The building at 221b Baker Street is open as a museum dedicated to the life and times of Sherlock Holmes, and the interior has been maintained as described in the published stories. The house is "listed" so has to be preserved due to its "special architectural and historical interest", while the first floor study overlooking Baker Street is still faithfully maintained for posterity as it was kept in Victorian Times.
What To Expect
I had walked past this museum for years and had wondered what went on inside as the exterior looks more like a Victorian home with its black iron railings, the black and white mosaic floor tiles and the bay window with net curtains.
When I did go in, I was surprised how busy it was, especially with overseas visitors. The entire ground floor is a fascinating shop so anyone can visit here without buying a ticket to go upstairs to the museum. Costumed museum assistants help to keep the Victorian-era theme inside.
The shop sells an amazing array of goods from deerstalker hats, pipes and magnifying glasses to jewelry and novelty teapots, as well as Sherlock Holmes books and films.
There's no museum tea shop or cafe but there are customer toilets in the basement.
Buy your ticket from the counter at the rear of the ground floor, then head on up to three floors of museum. The rooms are dressed as if the characters still live here, as well as displaying items from many of the stories that will make fans gasp with delight.
On the first floor you can enter the famous study overlooking Baker Street and you can sit in his armchair, by the fireplace, and use the props for photo opportunities. Sherlock's bedroom is also on this floor.
The second floor has Doctor Watson's bedroom and Mrs Hudson's room, the landlady. Here there are supposedly personal items of the detectives and Doctor Watson is there writing his diary.
Up to the third floor and there are waxwork models of some of the main characters in the Sherlock Holmes stories including Professor Moriarty.
There are stairs up to the attic where the tenants would have stored their luggage and there are suitcases there today. There's also a rather lovely flowery toilet.
Did Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson ever really live there? Sorry to be the one to tell you but they are fictional characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The building was recorded on local authority documents as a lodging house from 1860 to 1934 so that timing would fit well but there's no way of knowing who actually lived here for all that time. But after seeing this museum you would be forgiven for believing they truly did live here as the curators have done a good job of dressing the rooms and collecting exhibits that could have appeared in the many stories.
After visiting the Sherlock Holmes Museum you might like to jump on a Bakerloo Line tube from Baker Street to Charing Cross and visit the Sherlock Holmes Pub which has a small museum room upstairs and serves nice meals.
Or you may want to stay in the area and visit Madame Tussauds which is on the other side of Baker Street station.
Address: 221b Baker Street, London NW1 6XE
Nearest Tube Station: Baker Street
Tel: 020 7935 1127
Opening Hours: Open every day (except Christmas Day): 9.30am-6pm
Official Website: www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk
Tickets: Adult: Over £5, Child (Under 16): Under £5