Sherlock Holmes is one of the UK’s best-loved fictional characters, and so to continue Pilot PR's on-going celebration of Visit England’s Year of Literary Heroes, we’ve curated a trail for fans of the great detective with Safestay Hostels.
Whether you want to see the places that inspired Arthur Conan Doyle to write, go to a Sherlock themed tea-room or enjoy a theatrical adaptation of one of Sherlock’s stories, there’s plenty to get stuck into across the UK - the game’s afoot!
Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, and so the city is a real treasure trove for Sherlock devotees:
See where Arthur Conan Doyle studied medicine – Visit the Surgeons Hall Museums
Sherlock is well known for his extreme logic and scientific deductions, and these traits were no doubt inspired by Conan Doyle’s medical background. From 1876 to 1881, he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School.
It was while studying that Conan Doyle began to take an interest in writing, and visiting the Surgeons Hall Museums gives an interesting insight into the world that Conan Doyle inhabited, and how that world influenced his work. The Royal College of Surgeons was founded in 1505, and the Surgeons Hall Museums’ collection began growing in 1699 and showcase ‘natural and artificial curiosities’, which Doyle certainly would have found intriguing. The museums are located on Nicolson Street and are open 7 days a week from 10 am to 5pm. Admission is £6.50 for adults, and concessions are £4.
Visit the Statue of Sherlock Holmes in Edinburgh
The Sherlock Holmes statue in Edinburgh was erected in Picardy place in 1991 to mark the birthplace of Arthur Conan Doyle. The statue was removed in 2009 to make way for tram construction, but was reinstated in 2011 after it was restored. The statue offers a great family photo opportunity and is much loved by residents and visitors alike.
What greater honour can there be than having something named after you? The Conan Doyle Pub pays tribute to the great man in the best possible way, and has been there since Victorian times. The pub is located at 71 -73 York place, just across the road from Doyle’s birthplace [Picardy Place] and serves traditional pub fare, as well as local, Scottish specialties such as Neeps and tatties [mince and potatoes]. The ideal place to stop for a refreshing break before continuing the rest of the trail.
Whilst Arthur Conan Doyle has a pub named after him, Sherlock has a tearoom! The Sherlock Holmes Tearoom in Edinburgh is located at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, which is a beautiful Victorian townhouse, built to provide for the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of Edinburgh’s community. Today the centre is home to the Edinburgh Association of Spiritualists, which is fitting as Conan Doyle was an avid spiritualist himself. The Tearoom offers a traditional afternoon tea, as well as a selection of handmade cakes and coffees. The tearoom is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 40m and on Sundays from 11am to 3pm.
Stay at Safestay Edinburgh
In and Around York:
Get inspired by the Yorkshire Moors
Some believe that Sir Arthur took inspiration from local Yorkshire folklore, and in particular, many believe he was inspired by stories of ghastly goings on at Trollers Gill and the "Barguest" when writing "The Hound of the Baskervilles" in 1901. Whilst the Hound of the Baskervilles was in fact set on Exmoor, walking around one of Yorkshire’s beautiful moors will certainly get your imagination running wild and keep you in a Sherlock frame of mind.
Go on a Ghost Tour in York
Whilst Sherlock did not believe in spirits, Doyle certainly did. He was fascinated with the Spirit World, and as a result, a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories have an underlying gothic feel, and so you can certainly get into his mindset by doing one of York’s thrilling ghost tours.
After a night spent investigating the local haunts, why not curl up by the fire at Safestay York and re-read Conan Doyle’s most captivating tales.
Of course, when it comes to Sherlock Holmes, London also has a key part to play. With his home set in Baker Street, many of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures naturally take place in London, and the BBC’s most recent adaptation starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman certainly favoured London as the main setting for the majority of the show’s scenes.
For instance, St. Barts Hospital in East London is the place that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson first meet, in both the original books by Conan Doyle and in the series. Other noteworthy locations include Gerrard Street in Chinatown, which was used in Season 1’s episode “The Blind Banker” and the iconic New Scotland Yard building, which features in several episodes and is located in Westminster on Broadway. New Scotland Yard does has restricted access and the public can only view it from outside.
Many fans also make a pilgrimage to Speedy’s Café in Euston, which is set below Sherlock’s flat in the series, and has grown in fame as a result. The café is a good place to stop off for a bite to eat before continuing your Sherlock themed tour.
A truly dedicated fan could spend a great deal of time visiting all of the London locations used in the filming, so check out this complete guide to all the locations used in the show.
Visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street
In addition to searching for the BBC show film locations, Sherlock lovers will hugely enjoy The Sherlock Holmes Museum, located at 221b Baker Street, where Sherlock’s house is located in the stories. The Museum is entirely decorated in a Victorian style and includes an exhibition of life-size wax works from Sherlock Holmes’ most famous adventures, as well as a shop of quirky objects and souvenirs. The museum is open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Admission is £15 per adult and £10 for children under 16.
After visiting the museum, you can take a short walk towards Baker Street station and pose with London’s statue of Sherlock Holmes.
Safestay award winning hostels are all located right in the heart of the action, in London, York and Edinburgh. They offer stylish, affordable accommodation and are designed with both families and solo travelers in mind. Facilities include open-plan public areas, including lounge areas with plasma TV screens, alfresco areas, pool tables and bars serving hot food. There is also complimentary WiFi throughout each hostel, well-equipped laundry rooms and each room uses touch keys for extra security.
Book your stay and get sleuthing!
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