24 hours in London following in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes

In 2024, the Caravan and Motorhome Club are running a Read, Tour, and Explore Campaign to encourage people to read more and visit places associated with book settings. We aim to help promote authors, both old and new, while providing suggestions on which locations to explore that, at one time, offered inspiration to those who went on to put pen to paper.

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most memorable and famous fictional detectives ever. Whether you are a fan of the books written by Arthur Conan Doyle or have fallen for the cunning and clever sleuth after watching the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr, and Henry Cavill portray him, there is no denying that as a character created back in 1887, he is still as famous, if not more so, today.

Therefore, if you have ever dreamt of following in the footsteps of one of the world’s most celebrated detectives, don your magnifying glasses, put on your deerstalker hats, and head into London, the very lifeblood of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures.

A Comprehensive Guide for all Sherlock Holmes Fans Visiting London

Sherlock Holmes outline

Image provided by dynamosquito

Whether you have a couple of days or just 24 hours to navigate around the capital following in Sherlock Holmes and Watson’s footsteps, we have the perfect guide for you. 

Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour

📌 Various locations depending on the tour booked

There is no better way to get your bearings than to go on a guided walking tour, and London’s Sherlock Holmes walking tours aren’t just about following a map; they are immersive tours that weave together historical fact with fictional flair where your guide will transport you back in time and point out the very locations that sparked legendary cases. You will visit places mentioned in the books, TV adaptions and films and discover how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, inspired by the real London he knew, meticulously crafted the dangerous, thrilling world Sherlock Holmes inhabits.

You will pass by the library where Dr Watson borrowed and visit the restaurant on the Strand, a favourite haunt of both Conan Doyle and his legendary detective.

There are many different tours, including a themed walking tour that starts outside 224 Piccadilly. Alternatively, you could take a self-guided trip around the city using your smartphone, solving puzzles as you go.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum in London Baker Street

Image provided by Aurélie

221B Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes Museum

📌 221B Baker Street, London,  NW1 6XE

Every fan knows the address, and while there is no actual residence at 221B, there is an immersive museum dedicated to Holmes and Watson. As you step through the doorway, you will be greeted by the meticulously recreated living quarters of Holmes and Watson. Victorian furniture, curiosities, and personal effects help to bring the stories to life, allowing you to practically hear a violin and smell the pipe tobacco. You can even test your own deduction skills with interactive exhibits that challenge you to analyse evidence and crack the case.

Uncover fascinating details about the inspiration behind the iconic character, and for the ultimate souvenir hunter, the museum boasts the world’s most extensive collection of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia, ensuring you leave with a treasured piece of the legend.

Sherlock Holmes Statue in London

Image provided by Matt Brown

Sherlock Holmes Statue

📌 Entrance to Baker Street Tube Station

The Sherlock Holmes statue, unveiled in 1999, depicts the detective in his deerstalker hat and Inverness cape, standing vigil in London outside Baker Street tube station, a short walk from the fictional detective’s famous address of 221B Baker Street.

Speedy's Cafe in London used in the Sherlock Holmes BBC TV series

Image provided by Wei-Te Wong

Speedy Café

📌 187 North Gower St, Euston Rd, London, NW1 2NJ

This could be the perfect place for a spot of lunch after a morning exploring. While the café retains its original name, eagle-eyed Sherlockians will recognise it as Mrs Hudson’s Snax from the BBC’s “Sherlock” series. 

Speedy’s Café, however, hasn’t just popped up; it’s a genuine London greasy spoon with a rich history.  The cafe predates the BBC series, serving up hearty meals to locals for decades.  Step inside and soak up the atmosphere – the worn booths and friendly service might just make you feel like you’ve stumbled into a forgotten corner of Victorian London, the perfect backdrop for a Sherlockian adventure.

Inside the British Library in London

Image provided by David Baron

The British Library

📌 96 Euston R., London, NW1 2DB

Bookworms will love the treasure trove of materials related to Sherlock Holmes housed here. You can delve into original manuscripts, rare editions, and even historical newspapers that might have inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s cases.

New Scotland Yard in London

Image provided by Dave Crosby

New Scotland Yard

📌 New Scotland Yard, 8-10 Broadway, SW1H 0BG

While this location is not directly featured in the original Sherlock Holmes stories, New Scotland Yard holds a certain allure for fans of both Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for a few reasons. Firstly, the fictional Scotland Yard depicted in the stories is loosely based on the real Metropolitan Police Service, which is headquartered at New Scotland Yard, providing fans with the opportunity to connect the dots between the fictional and real world.

Secondly, Arthur Conan Doyle himself consulted with Scotland Yard detectives while crafting the Sherlock Holmes stories, striving for a level of realism in portraying police procedures and the criminal underworld. 

There is a museum here dedicated to the history of the Metropolitan Police, where you can see what investigative techniques and tools were used during the Victorian era, the time period in which Sherlock Holmes’ adventures take place.

St. Bartholomew’s Hospital 

📌 West Smithfield, London, EC1A 7BE

This is where Sherlock Holmes meets Dr Watson for the first time in ‘A Study in Scarlet’ and is where Dr. John Watson, Sherlock’s ever-faithful chronicler, received his medical training. It is also where the BBC series ‘Sherlock’, Molly Hooper, the pathologist, works and appears again in the episode “The Reichenbach Fall” (the third episode of the second series), which features a pivotal scene on the hospital roof, serving as a substitute for the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland.

There is a plaque at the hospital that commemorates the iconic line:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive” (A Study in Scarlet)

Although this meeting was entirely fictional, it was initially located in the pathology department; however, this has since been moved to the St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Museum alongside a copy of A Study in Scarlet.

The Sherlock Holmes pub in London

Image provided by Bill Smith

The Sherlock Holmes Pub

📌 10-11 Northumberland Street, London, WC2N 5DB

Head to this Victorian pub, which houses a display of memorabilia from the Conan Doyle estate, and enjoy a traditional pint of ale.  While sipping a beer, take in the books, hats and other souvenirs relating to Sherlock Holmes, while upstairs the Holmes referencing continues with a detailed recreation of his Baker Street living room.


📌 100 Strand, London, WC2R 0EW

Established in 1828, this historic restaurant boasts a rich heritage that has predated the first Sherlock Holmes story for over half a century. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself was said to be a regular, perhaps crafting the very essence of Sherlock Holmes amidst the elegant oak-panelled walls, while Holmes and Watson were regulars in the TV series Sherlock.

Simpson’s is renowned for its traditional British fare – think melt-in-your-mouth roast joints theatrically carved tableside, a tradition dating back to the 1850s. So, sink into a plush chair, savour a prime rib or a succulent Yorkshire pudding, and let your imagination run wild.

The Langham

📌 1C Portland Place, London, W1B 1JA

With a coffee costing £7 and a beer £10, this is not the cheapest stop on our Sherlock Holmes experience, but it is where Arthur Conan Doyle spent time. It is also where, back in 1889, Doyle had dinner with Oscar Wilde and a publisher. This sparked the creation of The Sign of Four, one of Sherlock Holmes’s most thrilling adventures.

Leinster Gardens

📌 23-24 Leinster Gardens, London, Greater London, England, W2 3BH

Leinster Gardens in London holds a secret cleverly disguised. These seemingly ordinary terraced houses hide a hidden truth – Nos. 23 and 24 are nothing more than elaborate facades, built to mask ventilation shafts for the London Underground, and exist solely as a visual trick.

In the BBC’s Sherlock, they have been cleverly weaved into its narrative. In the episode “His Last Vow,” they play on the title of “The Adventure of the Empty House,” a classic Sherlock Holmes story.

Play the Sherlock Live game at Shepherd’s Bush before having a drink at the Mind Palace

📌 W12 Shopping Centre W12 8PP

Dive headfirst into “Sherlock: The Live Game,” an immersive experience that transports you right into the world of the world’s most celebrated consulting detective. Team up with fellow fans, decipher cryptic clues, and tackle mind-bending puzzles, all within the meticulously recreated setting of 221B Baker Street.

After conquering your case, head over to The Mind Palace, a speakeasy pub and themed cocktail bar that can only be accessed through the disguised entrance of the Doyle’s Opticians. This Sherlock Holmes-themed haven offers the perfect place to unwind and dissect your deductions over a pint, a signature Holmes cocktail or if you visit earlier in the day, a Sherlock Holmes-themed afternoon tea.

Where to stay while in the city for a true Sherlock Holmes Experience

The Holmes Hotel

📌 83 Chiltern St, London W1U 6NF

Book a stay at The Holmes Hotel, where your inner Sherlock Holmes awakens from the moment you step through the doorway. Guest rooms pay homage to the great detective with subtle nods – think magnifying glass bedside lamps and silhouettes of iconic characters adorning the walls.

The theme continues in the communal areas, where framed riddles on each floor entice you to crack the code, just like Holmes tackling a perplexing case. Descend to The Kitchen at Holmes, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, and a menu brimming with “Elementary, My Dear” delights await.

Sip on the signature “Sherlock’s Pipe” cocktail, a concoction as mysterious as the detective himself, while savouring dishes named after iconic characters and locations from the stories. The Holmes Hotel lives and breathes the world of Sherlock Holmes.

Motorhome Camping Options

📌 Federation Rd, Abbey Wood, London SE2 0LS

The most central campsite in London is the Caravan and Motorhome Club site at Abbey Wood. Situated just a 10-minute walk from both the Thames Link Overground and the Elizabeth Line, you can be in the heart of London within 20 minutes.

Abbey Wood Motorhome and Caravan site in London

The reception area of Abbey Wood Campsite

The campsite itself is a haven away from the constant excitement of the city. Set in woodland with plenty of greenery, you can easily spend the day relaxing, perhaps with an Arthur Conan Doyle novel after a hectic day in London.

The Abbey Wood Campsite in London is a haven of green space

You will find all the modern amenities you come to expect on a campsite that allows caravans, motorhomes, and tents. Should you be travelling with friends who do not wish to camp, they also offer a small selection of camping pods.

The camping area of the Abbey Wood Campsite in London

In Abbey Wood itself, there is a small Morrisons, a larger Sainbury’s, and a Lidl’s, which has ample parking even for larger motorhomes. It is also a campsite outside of the Congestion Zone, but be mindful because it is within the Low Emission Zone, so take care and check whether your camper is exempt.

The front entrance of the  campsite at Abbey Wood

One thing to note is that they have a strict entry time of 1 p.m., and therefore if you arrive early, you will be turned away. For those of us travelling in larger vehicles, this could be a nightmare on busier days, so make sure you adhere to the times stated on any booking you make.

 (N.B. The Caravan and Motorhome Club did provide us with a free pitch for the duration of our trip, but all research and recommendations are our own and have in no way been influenced by others).

Are you an Arthur Conan Doyle Fan? Are there other locations in London relating to Sherlock Holmes that we have missed? If so, please let us know in the comments below.

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24 hours in London to explore in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes via @tbookjunkie

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