My Mum had wanted to go to the Sherlock Holmes Museum ever since we walked past it when we went to the zoo; however it took me three years to finally take her there. She is huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, the originals...lol
My Mum had her out camera before we even got inside; there is the famous 221b black door outside for you to pose next too. My Mum was in her element, we all had our turn standing in front of the door. We went midweek during term time and there were no characters outside, but I have walked past many times to see a period `Peeler` or policeman standing outside for you to pose with.
You walk directly into the shop which was not great for me as I had a nine year old (I home-educate before people say he should be in school) and a twenty month old. Straight away they were eyeing up what they could buy...grrrr! The shop is lovely though, all Victorian and old style, the staff are all dressed in period clothes which adds to the atmosphere. You walk to the rear of the shop to buy your tickets, which are £6.00 for adults and £4.00 for children and concessions, which I thought was very reasonable for London prices. It is open 9.30am till 6pm.
Then you walk into the world of Sherlock Holmes; everywhere in this museum is period, you have three floors of this listed building to explore. You wander through the living quarters of the fictitious detective and his trusted Dr Watson. You can take pictures throughout the museum and you are able to touch the exhibits, so my son loved the putting on the old trumpet pipe and hat and sitting in the beautiful shabby little Victorian parlour with the violin in full view, there is Dr Watsons bowler hat and medical bag you can try out. My son posed for a picture sitting at Sherlock's desk with a magnifying glass. There are staff around the museum to help and guide you and answer any question, they are also dressed in period Victorian clothing and they are happy for you to have you picture taken with them, then on the top floor there are wax displays of scenes from Sherlock Holmes, which if you haven't seen the films then there is a good chance you won't get the interest from them even though they are all labelled. There is also a waxwork of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writing his famous books from which the films are taken.
My son is good with museums and has just began an interest in Sherlock Holmes since the new series `Sherlock` has began, so he loved this little place but I don't think this museum would interest many kids.
Another problem was the fact this museum is a listed building and therefore access is limited. The staff did allow us to leave the pushchair behind the ticket desk, but if you rely on a wheelchair this museum in my opinion is not for you. Also there are lots of steps which could cause problem for people with mobility problems. Even the toilet which is down in the basement and accessed through the shop has no access except steps. The toilet has no baby changing facilities, but the toilets were also period which I found quite comical.
The stairs are very narrow and the room are fairly small and when the museum is busy I can imagine it is difficult to get the best out of the museum and to be able to try out all the hands on props and exhibits, which would be a great shame.
Overall the museum is lovely if you like Sherlock Holmes or even Victoriana, this museum transports you back to the 1870s.
I would say you can do this whole museum in an hour and half, two hours at the very most, so if you're planning a visit its worth taking this into consideration.
There are plenty of eateries just a few minutes' walk up the street; there is a Pizza hut, a subway a Costa coffee to name a few. There is also Regents Park almost directly opposite if you choose to have a picnic.
The nearest underground station is Baker Street, which is on the Hammersmith and city, Circle, Metropolitan, Jubilee and Bakerloo lines
If you are familiar with books and films, I will have no need to give you the address, as you will already know it. However just to be sure the address is;
221b Baker Street London NW1 6XE England.
If you love Sherlock give it ago!
Review summary for the review "Like going back in time."
Lovely quaint museum that will be perfect for any Sherlock Holmes fan. Set in a Victorian listed building you will be sure to love the authenticity of the place. The mobility access to the museum is not good and there is no wheelchair access.
I'm quite a fan of museums that are about specific peoples lives, and this is kind of an odd place, but worth a visit if you're a Sherlock Holmes fan. It's located right where you'd expect it to be in 221b Baker Street which if you know your Conan-Doyle, you'll know is where Holmes was supposed to have resided. Now, I know Sherlock Holmes was pure fiction, but the way this museum is set up is as if he was real and this was his residence - it's just as it's described in the books!
Opening Hours, Prices & Access:
Open from 9:30am-6pm it costs £6 for adults and £4 for kids and concessions. This is not a museum suitable for anyone in a wheelchair as there are no lifts, just stairs between each of the floors. I did manage with my walking stick as it's not a huge place and being quite hands on there were also places I could sit down to rest for a moment here and there too.
The building is a listed building, with a Victorian Policeman stood at the door, and the museum inside it brings to life some of the characters from the books. It's quite a fun place to visit and certainly not a serious museum like many are. Instead when you go in here, you're kind of transported back to the fictional Victorian world of Mr Holmes and encounter wax models of some of the characters as well as real people dressed up in Victorian garb to tell you about different things as you view them.
What there is to see:
In terms of what there is to see here, well on the ground floor you've got the shop, and you enter here and purchase your tickets. In 'The Study' here you've got Holmes' armchair by the fireplace complete with his violin, Dr Watsons chair and his medical bag, and lots of Victorian furnishings & things like a box of Pall Mall Turkish cigarettes to make it look and feel right. There are quite a few items here from the stories some of which I recognised and some which I didn't, but it's all been done with good fun and faithfully to the books. You've also got Dr Watson here telling you about things and answering your questions which is rather lovely.
Upstairs you've got Dr Watsons domain and that of the landlady Mrs Hudson (she who cooked and saw to Holmes & Watson in the books). In Dr Watsons's room you can see his diary and lots of other things that are very 'Dr Watson' if you get my drift. What's lovely is that they're quite happy for you to take photos, so you can have your picture taken with Dr Watson, or Mrs Hudson,
Upstairs on the third floor there are a number of waxwork people stood (or lying) around depicting various different scenes from the books, these were quite fun to look at, although I have to say that having Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty stood in the same room seems somehow wrong to me, and I have to say I prefered the lower floors of the museum.
If you know the books well you'll probably spot a lot more here from them than I did to be fair. I've read some of them of course, but not all and I know from hearing what others were saying as we were walking round that I was missing recognising some of the key items along the way. I did like that they didn't mind photos being taken, and that the place wasn't lit with bright electric modern lighting, but in Victorian style so you kept the right feel to the place as you looked at everything from brush and comb sets to handcuffs and microscope.
I wouldn't say this is going to be at the top of everyone's list of museums to visit to be perfectly honest. It's not very big - took us about an hour to go around, and its not got huge appeal to anyone who's not a Sherlock Holmes fan. I also don't think that younger kids would find it particularly interesting. Having said all this, we did enjoy our trip there, and it was nice to step into the fictional world for a little while.