Sherlock Holmes in London
He’s always been one of literature’s most compelling characters and the recent BBC series Sherlock has led to millions of people being more clued up about Holmes and his humble pal Dr Watson than ever before. Here are a few attractions to help you sate your appetite for the sleuth.
London Walks - In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes
At 2pm on Friday afternoons, guides from London Walks will take you on a sleuthing adventure through Covent Garden, Charing Cross and the alleyways of The Strand. The tour ends with a detailed re-creation of Sherlock Holmes’s study in a building immortalised in The Hound of the Baskervilles. The walk starts from Embankment Tube, Villiers Street exit.
Madame Tussauds - The Sherlock Holmes Experience
Unleash your inner Sherlock in this live walk-through adventure. Journeying from 221B Baker Street, to the windswept moors of Dartmoor you must help Dr. Watson find the missing Holmes. A cast of characters will guide you through theatrical sets as you try and crack the case. And of course, don’t forget to visit Benedict Cumberbatch’s waxwork while you’re there.
Sherlock Holmes statue
Outside Baker Street Tube station stands the imposing 3m-high statue of Holmes, sculpted by John Doubleday. He is wearing his famous Inverness cape and deerstalker hat and holds a pipe, attributes given to him by Sidney Paget who illustrated Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories in The Strand magazine. The statue was unveiled in 1999 and paid for by the Abbey National building society that used to have its headquarters at 221b Baker Street.
The Sherlock Holmes Museum
Holmes, and his friend and colleague Dr Watson, shared rooms at 221b Baker Street between 1881-1904, according to the stories. The first-floor study at the museum overlooks Baker Street and is still faithfully maintained as it was kept in Victorian times.
Visit the museum’s website for further details.
If you’ve watched the most recent TV adaptations of Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, you will have noticed that the frontage of their 221b Baker Street flat is above a cafe called Speedy’s. The cafe has seen a significant surge in customers since appearing in the show but it’s not actually in Baker Street at all - it’s at 187 North Gower Street, near Euston Station.
In the tense Season Three finale of Sherlock, Holmes has a showdown with a major character (no spoilers here) in a house in Bayswater, west London. The house is merely a façade and not really a house at all. But this is not just a plot device - it exists for real. Numbers 23 and 24 of the upmarket terraces in Leinster Gardens are not really houses but façades constructed in the late 1860s to conceal air vents required by the underground railway to keep the tunnels smoke-free.