Literary Vacation - Sherlock Holmes
What Is A Literary Vacation?
A literary vacation is a great way to take a beloved tale and bring it to life through travel. Literary vacations can be a great grown up getaway or a fun educational experience for children.
The Book: Sherlock Holmes
By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Location: London England
Age Group: Adults and families with children in their teens
Detective Sherlock Homes and his roommate/ partner in deduction are the primary characters in a series of stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. From A Study in Scarlet to His Last Bow the Victorian master of deduction with a keen eye for detail has been capturing readers for over a century. Whether they are an eighth grader assigned The Hound of the Baskervilles or a blogger on Tumbler reblogging BBC Sherlock fan fiction on Tumblr. Doyle’s beloved characters have inspired countless adaptations from BBC series, cartoons about a cryogenically frozen Sherlock Holmes and a cyborg Watson in the 22nd century and movies staring Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law. The stories have also make Sherlock’s home of 221b Baker Street one of the most famous on earth perhaps only overshadowed by Privet Drive. And Baker Street is precisely the place to start when exploring Holmes’ London.
221b Baker Street is now the Sherlock Holmes Museum and has been painstakingly recreated to reflect just what Doyle describes in his tales. As you cross the threshold into the Victorian room you feel as if even though it has been more than a century since Sherlock Holmes has solved a new mystery he could leap off the pages of the old book in your bad and walk through the doors into his home. If he was to walk in he would find his signature cap and his magnifying glass right where he had left them and hie violin is still waiting for him to pick it up and play a few bars. You could sit for a moment in his chair beside the fireplace, maybe pose for a picture or two but don’t linger too long because you wouldn’t want to be in the detective’s chair if he was to saunter in.
Be sure to chat a bit with Watson if he’s in before stepping back out into the streets of London and uncovering some of the locations mentioned in the books. Of course don’t forget to swing by the gift shop first to pick up so sleuthing gear such as your own deerstalker hat and a police whistle in case you run into anything you can’t handle.
There are tours and walks you can take part in that will show you the sights and locations of Holmes’ London or you could ramble through London on your own being sure to find Charing Cross Station and Covent Gardens which are both mentioned in Doyle’s stories.
When evening falls make your way to Simpon’s-in-the-Strand a restaurant that has been a London staple since 1828 and has served the fictitious patrons of Holmes and Watson as well as the flesh and blood diners of Doyle and Dickens. After dinner swing by The Sherlock Holmes Pub for a night cap before retiring to Langham Hotel where Doyle had dinner with his editor in 1889.