A Sherlock Holmes Lover’s Sight-Seeing Guide

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For lovers of Arthur Conan Doyle’s celebrated detective series, finding places to visit to feed your obsession is not a three pipe problem. 22 May is Sherlock Holmes Day, and to celebrate, we’ve rounded up some of the top sites around the UK that inspired the novels. So grab your pipe and deer-stalker and check out these literary landmarks!

Spots that every Sherlock Holmes fan must see...

Although 221B Baker Street doesn’t really exist, with some powers of deduction you will discover The Sherlock Holmes Museum between number 241 and 237. The museum is filled with curious Victoriana, recreating the disorderly home and study Sherlock shared with his colleague Dr. Watson. After a short browse - the museum is a small, three-floor house - head to Madame Tussauds, which is a short walk away. Boasting a theatrical interactive Sherlock Holmes experience for budding detectives to put their skills to the test, Madame Tussauds is also home to two wax figurines of the dashing detective; Robert Downey Junior’s version from the 2009/2011 films, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s incarnation from the BBC series. Whilst in the area, don’t forget to head to the Sherlock Holmes statue at Baker Street Underground Station.

Image Credit: Arasimowicz via Flickr

The Sherlock Holmes Museum is located at 221B Baker Street, London, NW1 6XE

The Sherlock Holmes Experience at Madame Tussauds is located at Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LR

Surgeon’s Hall Museums, Edinburgh

AC Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1857, and his hometown still bears many traces of the author, such as a life-size bronze Sherlock Holmes statue on Picardy Place commemorating the author’s childhood home. The statue has currently been moved due to roadworks, but in the meantime you can visit the Surgeon’s Hall Museums, where Doyle first met Dr. Joseph Bell, Scottish surgeon and inspiration for the protagonist of Doyle’s novels. At the museum, don’t miss an original handwritten letter from Doyle to Bell in which he states it is “most certainly to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes.”

Image Credit: David Gray via Flickr

The Surgeon’s Hall Museums are located at Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW

Bristol South Swimming Pool, Bristol

Although not a location in the original books, Bristol South Swimming Pool is the setting for the climactic stand-off between Holmes and James Moriarty in the first series of BBC’s modern-day Sherlock adaptation. On top of its Sherlock connection, it is also a Grade 2 Listed building, having served the Bristol community since 1931. Fun fact: It is also where Mark Gatiss - who plays Sherlock’s elder brother Mycroft - learnt to swim! After you’ve had a refreshing dip (hopefully not held at gun point by a criminal mastermind), you can explore the city of Bristol, which is home to a host of other filming locations including Goldney Hall - the venue for Watson and Mary’s wedding. You can download a Sherlock locations trail from the Bristol Film Office.

Image Credit: xannnina

Bristol South Swimming Pool is located at Dean Lane, Bedminster, BS3 1BS

Baskerville Hall Hotel, Wales

Built in 1839 by Thomas Mynors Baskerville, The Baskerville Hall Hotel was a frequent haunt of Arthur Conan Doyle, who was a family friend of the owners. During his visits he learnt of the local legend, the hound of the Baskervilles, which became the inspiration for his 1902 novel of the same name. However, Doyle set the story in Devon at the request of his friends in order to “ward off tourists”. The hotel is still open today and overlooks the beautiful Wye Valley, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountain National Park. Perhaps upon visiting you too may be inspired to write an enduringly successful literary classic?

Image Credit: Baskerville Hall Hotel via Facebook

Baskerville Hall Hotel is located at Clyro Court, Hay-on-Wye, Powys, HR3 5LE

Hound Tor, Dartmoor

A.C Doyle visited Dartmoor National Park - one of the largest examples of prehistoric remains in Britain - prior to writing The Hound of the Baskervilles. He described it as "dotted with the dwellings of prehistoric man, strange monoliths and huts and graves", and used the bleak, mysterious moorland as inspiration for his 1902 novel. One of the most famous locations on Dartmoor mentioned in the book is Hound Tor, which is also a filming location in BBC Sherlock’s Series 2, Episode 2. Keen walkers can take in Hound Tor as part of a larger walk across the National Park, just watch out for any giant footprints…

Image Credit: Jude via Flickr

Hound Tor is located at Manaton, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ13 9XG