Whilst in London, Sherlock Holmes fans and detective novel enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the chance to visit the unique museum that is the Sherlock Holmes Museum!
For guests of the Park Grand Paddington Court London, the museum is practically your neighbour and it makes for a fun morning out with the family or as a change of scene from the usual tourist spots in London.
If you’re feeling curious, here is the ultimate guide to help you prepare for and plan your visit to this jewel of a museum.
Who is Sherlock Holmes?
In case you need to ask, Sherlock Holmes is a purely fictional detective character created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He is easily the world’s most famous fictional detective.
Holmes’s flatmate, friend and sidekick is Dr John Watson. In the books, Watson describes Holmes as leading a bohemian lifestyle, with a ‘cat-like’ love of personal cleanliness. Usually dispassionate and cold in personality, during an investigation Holmes is said to become animated and excitable.
Doyle’s first book chronicling the detective, A Study in Scarlet, published in 1887. Sherlock’s exploits in literature include four novels and five short story anthologies. Since then, Sherlock has been featured in more films than any other character in literature!
Sherlock is an icon of British culture and his tales have been adapted to both stage and radio plays as well as television shows and films. If you haven’t dipped into one of the novels, we encourage you to curl up with one of the books in your comfortable room here at the Park Grand London
What is the Sherlock Holmes Museum?
221B Baker Street is the address of the fictional detective Sherlock and his sidekick, Dr John Watson.
The Sherlock Holmes Museum is managed by the Sherlock Holmes International Society, has has been open to the public since 1990. The museum found within a Georgian townhouse constructed in 1815. Historically it has been used as a boarding house! The museum comprises of three floors to explore, above the ground floor gift shop.
The house is Grade II listed which means it has to be preserved due to its special architectural and historical interest.
What to expect at the Sherlock Holmes Museum
On arrival at the museum, you will enter into the gift shop, which takes over the entire ground floor. Museum assistants are dressed in Victorian-era costumes, creating a certain charm.
The shop stocks an amazing collection of goods including the typical Sherlock deerstalker hat, alongside pipes, magnifying glasses, jewellery and teapots. You can also stock up on Sherlock Holmes books and films. It’s the perfect opportunity for those staying in Paddington London hotels to pick up some souvenirs. You can even opt to visit the gift shop and photograph the exterior of the museum if you do not have the time to explore the museum itself.
Once you purchase your ticket, Sherlock’s ‘landlady’ Mrs Hudson will give you an overview of the rooms in the museum before you are left to explore the top three floors at leisure on a self-guided tour. Sherlock fanatics will see that the museum’s interior has been designed to look exactly how it was described in the original stories.
On the first floor, you will find Sherlock’s famous study, which overlooks Baker Street. It has been restored to its Victorian-era origins. Sherlock’s armchair sits by the fireplace and the room is filled with artefacts which include gaslight lamps, a magnifying glass, an old copy of The Times, a smoking pipe, a chemistry kit, ink bottles, a violin and a deerstalker. This is the perfect chance for a photo-op!
Take as many as you can and share them with friends over dinner at The Grand Restaurant. Sherlock’s bedroom is also found on this floor.
The second floor is where you’ll find the bedrooms of Dr Watson and landlady Mrs Hudson. You’ll find more personal items of the two detectives as well as a wax sculpture of Dr Watson, busily writing notes down in his famous diary.
Up on the third and topmost floor, you will find extremely lifelike waxwork models of some of the main characters in the Sherlock Holmes stories including Sherlock’s nemesis, Professor Moriarty.
There are stairs up to the attic where the tenants would have stored their luggage – there are suitcases there today as well as the bathroom.
Planning your visit
The Sherlock Holmes Museum is open daily 9.30am – 6pm, excluding Christmas Day (25 December).
Admission is £15 per adult and £10 per child under 16. Tickets can only be purchased at the museum itself. The museum accepts payment by cash and credit card.
The closest tube station is Baker Street which is a two-minute walk away. Marylebone and Regent’s Park are also within walking distance. We recommend arriving early, to avoid the queues and give yourself plenty of time to explore – especially during summer and at weekends.
Opting to stay in one of the Paddington hotels means you won’t have far to travel in the morning.
Visits to the museum usually take around 45 minutes, including time to browse in the gift shop.
There is no tea shop or cafe at the museum so make the most of the first meal of the day – whether you opt for a Full English, Indian, or Continental breakfast – at the Park Grand Paddington Court before you visit.
A heads up that although the building is technically located between numbers 237 and 241, the museum displays a 221B address sign so you will not miss the museum!
After your visit
After your visit to the museum, grab a glass of wine from one of the traditional British pubs near Baker Street, such as The Volunteer. You can also take a walk in the neighbouring Regent’s Park where ‘Sherlock’ might have walked whilst piecing clues together.
Don’t forget to check out the statue of Sherlock directly outside Baker Street Station and – since you’re sure to have worked up an appetite – head to a nearby restaurant (there’s plenty of them!) or straight back to your hotel for a bite to eat at The Grand Restaurant.