Passport
Sticky Fingers Memorabilia – London Rock Tour

So there you have our top five music landmarks to enjoy on any London Rock Tour! There are so many more spots to check out and your guide will point them out while out on tour. What rock ‘n’ Roll legends from the UK are your favourites?

 

 

Rock 'n' Roll Landmarks in London
London Rock Tour Sites

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