This post is a guide to Sherlock Holmes sights in London, including a free, self-guided tour as well as options for guided excursions with other fans.
OVERVIEW OF SHERLOCK HOLMES SIGHTS IN LONDON
When Sherlock Holmes came into existence in 1887, few could have predicted the longevity and success in store for the character who would become the world’s most famous detective.
Films, TV series, stories, and comic books – Sherlock is known and loved the world over.
And recently, our capital city was playing a pivotal role in the BBC’s modern re-telling of Holmes and Watson: Sherlock.
Sherlock fans from across the globe who visit London find themselves on the trail of Sherlock and John (played by the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman), hoping to visit the locations that are featured so heavily in the television series.
For those of you hoping to take a journey to Baker Street, spot the rooftop where Holmes and Moriarty played out their final meeting, or drop by Irene Adler’s house – this post is for you!
Read on to find the real-life locations used for the filming of BBC’s Sherlock.
GUIDED SHERLOCK HOLMES TOURS
This section will include some of the best guided tours that cover the topic of Sherlock Holmes.
We provide details about pricing, availability, and what you can expect to see on each tour.
Sherlock Holmes Film Location Tour
This 2-hour walking tour will take you to some of the most notable filming locations from both the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movies and the BBC Sherlock television series.
While on this outing, you’ll also see sites related to the books and learn about the author who created this character, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Tickets start at about £12 for adults and £10 for children.
Purchase tickets or learn more.
Jack the Ripper & Sherlock Holmes Bus Tour
As the name implies, this 3-hour bus tour covers both the story of Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes.
This night bus tour will visit several historic sites related to London’s most notorious crimes and mysteries.
At the end, you’ll stop by the Sherlock Holmes Pub where you can get some interesting memorabilia or perhaps even just order a drink.
Tickets are £32 for adults and £28 for students/seniors.
Purchase tickets or learn more.
Private Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour
Over the course of 3 hours, a private tour guide will reveal some of the most famous sites from the tales of Sherlock Holmes.
Visit locations such as 221B Baker Street, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, and filming locations from the BBC television series Sherlock.
This service includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.
Tickets are a bit more expensive at £134 for adults and £51 for children, but with a private tour guide showing you around, you’ll get more personal attention than on similar outings offered by their competitors.
Purchase tickets or learn more.
Black Cab Sherlock Holmes Tour
Enjoy a special 3-hour tour of London covering several notable Sherlock Holmes sites while riding in a black cab from one location to the next.
In addition to visiting places like 221B Baker Street, you’ll also see where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived and discover filming locations from the BBC Sherlock series as well as the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies.
Although this is the most expensive Sherlock Holmes tour on our list, it’s also one of the most extensive, as it includes transportation in an iconic black cab and personal attention from a private tour guide.
Tickets are £310 per person.
Purchase tickets or learn more.
SHERLOCK HOLMES LOCATIONS IN LONDON
Below is our self-guided tour of Sherlock Holmes sights in London. Click on the map and it will open in an interactive mode.
If you are planning on using one of the hop-on-hop-off buses, many of the stops will bring you nearby many of the spots listed below or you could use our beginner's guide to the London Underground.
Don't forget to check out our selection of free London walking tours.
(A) 221 B Baker Street
187 North Gower Street (map)
One of the most famous addresses in the world, 221B Baker Street does actually exist. However, owing to traffic congestion, it is not on Baker Street where scenes for Sherlock are filmed.
In fact, 221B Baker Street is actually 187 North Gower Street – a small side road just off the Euston Road in northern London.
Sherlock devotees will know that Speedy’s Cafe lies underneath the flats where Holmes, Watson, and Mrs. Hudson live.
But not everybody knows that Speedy’s Cafe is, indeed, a real cafe here in London!
The gents who run Speedy’s are taking their new-found fame quite well and enjoy serving up coffee and snacks to Sherlock buffs who pop in for a bite to eat whilst super-sleuthing their way around London.
As the interior of Speedy’s was actually used for filming in Series Two, it’s possible to sit down and take a meal where Holmes and Watson themselves sat in A Scandal in Belgravia.
(B) Russell Square Gardens
Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London (map)
This picturesque little patch of green in Bloomsbury was featured in the very first episode of Sherlock.
It is here that Watson has a coffee with his friend Mike Stanford and hears the name ‘Sherlock Holmes’ for the first time.
The bench they sat on during filming was actually a prop, however, so it’s not possible to sit in the exact place that Watson did – but there are many other benches one can relax on within the square!
(C) Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
145 Fleet Street
Sir Conan Doyle drank here and a scene in 'Case of the Red-Headed League' is believed to have been set in this pub.
We stop at this pub on our Old City of London Tour.
(D) The Old Bailey
Intersection of Old Bailey and Bishop's Gate (map)
This building is the famed Central Criminal Court of England and Wales
The exterior shots were filmed here for Moriarty’s trial in The Reichenbach Fall.
It's open to the public so stop on in and see who is on trial!
It is also just a few streets away from St. Paul's Cathedral.
(E) St. Bart’s Hospital
West Smithfield (map)
The oldest surviving hospital in England, St. Bartholomew’s is where Holmes and Watson first meet one another in Sherlock (as well as in the original story).
It is also here that Sherlock and Moriarty met in the climax of The Reichenbach Fall and from the roof where Holmes leaps to the ground in the last few moments of series two.
This 31-year-old pathology lab assistant Molly Hooper works and assists Holmes and Watson in the solving of their cases at St. Bart’s as well.
A stop at St. Bart's Hospital is included in our Dark Side of London Ghost Tour.
(F) Tower 42
25 Old Broad Street (map)
Tower 42 serves as Shad Shanderson, the financial institution used in The Blind Banker episode of series 1 as well as making another appearance in the last episode of Series 3.
When it was built (1971-1980), Tower 42 was the tallest building in the United Kingdom.
Now it is only the 6th tallest, but it has the unique distinction of being used for both interior and exterior shots in Sherlock.
It is possible to visit Tower 42 as there is a champagne bar on the top floor with amazing views over the capital! Make reservations the bar here.
On our Old City of London Tour, we point out Tower 42.
(G) The Tower of London
Exterior shots of the Tower were used for The Reichenbach Fall. We point it out to you on our Old City of London Tour.
No filming took place inside the Tower of London. Those scenes were filmed at Cardiff Castle in Wales.
(H) OXO Tower
Barge House Street (map)
Where the body of the security guard is found on the banks of the Thames in The Great Game. To get to this site, the tide must be low!
Our London Night Tour includes this location.
(I) Waterloo Bridge
It is underneath this Bridge that Sherlock and John seek information from the homeless network in London in The Great Game.
Our London Night Tour includes this location.
(J) South Bank Skate Park
South Bank of the River Thames
Where Holmes and Watson uncover a cryptic clue in The Blind Banker. Our London Night Tour includes this location.
(K) Battersea Power Station
188 Kirtling Street (map)
The largest brick structure in all of Europe, Battersea Power Station features twice in A Scandal in Belgravia.
Firstly, when Sherlock and John are brought to an abandoned car and shown a body in the boot and secondly when John and Irene meet in the massive marble turbine hall.
The station is a well-known sight on the London skyline and is currently undergoing regeneration works that will turn the entire complex into a series of flats, shops, restaurants, and offices.
Fun Facts: Pink Floyd fans may recognize this power station from the front cover of the album Animals.
Battersea is also seen in a shot from The Beatles movie Help!
If you are a Beatles Fan, see our post about Abbey Road.
(L) Boscobel Place
A single shot was filmed here for A Scandal in Belgravia.
It is the scene where Watson agrees to punch Holmes in the face so Sherlock can attempt to gain access into Irene’s house around the corner.
(M) Irene Adler’s Home
Eaton Square (map)
Eaton Square is home to some of the most expensive property in the United Kingdom. In fact, house prices here average around £4,600.00 per square foot!
Although the square is a residential area, it is surrounded by embassies and businesses.
Exterior shots of Irene’s home specifically show number 44 Eaton Square – noticeable because of the blue plaque on the frontage of the building, commemorating Prince Metternich of Austria.
Interior shots of Irene’s property were actually filmed in Wales.
In addition to being featured in A Scandal in Belgravia, the property was also used for interior shots in A Study in Pink (as well as being used as a location in Dr. Who!).
(N) Buckingham Palace (Goldsmith’s Hall)
Foster Lane (map)
For the exterior shots in A Scandal in Belgravia episode were filmed at the real Buckingham Palace.
All interior shots, however, of the ‘Palace’ (such as the scene when Holmes and Watson get details on their case) were filmed at Goldsmith’s Hall.
The Hall is home to the Goldsmiths’ Company, one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London.
Since 1300, the Goldsmiths’ Company has been responsible for the testing of the quality of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium – so you can imagine how sumptuous their Hall is!
Visitors can take a virtual tour of the premises by clicking here.
You can take a real tour as Goldsmith's Hall offers guided tours periodically. See their website for information.
If you are interested in seeing the exterior of Buckingham Palace, you can join us for our Westminster Walking Tour.
To see the inside of the Palace, read our post on Buckingham Palace Tours.
(O) New Scotland Yard
Home of the London Metropolitan Police. Used for exterior shots only.
The Metropolitan Police Forces’ database is known as the ‘Home Office Large Major Enquiry System’ or...HOLMES!
(P) The Diogenes Club
The British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace
Exterior shots filmed here for The Reichenbach Fall. Our Westminster Tour passes by the British Academy!
If you would like to have the building pointed out to you, please speak to your guide who will be happy to oblige!
(Q) Sherlock Holmes Pub
10 Northumberland Street, Charing Cross
This pub's name gives it away! Inside they have a recreation of Sherlock and Watson's sitting room as well as some personal items of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
(R) Criterion Hotel (Savini Restaurant)
In the very first book, this is where Holmes and Watson first meet. The hotel no longer exists but the building does.
It is a restaurant named Savini at the Criterion and you can still see the original Marquee dating back to 1874.
Look for the plaque that commemorates the meeting that started it all.
This location is right by the start point of our Soho, Piccadilly, and Chinatown tour as well as our Rock n Roll Tour.
(S) Piccadilly Circus
This famed London location is used in the opening credits of every episode and is also featured in The Great Game when a victim of Moriarty is standing in the Circus, hoping to be saved by Sherlock.
Why not come along on one of our Soho, Piccadilly, and Chinatown tour where you can learn about these neighborhoods.
In episode 2 of the first season, the Blind Banker, Watson, and Holmes are seen walking through the streets of Chinatown.
(U) Shaftesbury Avenue
This is where Holmes and Watson literally walk into each other by the bus stop just outside buildings 19-23, before they head into Chinatown in The Blind Banker.
(V) Brindisa Tapas Kitchens - Soho
46 Broadwick Street
This lovely little Spanish restaurant is where John and Sherlock sit and wait for the taxi in the very first episode of Sherlock, A Study in Pink.
Once they spot the taxi there is a mad chase through Soho and the exterior of this restaurant was featured in those scenes as well.
TIP: This restaurant is close to the last location on our Soho, Piccadilly, and Chinatown tour so why not go in and enjoy some tapas after the tour?
(W) 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens
Built in the 1860s, 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens are the frontages of two houses that do not actually exist!
When the railway line connecting Paddington and Bayswater Stations was constructed, these two house fronts were erected to block the view of the rail line that could be seen from the street.
The doors and windows of 23 and 24 are false, and if one looks carefully you can spot that there is no letterbox on either property.
The frontages themselves are about 5 feet thick with a ‘tiny booth-like room’ located inside.
As you can imagine, 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens also serves as one of the most common addresses used in pizza delivery pranks!
The address features heavily in His Last Vow, the final episode of Sherlocks’ series 3.
Mary Watson’s face is projected onto the front of the building in one shot, and Sherlock himself actually delivers an explanation about the history of the buildings in another.
As to whether the interior scenes were actually shot here, it seems highly unlikely.
SHERLOCK HOLMES MUSEUM
Located at 221B Baker Street, this museum is dedicated to the history of Sherlock Holmes and his author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Visitors can expect to see exactly what they would expect based on the description from the books, as the museum has taken great effort to re-create the home of this famous detective.
There are also several items from throughout the history of the character that fans can either learn more about or see in person for the first time.
Tickets are £15 for adults and £10 for kids. Purchase tickets or learn more.
In addition to any savings offered upfront, this site also often provides coupon codes on local activities that make them even more affordable!
TIP: Even if you don’t feel like spending any additional money at the museum, make sure to grab a free business card on the way out – it’s designed to look like it came from Sherlock Holmes himself!