With four novels, 46 short stories, and 75 different actors playing the character in more than 200 films, it's no wonder why so many fans make the pilgrimage to London's Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street. (It is the “world's most famous address,” after all.)
Created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887, Sherlock Holmes is a character that has been featured in more films than any other character in literature, and has caught the attention of readers (and later audiences) from all over the world.
Doyle's story of the famous detective takes place between 1881 and 1904, when Sherlock Holmes lived at 221B Baker Street with his friend and colleague Dr. Watson.
The museum itself is a historic Georgian townhouse constructed in 1815, and was once used as a boarding house between 1860 and 1936. The museum's interior has been designed to look exactly how it was described in Doyle's stories; (and although the building is technically located between numbers 237 and 241, the museum displays a 221B address sign, just for arguments' sake).
The Sherlock Holmes museum is run by the Sherlock Holmes International Society, and has been visitited by more than 2 million Sherlock Holmes fans since it first opened in 1990.
Sherlock Holmes Museum Highlights
As soon as you enter the museum through the gift shop, Mrs. Hudson (Sherlock Holmes' housekeeper) will greet you, before guiding you through the different Victorian rooms in the building which span over four stories. The rooms include Sherlock Holmes' living room, study and bedroom, as well as rooms for Watson and Mrs. Hudson, and even the bathroom in a small loft.
Visitors can climb up the seventeen steps (the same ones mentioned in A Scandal in Bohemia), as well as up to Holmes' crowded parlour filled with artefacts and furniture from the Victorian era which include traditional wallpaper, gaslight lamps and much more.. The rooms are packed full of all sorts of fascinating memorabilia which were referenced in the books, such as a magnifying glass, an old copy of The Times, a pipe, a chemistry kit, ink bottles, a violin, a deerstalker, and much, much more.
Visitors can also see Dr. Mortimer's stick and Watson's diary with handwritten notes, both of which were mentioned in The Hound of the Baskervilles, and there's even the club that was used to murder Colonel Barclay in The Crooked Man. There's also lifelike waxwork figures of Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty and many more.
- For the ultimate Sherlock Holmes experience, make sure you check out 2 Devonshire Place (a ten-minute walk from the museum) where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's medical practice was once located. You can also see a waxworks of Robert Downey Jr and Benedict Cumberbatch dressed up in their Sherlock Holmes attire at Madame Tussauds, which is a four-minute walk from the museum.
- Make sure you snap a photo of the Sherlock Holmes silhouette at the Baker Street metro station, as well as the 9 foot-high bronze statue of Arthur Conan Doyle outside the station by the Marylebone Road exit.
- For a great photo-taking opportunity, try and get a photo with Doctor Watson who will be standing outside the museum's entrance to greet you before you enter.