Thursday, June 20, 2013

Holmes Adventures Part 3: Walking Tour

After visiting 221B Baker Street and taking a detour to visit Abbey Road we took a Sherlock Holmes walking tour around London through London Walks.  One of the keys to the popularity of the Holmes stories were that they were set in contemporary London at the time they were published and so although they were fiction the reader who was from London could easily walk the same locations that Holmes did.  

The meeting place was at an Underground station and I couldn't help but smile when we came upon this sign outside. Were the Baker Street Irregulars waiting for us to all pull out our wallets to pay for the tour?

Our tour was led by Richard who was very knowledgeable about the Holmes stories and was able to keep us all interested as we walked around London for a few hours.  

We saw many, many Holmes-related spots along the way and I will highlight just a few of them that I found personally interesting.  We started at the former location of Charing Cross Hospital which can be found referenced in the story The Adventure of the Illustrious Client.  Sherlock is attacked in that story and is taken to Charing Cross Hospital to be treated.

The Holmes stories were originally published in The Strand magazine and one of the stops on the tour was the former offices for the magazine.  All that is still remaining is the famous clock which was placed above the offices.  

Just down the street from The Strand offices, we took a look at the only restaurant featured in the stories that is still open.  Simpson's-in-the-Strand has been open since 1828 and Sherlock and Dr. Watson ate there in The Adventure of the Illustrious Client.  It was currently under construction and so we couldn't get a closer look.

Next stop was the Lyceum Theatre was served as a meeting place in The Sign of Four.

In possibly the most famous Holmes story, The Final Problem, Watson must follow Sherlock's instructions to try to lose the Professor Moriarty's goons that are following him.  Part of his instructions are to quickly jump out of his carriage and run through the arcade of shops near Charing Cross Station.  Although it doesn't look like it currently, the entrance at the time would have been through the door behind the pillars.

The tour ended at the famous Sherlock Holmes Restaurant.  

Like the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street, the restaurant also had a recreation of Sherlock's study and this time there were a few additions which were missing from the Museum's recreation.

There was the fake Sherlock head used to trap an assassin who was going to shoot Holmes from a window across the street.

They also had a pair of boxing gloves which was one of Holmes past times.

While the Museum did have a bust of Napoleon, the restaurant gets some serious points for their recreation of the broken Napoleon busts from The Adventure of the Six Napoleons.  Now where is that black pearl?

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