Sherlock Holmes, Britain’s most famous detective, has been portrayed in various films and TV shows, some faithful to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books, others more contemporary.
The one uniting factor, however, is Sherlock’s connection with London. Whatever version of Holmes and Watson you prefer, London is a mystery just waiting for would-be sleuths to explore.
So, don your deerstalker, grab your magnifying glass and discover these five places in London that every Sherlock Holmes fan should visit.
1. 221b Baker Street
221b Baker Street is the fictitious address of Britain’s best-loved sleuth, where he is lovingly looked after by the long-suffering Mrs Hudson.
In real life, it’s home to the Sherlock Holmes Museum which displays a range of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia and antiques from the Victorian period.
If you’re arriving by tube, don’t miss the Sherlock Holmes statue just outside Baker Street underground station.
2. New Scotland Yard
In the recent TV series, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is often called upon to visit New Scotland Yard on Victoria Embankment. You can’t enter the building, but it’s a great place to grab a selfie in front of the iconic sign.
3. Speedy’s Cafe
Fans of the BBC TV series will instantly recognise one of Holmes and Watson’s most popular haunts: Speedy’s Cafe at North Gower Street in Camden.
The street was actually used as Baker St in the series to avoid all the references to Sherlock on the original street. The black door next to the familiar red awning of the cafe was used for exterior shots of 221b.
The cafe itself is adorned with production photos and serves delicious food and fantastic coffee. There are a range of Sherlock specialities and the English breakfast is a real treat!
4. Bart’s Hospital
St Bartholomew’s Hospital in West Smithfield features in the very first Conan Doyle story, A Study in Scarlet. It’s where Holmes and Watson meet for the first time.
The hospital itself dates back to 1123 and is the oldest functioning hospitals in Britain. The exterior is beautiful, and it’s considered one of the most architecturally important buildings in the country.
Fans of the BBC series will recognise the rooftop from the infamous episode The Reichenbach Fall, where Sherlock was perched before staging his fake death. There are still notes left by fans who believed the famous sleuth had died, stuck to a nearby telephone box.
A tribute plaque to Holmes and Watson can be found in the hospital’s museum, which also displays exhibits that explain the hospital’s fascinating history. It’s well worth a visit.
5. The Sherlock Holmes Pub
This delightful Victorian-styled pub on Northumberland Street is a homage to the great detective and features an exact replica of the Baker Street sitting room that houses a permanent exhibition of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia.
The food is delicious and considered some of the best pub food in London. The menu is themed and features classic dishes such as The Hound of the Baskerville Toad in the Hole, as well as a great selection of traditional English ales and ciders.
As London experts, our tour guides know a thing or two about Sherlock Holmes and have many other interesting stories to share with you. For more information about our London tours, get in touch today.