Sherlock Holmes Tour in London, London

Sherlock Holmes Tour in London (Self Guided), London

Among a myriad of other, real-life celebrities who have ever called London their home, perhaps the most famous is the fictional consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, created by Conan Doyle. Indeed, the ingenious sleuth has left an indelible mark on the literary and cultural landscape of London ever since the appearance of the first stories about him in the late 1880s. Years on, there are several places in the city closely associated with Sherlock Holmes.

Undoubtedly, the main of them is the Sherlock Holmes Museum located at the detective's home address at 221B Baker Street. This museum is set up as if Sherlock and his sidekick, and flatmate, Dr John Watson actually lived there, complete with period-appropriate furniture and artifacts. Visitors can step into the world of Holmes and Watson and explore the rooms where many of their adventures were set.

And to indicate that you're setting foot on Holmes's turf, there is a striking bronze statue of Sherlock Holmes outside Baker Street tube station, a few blocks away from the museum – a popular spot for photos and a reminder of the enduring appeal of this iconic character.

Madame Tussauds in London: albeit not directly linked to Sherlock Holmes, features a lifelike wax figure of the detective. It's a chance to get up close to a lifelike image of Holmes and feel like you're solving mysteries alongside him.

As regard Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes used to live in several places throughout London. One notable location is 2 Upper Wimpole Street, where he wrote some of his Holmes stories. While you can't go inside, passing by these historic residences can be a treat for literature enthusiasts.

Speedy’s Cafe, located at 187 North Gower Street, is famous among Sherlock fans as the exterior of 221B Baker Street in the BBC series "Sherlock" starring Benedict Cumberbatch. It's a cozy spot to grab a bite and imagine you're in the world of modern-day Sherlock.

Exploring these Sherlock Holmes locations will make both die-hard fans and those simply curious about the character feel the thrill of the chase and the intrigue of solving mysteries in the heart of London! So, put on your detective hat, and grab your binoculars, magnifying glasses, and notebooks. It’s time to go on a hunt for a unique glimpse into the enduring legacy of Sherlock Holmes and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
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Sherlock Holmes Tour in London Map

Guide Name: Sherlock Holmes Tour in London
Guide Location: England » London (See other walking tours in London)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: alexei
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Sherlock Holmes Museum
  • Statue of Sherlock Holmes
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Conan Doyle’s Houses
  • Speedy’s Cafe (Sherlock Holmes Film Site)
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Sherlock Holmes Museum

1) Sherlock Holmes Museum

The Sherlock Holmes Museum is a remarkable privately-run establishment in London, dedicated to the iconic and beloved fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. This unique museum is renowned for being the world's very first to exclusively celebrate the literary character of Sherlock Holmes. Its doors first swung open in 1990, and it's located on the renowned Baker Street, officially bearing the notable number 221B, a privilege granted by the City of Westminster. Intriguingly, while it occupies the 221B address, it actually sits nestled between numbers 237 and 241, making it an enticing destination for visitors. The museum's location is in the heart of central London, close to Regent's Park, near the northern end of Baker Street.

The historic townhouse that houses the museum and carries the famous "221B Baker Street" address was constructed in 1815, adding to its historical significance. This Georgian townhouse served as a boarding house from 1860 to 1936, and it's during this period, from 1881 to 1904, that the stories penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle place Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as tenants, under the watchful eye of Mrs. Hudson.

Inside the museum, you'll find a captivating array of exhibits, including items from various adaptations of Sherlock Holmes and meticulous recreations of scenes from the renowned 1984 Granada Television series Sherlock Holmes. The museum authentically reconstructs Holmes' fictional residence to offer visitors unique insights into the life and stories of the brilliant detective. Expert guides, dressed in period costumes, skillfully lead guests through the various rooms, all lavishly adorned with authentic Victorian furniture and an array of intriguing curiosities.

For those eager to take home a memento of their visit, the museum boasts the world's largest collection of Sherlock Holmes gifts and memorabilia, making it a treasure trove for enthusiasts. It doesn't stop at Sherlock, though; the museum also offers a wealth of memorabilia related to other cherished characters from the stories, including Doctor Watson, the amiable Mrs. Hudson, and the enigmatic Professor Moriarty. Whether you're a dedicated Sherlock Holmes fan or a curious explorer, the Sherlock Holmes Museum offers an immersive journey into the world of literature's most celebrated detective, promising an unforgettable experience.
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Statue of Sherlock Holmes

2) Statue of Sherlock Holmes

The Statue of Sherlock Holmes, a tribute to the legendary fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, stands as a remarkable landmark in London. Sculpted by the talented artist John Doubleday, this distinctive statue commemorates the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes and is located near the supposed site of 221B Baker Street, the iconic address associated with the detective's adventures.

Unveiled with great ceremony on 23rd September 1999, this exceptional sculpture was made possible through the generous funding provided by the Abbey National building society. The location chosen for the statue is just as fascinating as its subject – since there was no available space on Baker Street itself, the statue was strategically placed outside the Baker Street tube station, along Marylebone Road.

The statue, standing at an impressive 3 meters in height (approximately 9.8 feet), features a detailed depiction of Sherlock Holmes. The character is shown wearing his signature Inverness cape and deerstalker hat, distinctive attributes initially introduced to the world through the illustrations of Sidney Paget. Sidney Paget's illustrations brought Arthur Conan Doyle's stories to life in The Strand Magazine. In addition to these iconic elements, the statue portrays Holmes holding a calabash pipe, a subtle reference to the detective's refined and intellectual demeanor.

This statue serves as a wonderful homage to the enduring legacy of Sherlock Holmes, celebrated as one of literature's most beloved and enduring characters.
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Madame Tussauds

3) Madame Tussauds

One of London's most bustling tourist attractions, this establishment is nothing short of the world's most renowned showcase of lifelike wax figures depicting celebrities. Madame Tussaud honed her craft through the creation of death masks for victims of the French Revolution and in 1835, she established her initial exhibition of famous figures near this location, featuring sculpted busts of guillotined aristocrats. It's worth noting that she was fortunate to escape the same fate, unlike her uncle, who initiated the family business but met a less fortunate end.

In days gone by, the Chamber of Horrors used to take the spotlight, featuring murderers and macabre subjects. However, times have changed, and the spotlight now shines on limited exhibitions showcasing characters from the Star Wars universe, Marvel films, and YouTube sensations. One particularly unique experience is the "Spirit of London", a playful, irreverent five-minute journey through the history of London, all within a miniature taxi.

***Sherlock Holmes Walk***

The Madame Tussauds Wax Museum offers an exciting opportunity to get up close and personal with the legendary detective himself, albeit in wax form. Inside the famous museum, visitors can snap selfies alongside two incredibly lifelike wax figures representing the iconic character. The first of these figures is Robert Downey Jr. in his full Sherlock Holmes attire, a nod to the popular film adaptations. The second figure portrays Benedict Cumberbatch, known for his portrayal of Sherlock in the more recent Netflix series. Both wax sculptures provide a unique chance to stand next to these interpretations of Sherlock Holmes, making for unforgettable additions to your photo gallery.

A permanent addition to Madame Tussauds London, the Sherlock Holmes Experience was unveiled on July 15, 2016. It goes beyond mere photo ops and invites visitors to step into the enigmatic world of Sherlock Holmes through an immersive walk-through adventure. This interactive theatrical experience takes place in the atmospheric basement of the Marylebone attraction. During the visit, guests will have the opportunity to don the great detective's iconic deerstalker hat and assist Dr. Watson in finding the enigmatic Sherlock. The experience is a fusion of storytelling, multi-textured theatrical sets, illusion, live actors, sound effects, and spectacle. The adventure concludes with a dramatic and unforgettable 'watery' climax.

Why You Should Visit:
Still a classic thing to do when visiting London. The collection is extensive and you're able to see figurines of celebrities of all stripes.

Tip:
To save on entrance fees and reduce waiting time in line, it's advisable to pre-book tickets online.
Be sure to double-check opening times, too, since they may undergo changes.
4
Conan Doyle’s Houses

4) Conan Doyle’s Houses

Setting foot on Devonshire Place, look out for Number 2. Here, Arthur Conan Doyle, a trained physician, once ran an eye surgery clinic. While his medical practice didn't thrive as he had hoped (according to his autobiography, not a single patient sought his services), Doyle found himself spending most of his time here writing stories.

With the tremendous success of his writing career later on, Arthur Conan Doyle ultimately left his medical practice altogether and dedicated himself fully to creating crime stories that left an indelible mark on literature.

Still, perhaps symbolically owing to Doyle's medical profession, today the building affectionately known as Conan Doyle's House is occupied by a dental clinic. Although you cannot tour the interior, a mere standing outside this “literary birthplace” of the revolutionary Sherlock Holmes character is a must for any devoted fan of the great detective.

A pivotal moment in Doyle's literary career was the publication of his first Sherlock Holmes story, "A Study in Scarlet," by Ward Lock & Co., in 1886. Dissatisfied with the publishers, Doyle severed ties with them and began writing for the Strand Magazine. At this juncture, he had moved to his second home, a little bit further down the road, at 2 Upper Wimpole Street.

This house also played a crucial role in the burgeoning career of Arthur Conan Doyle and the eventual fame of his Sherlock Holmes series. Eventually, the Westminster City Council installed a plaque on the door to help visitors identify the location – the second-to-last door on the left side of the road before reaching the intersection with Weymouth Street.
5
Speedy’s Cafe (Sherlock Holmes Film Site)

5) Speedy’s Cafe (Sherlock Holmes Film Site)

Speedy's Cafe is a beloved and iconic spot made famous by the award-winning and Emmy-nominated TV series, Sherlock.

When you visit Speedy's Cafe, you can take a stroll down memory lane with pictures from the show's filming and peruse their collection of Speedy's merchandise. One of the delightful aspects of the cafe is the chance to savor an English breakfast, a culinary delight that immerses you in the heart of London, or try the 'Sherlock Wrap,' a sandwich lovingly created with fans of the show in mind.

Perhaps one of the most thrilling aspects of Speedy's Cafe is the possibility of spotting stars from the series. Notably, actors like Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have been known to frequent the cafe, adding an exciting dimension to your visit.

The choice of this location as Sherlock Holmes's apartment in the BBC series was made with meticulous attention to detail. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the show's creators, conducted an exhaustive search throughout London before settling on this particular spot. North Gower Street, the chosen location, boasts architecture reminiscent of Baker Street's Gregorian style buildings. The brickwork and ambiance transport visitors back to the 19th-century era in which Conan Doyle's original stories were set, striking a perfect balance between old-world charm and a modern, refreshed setting for Sherlock's apartment.

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