‘My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don’t know’, intones Mr. Holmes at the beginning of The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, and indeed, that is the business for which the world’s greatest detective has been remembered and highly regarded throughout the ages. Sherlock Holmes is timeless; despite being created by Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 1800s, he remains as popular today as he ever was, surviving and enduring through several incarnations and variations. But whether you’re a die-hard Rathbone fan or a Cumberbatch groupie, one thing that’s unchanging in the Sherlock Holmes canon is the setting; it’s London or bust for the intrepid Mr. Holmes.
And not just London; specifically Baker Street, specifically 221b Baker Street, the headquarters of all Holmes’ genius deductions and deliberations. For a Sherlock fanatic, a trip to London wouldn’t be complete without a pilgrimage to all the Holmes hot spots, and there are quite a few to get around!
First, head over to BUCKiTDREAM and see if you can uncover any fellow fans who’ve made a trip to Holmes’ home, then prepare to take careful and considered notes in your BUCKiTDREAM planner, as we take you through the ultimate guide to tracking the great detective in London!
Locate 221b Baker Street Nothing will get you in a Sherlockian mood more than tracking down Baker Street. The iconic London thoroughfare was immortalized in the sax-soaked hit from Gerry Rafferty, but will always be synonymous with its most famous resident, who set up shop in Apartment 221b. There are a handful of Holmes sights along Baker Street, including a life-sized bronze statue of the man himself, and of course, his famous apartment and laboratory, which is now a dedicated museum.
Inspect the Sherlock Holmes Museum These days, the actual apartment of 221b doesn’t exist anymore; a Sherlock Holmes museum has taken its place. In fact, it didn’t exist in Holmes’ time either, as Conan Doyle fictionally extended the run of high-class Georgian houses along Baker Street to include 221b. The actual address soon came into being as London expanded, and was initially a building society before the Sherlock Holmes museum (actually located between 241 and 237 Baker Street) claimed the address as their own in 2005.
The museum is mocked up to look exactly like Holmes’ residence, complete with a sitting room, a laboratory and his famous violin. The shelves are crammed with relics and trophies from Holmes’ famous cases, and feature waxwork figures of Conan Doyle’s characters. The museum also features a fantastic gift shop where any true Holmes fan will be sure to part with a decent chunk of change.
Seek Out the Sherlocks in Madame Tussauds The famous waxwork franchise has one of its most impressive outlets in London, and if you search hard enough, you’ll discover Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch both lurking among its residents, decked out in full Sherlockian garb. Also, it’s literally around the corner from Baker Street, so it won’t take too much out of your Holmes adventure to stop off and enjoy the waxworks!
Address: Marylebone Rd, Marylebone, London NW1 5LR, UK
Set Off on the Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour Once you’ve got your fill of the museum, track down the Sherlock Holmes walking tour and strap yourself in for two hours of detailed Holmes mythology. The tour starts outside the ‘Savini at Criterion’ at Piccadilly Circus (which well-read fans will know is the place where Sherlock and Watson first meet) and continues through an odyssey of Sherlock law, including sights from the books, television series, and films. Their are even places that were an inspiration to Conan Doyle when he originally created the character. The tour is led by an extremely well-informed guide, who will provide you with the inside track to all things Sherlock
Piece it All Together Over a Drink at the Sherlock Holmes Pub When you’re all Sherlocked out, what better way to wrap up the day than kicking back in the Victorian-themed Sherlock Holmes Pub. The interior contains some fascinating knick knacks relating to the great detective, as well as serving all your favorite drinks and some delicious fish and chips. So make sure to order up a martini, shaken, not stir…oh no, wait. That’s the other British icon. We’re talking about Sherlock Holmes, who was more partial to a head full of opium than an alcoholic beverage. Oh, well. While there are no opiates to be found in this particular London establishment, the well-worn 1800s interior is worth visiting regardless.
Address: 10 Northumberland St, London WC2N 5DB, UK
Solve a Notorious 129-Year-Old Cold Case So, now that you’ve got to grips with Holmes, why not trek on over to Whitechapel and take on Jack the Ripper? Scotland Yard would certainly be delighted with the help (or maybe not, depending on where you stand with whole Freemason conspiracy angle). Regardless, Jack still needs catching, and unfortunately, Sherlock Holmes isn’t around to do it anymore; so that leaves you, Detective. Get your deerstalker at the ready and prepare your pipe; the game is afoot!
London is heavily influenced by its Victorian roots, and you can still get a sense of that pervasive atmosphere in 2017. But London is one of the world’s most dynamic capitals, and Sherlockian escapades are only one facet of its vast and varied spectrum of adventures. For a truly memorable bucket list trip, reintroduce your trusty BUCKiTDREAM planner and check out The 8 Best Live Music Bars in London and the Top Ten Instagrammable Spots in London to get you fired up for an English adventure!