Everyone loves Sherlock Holmes, the super-smart detective who always cracks seemingly impossible cases, and since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published A Study in Scarlet, the first novel about Sherlock and his sidekick Dr. Watson, a huge fan base has been developed.
Sherlock Holmes is not only a superb detective, Doyle has placed him on the perfect setting, London during the Victorian era, a dark place shrouded with mystery but filled with people living hectic lives at the same time. Let’s explore Sherlock Holmes’ connection with the esteemed capital city...
221b Baker Street – In the books, this is the address of Sherlock where he lives with the caring Mrs. Hudson, but if you turn up there you will find out that it’s actually the Sherlock Holmes Museum displaying all sorts of memorabilia. The museum is in the form of Sherlock Holmes’ study and Dr. Watson’s bedroom, everything has been recreating and life-like, you can even peek into their handwritten notes! On the same street, there is also a nine-foot bronze statue of Sherlock, great for taking selfies next to.
St Bartholomew’s Hospital – The oldest functioning hospital in Britain, founded in 1123, and this is the place where Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson met. It’s a very beautiful building and there is a reference to Sherlock, in the form of a tribute, in the hospital museum, definitely worth a visit for any fan of the Sherlock Holmes series.
Speedy’s Café – Based in Euston Square, Speedy’s Café is a location in the much loved Sherlock Holmes TV series (2010) starring Benedict Cumberbatch where it’s located on “Baker Street”. It is a real café and is a great place to have a cuppa and think all things Sherlock.
The Langham Hotel – Located on Regent Street, The Langham Hotel is one of the largest and most well-known traditional hotels in London. It is a magnificent sight in its own right but is the cause of extra excitement in Sherlock Holmes fans as the hotel has been featured in various novels. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself once had dinner there with Oscar Wilde.
The Sherlock Holmes pub – Containing a replica of Sherlock Holmes’ study and plenty of other memorabilia, this pub isn’t just about alcohol. The extremely cool and humorous feature is that some of the dishes there are Sherlock themed, Dr. Watson’s Traditional Sunday roast anyone?
Lyceum Theatre – A West End theatre based in Westminster, it has hosted entertainment over many years including the more modern and famous The Lion King; the history of the Lyceum Theatre dates back to 1765. The Lyceum Theatre is featured in The Sign of the Four making it a popular destination for Sherlock fans. Going there to see a musical is a quite a treat so check the website to see what’s on.
Royal Opera House – In various Sherlock Holmes mysteries the Royal Opera House is a place frequented by Sherlock. Based in Covent Garden, The Royal Opera House is a much-loved performing arts venue and was constructed in 1732. The current building is the third on the site, the other two having been destroyed by fires.
British Museum – Established in 1753, the British Museum is one of the most famous museums in the world and contains extraordinary artifacts like the Mummy of Katebet and the Samurai armour that dates back to the Edo period. The British Museum is the place where Sherlock frequented for research as there was no internet at the time, of course.
Simpson’s-in-the-Strand restaurant – Originally starting off as a smoking room in 1828, Simpson’s-in-the-Strand is one of London’s oldest traditional English restaurants. Put yourself in Sherlock Holmes’ shoes with some traditional English food, this was his favourite restaurant after all.
Sherlock Walking Tour – The Sherlock Walking Tour tries to go through all places in London that are featured in the novels and other stories. Although the walk features locations from the books, locations from the hit TV series starring Benedict Cumberpatch are also included and since the show is a modern adaptation of Sherlock Holmes (the books being set during the Victorian era) you can visit some of the places as they look in the show, making great locations for taking pictures. Make it more realistic by dressing up as the detective himself!
Sherlock Holmes Games – These innovative events come and go so check online for when one is on. There are various Sherlock Holmes games based around London where partners team up and search for clues which they receive via text, when you follow the route you will end up in fine cafes and lavish restaurants where you can grab a snack for on the way. Sherlock Holmes games vary and each experience is different. Some famous Sherlock Holmes games in London include Moriarty’s Game, where you are required to find Moriarty’s safe house, if you succeed the prize is a surprise.
It is of no doubt that ever since the first Sherlock Holmes novel was written; each of Doyle’s masterpieces has been much loved and synonymous with British culture.
The greatness of Sherlock rose in a time where the police force in London were seen as ineffective and amateur, Sherlock’s ability of deduction was seen as an out-of-this-world talent; putting things into context, Victorian London (where the books are set and also when they were published) was a period of time where notorious killers like Jack the Ripper ran amok on the streets of London going uncaught.
Due to this, an intelligent detective who always managed to work his way through tough situations was gladly welcomed and even though today’s police force is much more efficient than their Victorian counterparts, Sherlock is still seen as a crime-busting legend and is adored all over the planet. The master sleuth himself is believed to be a real person or at least based on a real person; ultimately this shows how much he is actually loved.
The Englishman with the deerstalker hat and pipe will never be forgotten.