Today started off with a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum (read here), followed by a delicious lunch at Speedy’s Cafe (read here). After Cassia and Julia split to go shopping, Gaby and I left for the most important part of our day: a visit to 221b Baker Street!
The first thing we noticed after arriving at our destination was the round blue plaque dedicated to one Sherlock Holmes, “consulting detective 1881-1904”. There weren’t that many people waiting in line to enter the museum, but there was a small crowd around the counter in the museum shop so we decided to put off shopping for later and purchase our tickets early.
The first thing we saw upon entering the museum was the familiar winding staircase. Climbing up the stairs to the first set of rooms, Gaby and I were excited to see the famous study of Sherlock and Watson – they even had the chairs set perfectly in place, and two props (Sherlock’s hat and a magnifying glass) for photo opportunities! The irony was that majority of the people posing for photos sat on the wrong side – you’d think they would know where Sherlock sits, after all this time!
The other room on the first floor was a bedroom, so not quite as interesting. We quickly walked up the stairs to visit the next set of rooms, and boy were they interesting! The rooms were filled with several dummies in full costume, depicting famous characters from Sherlock’s cases. The corner dedicated to professor Moriarty was quite creepy, since he just seemed to loom over all the tourists. Sherlock’s dummy wore the famous deerstalker hat, while Dr. Watson was clad in a fashionable black bowler hat.
The other rooms contained more dummies strategically costumed and placed to mimic important scenes from the famous stories. One scene even used part of the attic to showcase a couple of bodies! Of course, I had to take a photo of the bust on the wall – the Hound of the Baskervilles was huge! The metal inscription read “Hound of the Baskervilles, Dartmoor (killed 19th October 1888). Animals stuffed in the most approved style“.
The final stop was of course the attic, and once we were finished with the tour we quickly went down the stairs to check out the shop. I am glad I stopped to do a final turn of the museum – on the way out there is a small discrete box by the entrance that contains the original front door key to 221B Baker Street!
The museum shop was so much fun – obviously we went to try on the deerstalker hats first, but they definitely suited Gaby more than they did me when we tried them on. I was so tempted to buy one of the board games, but 1) too expensive, and 2) unnecessary baggage in my already close to overweight luggage! I did spy a pair of what I thought were adorable earrings – it turns out that they were in fact cufflinks!
Overall, the Sherlock day we had planned was a great experience, and another item to cross off of my bucket list! On the way back to the tube station, we spotted the London Beatles Store (actually, it may have been next door to the Sherlock Holmes museum). I was tempted to go inside and check it out, but unfortunately I had a paper to write. I did take one last picture of Sherlock Holmes on the way home though – his side profile is all over the interior of Baker Street tube station!