23 Dec 2013
New Year's Day sees the return of one of the literary, television and film worlds' most popular heroes, Sherlock Holmes, to our screens.
So why not celebrate the start of Series 3 of the BBC's popular, award-winning 'Sherlock' by seeing everything the area has to offer, from the real-life Baker Street that plays home to his fictional address through to the actual filming locations used in the show?
It really does give you a new way to explore the city, and is a must for fans of the books and the TV shows - a great place to discover all the locations featured in the BBC series is at www.sherlockology.com/locations, but hardcore fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories may wish to use their deductive powers to figure out the London-based references themselves.
And because Mr Holmes was a big fan of facts, here are a few about our area and the famous detective that, in fiction at least, called this part of London home.
Holmes is where the heart is:
- Baker Street is named after builder William Baker, who laid out the area in the 18th century
- as well as playing host to Sherlock Holmes, Baker Street is, or has also been, home to the first Madamme Tussauds, Transport for London's Lost Property and former two-time Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger
- the BBC's adaptation of Sir Arthur's much-loved creation has been well received by critics and viewers alike - the episodes were watched by between 7.5million and 10million viewers and it won BAFTAs for best drama series and best supporting actors for both Martin Freeman (John Watson) and Andrew Scott (James Morriarty)
- on top of that, the three episodes of Series 2 were the most viewed programmes on BBC's iPlayer between January and April 2012
- Speedy's Sandwich Shop - the true location of which can be found at the above link - was used as the ground floor business underneath 221b Baker Street and they attracted 200 new customers who'd recognised it as a result!
- talking of 221b Baker Street – this was a fictional address when the books were originally written as Sir Arthur didn't want to name someone's actual address. However, the extension of the street in the early 20th century saw street numbers go past the original 100. Abbey National moved into 219-229 Baker Street (Abbey House) in 1932, and actually employed someone to receive mail sent to Holmes. This is now done by the Holmes Museum (237-241) after Abbey House shut eight years ago
- between TV series, films, audio books, cartoons, stage shows and spoofs, Sherlock has been played by nearly 100 actors including Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jnr, Michael Caine, Basil Rathbone and Johnny Lee Miller, Peter Cushing, Peter O'Toole and Christopher Lee
So what are you waiting for? Check into Montagu Place and start tracing the footsteps of the world's favourite detective!