A physician, writer, detective, justice reformer, sportsman and spiritualist, the only person who could give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money in the genius stakes was his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Since his first adventure in 1887, there have been hundreds of locations visited by the master detective and his faithful companion Dr Watson. So we’ve donned our deerstalkers and put together a list of 8 must-visit Sherlock Holmes locations in the UK.
Picardy Place, Edinburgh
Doyle’s home city was, in a way, also the birthplace of Sherlock Holmes. 11 Picardy Place is where Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born in 1859.
Visit Edinburgh today and you will see a statue of his most famous creation and a pub called The Conan Doyle just over the road – the perfect place for celebration and further research!
Stonyhurst College near Clitheroe, Lancashire
The scenic Stonyhurst was where Doyle received early education. Despite his ability, it can’t have been too easy for the young Doyle; here he met a classmate called Moriarty, who later appeared as Sherlock’s arch villain.
Interestingly, JRR Tolkien was a visitor to Stonyhurst and worked on large parts of The Lord of the Rings there. See if you can spot the influences!
221b Baker Street, London
Where else might you find Holmes when he’s not off solving mysteries? When the character was created the numbers on Baker Street only went to 100. Later, when the street was extended, Abbey National moved in and they had to employ a full-time secretary to deal with all the mail addressed to the fictional detective.
Today a Blue Plaque hangs on the Sherlock Holmes Museum, which is actually located between 237 and 241 but has special permission to receive mail sent to Holmes’ address.
The other 221b Baker Street, London
The Holmes house as featured in BBC’s Sherlock is actually located at 187 North Gower Street – about half a mile from Baker Street.
Speedy’s Sandwich Bar from the series – where John and Sherlock enjoy refreshment – is just next door and can be visited by fans seeking refreshment before they continue their investigations.
Hound Tor, Dartmoor, Devon
The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the most memorable Sherlock Holmes adventures. Featuring a ghostly beast stalking Dartmoor, it also features one of the most fearsome villains – not to mention a hauntingly beautiful setting!
Sherlock, the BBC’s modern day telling starring Benedict Cumberbatch, filmed their telling The Hounds of Baskerville here too, so it’s the perfect place to explore the oldest and newest incarnations of the great detective.
Doyle wrote the first two Holmes adventures whilst working as a doctor in Portsmouth. Eventually he was doing so well with the writing that he gave up the day job. But he still threw himself into Portsmouth life, playing goalie in the local football team (under a pseudonym), giving talks, joining societies and more.
A Study in Sherlock: Uncovering the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at the Portsmouth Museum offers a perfect introduction to the writer’s time in Hampshire and the impact of Holmes on popular culture.
Crowborough, East Sussex
This lovely Sussex town was where Doyle spent the last 23 years of his life. His former residence is now a residential care home, but there’s still plenty for the Sherlock fan to explore.
Find the statue of the writer in the town centre, walk streets with names such as Watson Way before stopping at Café Baskerville for refreshments and more. The stunning Ashdown Forest is just a short distance away too, perfect for stretching your legs afterwards.
Eastbourne, the South Downs, Sussex
Sherlock Holmes survived many attempts on his life, including one from his creator that lasted 8 years! Still, the great fictional detective managed to make it into retirement, moving to a farm near Eastbourne and taking up beekeeping.
Despite the occasional lapses into detecting, the beautiful Sussex countryside was enough to keep Holmes entertained – at least as far as his creator was concerned. Visit today and it’s not hard to see why!