Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the literary hero he created – the famous detective Sherlock Holmes with his deductive method and faithful friend Dr. Watson… How many people on Earth have never heard of them? It is to these characters that London owes its most famous address: 221b Baker Street, Westminster. By the way, not everyone knows this, but at the time of writing this address did not yet exist in London: Baker Street in those days ended at the hundredth house number.
But in 1990 on Baker Street opened the private Sherlock Holmes museum, which has become one of the most popular in London, including for Russian tourists. It is located, however, in the house 239, although its official address – just the one that indicated the writer. The building was constructed in the Victorian style in 1815 and is protected by the state not simply as architectural property, but as an item on “Her Majesty’s List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Significance.
Back on the subway, at the Baker Street station, you encounter a silhouette easily recognizable by the distinctive hunting hat, usually worn in rural England during deer hunts, and a curved pipe. And a figure of the legendary detective is installed at the subway exit.
Entering the four-story building of the great detective’s abode, it is as if you take a step back in time, finding yourself in exactly reproduced rooms, setting and atmosphere, in the details drawn by Arthur Conan Doyle in his works about the detective. There is a real policeman at the door, dressed in 19th-century uniform, and all the guides are dressed as Victorian housemaids.
The first floor of the museum is devoted to a store with souvenirs and a small lounge, where the ticket office is located. In addition to books, here you can buy “that” hunting cap, souvenirs with symbols from Holmes movies and TV series.
By the way, the Soviet film with Livanov as Sherlock is known and loved in the museum. The music from it is repeatedly played in the background, and the portrait of Sherlock-Livanov was seen by visitors hanging in various parts of the house.
The second floor is a living room-cabinet with windows overlooking Baker Street and a bedroom with windows overlooking the courtyard. Here, too, everything is exactly like in the books: Sherlock’s violin, the letters pinned to the mantelpiece with a penknife, the flasks with test tubes from his chemical laboratory, and the revolver of Dr. Watson, Holmes’s loyal friend and assistant. You can even sit in the detective’s chair by the lit fireplace and take a picture with his famous pipe.
The third floor of the museum is devoted to the rooms of Mrs. Hudson, who keeps appearing in the pages of the stories next to Sherlock. In her room there is a bronze bust of Holmes and a book with the comments and wishes of the museum guests. By the way, it is “Mrs. Hudson” who welcomes and escorts everyone through the rooms of the museum. The third floor also has Watson’s room with many books on medicine and other “personal items” of the famous doctor.
Finally, on the fourth floor of the house-museum you can get acquainted with wax embodiments of other characters of Arthur Conan Doyle’s works (Dr. Roylott, the adventurer Irene Adler, Holmes’ famous foe Professor Moriarty and even the wax head of Baskerville dog on the wall), look at the closet and the bathroom with a toilet and a washstand with flowers painted on them.
After a long walk through the museum, you can have a cup of English cream tea in Mrs. Hudson’s Old English Restaurant to complete your impression of Victorian England.
The detailed, absolutely identical with the descriptions in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books, the interior decoration of the museum’s rooms makes a lasting impression on visitors, causing a desire to re-read the immortal works and meet their wonderful characters once again.
The official address of the museum is England, NW1 6XE, London, Baker Street, 221 b. You can take the tube to Baker Street station or buses 13, 18, 27, 30, 74, 82, 113, 159, 274 going to Baker Street or Marylebone Road (where Madame Tussauds is located).
The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. During Christmas it is closed.
Ticket price: Entry 15 GBP, children under 16 – 10 GBP. Photos and videos are free.
- Monday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
- Tuesday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
- Wednesday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
- Thursday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
- Friday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
- Saturday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
- Sunday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM