Arrivals & Departures Top seven spots for sleuthing around Britain with Sherlock Holmes

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

From Sherlock Holmes’ headquarters in London to the bleak bogs and jagged hills of Dartmoor National Park, fans have plenty of spots to visit to mark the 125th anniversary of the first Sherlock Holmes book.

October marks 125 years since the publication of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of 12 short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.

If you'd like to celebrate with a Sherlock-themed itinerary, there's a number of sites, museums and natural wonders around Britain to choose from.

1. The Baker Street base

First port of call for fans must be 221B Baker Street as Holmes’ base in the book and subsequent screen adaptations. While the address doesn’t actually exist, visitors to Baker Street, London, will find the Sherlock Holmes Museum at number 237-41. 

Inside, it's a flashback to Victorian times, with a recreation of the detective’s disorderly study and Dr Watson’s tidier quarters.

2. Model citizens

At Baker Street’s underground station, there’s a 3m-tall Sherlock statue. Nearby Madame Tussauds has a waxwork figure of Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the BBC's Sherlock series. 

At Madame Tussauds, visitors can take part in the Sherlock Holmes Experience, a murder-mystery challenge with actors in period costume and a case to solve.

3. On location in London

In East London, St Bartholomew’s Hospital is where Holmes first encounters Dr Watson. You may recognise it from the finale of season two of the BBC's Sherlock, where Holmes supposedly leaps to his death. But you'll have to look from street level, as there is no public access to the roof.

In central London, the Benedict Cumberbatch series used the townhouse at 187 North Gower Street for the set of Baker Street, while scenes were also shot at nearby Speedy’s Sandwich Bar & Cafe.

For lunch, try the Sherlock Holmes Pub near Piccadilly Circus, where Sunday roasts are served every day beside a life-size replica of Holmes’ office.

4. Devon's Dartmoor

In 1901, Conan Doyle visited Dartmoor National Park in Devon, walking up to 29km per day to scout locations. The result is The Hound of the Baskervilles, which takes the haunting landscapes of Dartmoor as its backdrop. 

Unique Devon Tours runs guided day trips to key spots from the novel, including the real-life Grimpen Mire.

5. Wild for Wales

Many believe Baskerville Hall to have been based on the Bakerville Hall Hotel in Wales. Conan Doyle regularly stayed there and was supposedly regaled with a hound-based legend during one visit. The hall is a two-hour drive north from Cardiff.

Cardiff has served as the main filming location for all four of the BBC’s series of Sherlock. Cardiff Castle is the site of the confrontation with Moriarty and has tours available. Visitors can also walk in Sherlock and Watson’s footsteps at the National Museum Cardiff.

Less than an hour away across the English border is another regular haunt for BBC series: Bristol, where the Bristol Film Office’s walking trail covers a host of locations from the series.

6. Conan Doyle's birthplace

In Edinburgh, the birthplace of Doyle, you will find a bronze Sherlock statue commemorating the author's childhood home on Picardy Place. 

The city's Surgeons’ Hall Museum, home of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, is where Conan Doyle met Joseph Bell, the chief inspiration for Dr Watson. 

7. A final stop

Heading south, Portsmouth is where Doyle wrote his first two Holmes novels. At the Portsmouth Museum, fans will find books, photographs and memorabilia as part of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection.

Fact File

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