(I’m back with the UK Diaries, this time featuring Sherlock Holmes!)
For Sherlock Holmes fans, a visit to 221b Baker St. definitely goes on the itinerary. The world’s most famous address is home to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, and the Victorian apartment is protected by the government as a site of historical interest.
We got off the Baker Street tube station and walked to the museum, where we got tickets from the souvenir shop on the ground floor (15 GBP each — thank you to our friend Iya for gifting us the tickets!). We opted to go late afternoon (after we had gone to the V&A, the Natural History Museum and strolled through Harrods) because the lines were said to be shorter near closing time. The museum is several floors but quite small; they admit a batch every fifteen minutes or so and have to let the last batch out before they can let in a new one.
We had to wait for a couple batches to finish before we got to the head of the line, but there’s a bookstore and a Beatles store on the street that helped pass the time. You can also opt to take photos with the Scotland Yard policeman on the doorstep — he lends out pipes and hats!
From the doorstep is a short staircase leading into a series of rooms that showcase Sherlock artifacts and memorabilia, as well as some wax figures depicting scenes from the stories.
Of course, the requisite photo in the study:
While the museum is definitely a must-see for any fan, I think that the exhibit could be better curated, and the influx of people better organized. They breezed us in and out of there in 15 minutes (the rate is comparable to the Doctor Who Experience, which we toured for at least three hours, and it had an interactive adventure and everything), hence the random photos! They’d do well to sell tickets online with time slots instead of rushing people through the exhibit and having to pacify the sizeable queue along the street (especially on a rainy day, I bet). My biggest disappointment was that they closed the museum shop while we were still in the exhibit — we weren’t even the last batch in, but they wouldn’t let us in the shop anymore.
No worries, though, I got my Sherlock fix elsewhere (and boy did I ever!), but that’s material for another post. More later! :)
The Sherlock Holmes Museum
221b Baker St. London NW1 6XE
01+44+207 224 3688