Sherlock Holmes Museum review
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If you're nuts enough to visit Madame Tussauds then you might end up doing the Sherlock Holmes Museum on the same day, because it's only two minutes round the corner. Tourists love a bit of Sherlock Holmes. Fish and chips and a cup of tea, catch a black cab down Baker Street, and then spend an hour walking round Sherlock Holmes' house. What could be more British than that?
The first thing you need to do is have your photo taken with the Victorian copper outside the door. He's got a wooden puff pipe and deer stalker hat by his side if you fancy dressing up as Sherlock. At the very least it will help you pass a bit of time because it can sometimes take you 10-20 minutes just to get through the door. It's quite small and pokey inside so they keep everyone waiting on the doorstep until it's thinned out a bit.
When the Victorian copper finally lets you through the door you'll head straight upstairs to Sherlock's study where he sat with Dr Watson. Everything looks exactly like it's described in the books: they've got his comfy armchair by the fireside, bookshelves overstuffed with papers and case notes falling out all over the place, a cabinet full of dusty old bottles on the wall, and a china tea set on delicate little dollies.
There's another fireplace in the lounge with glowing coals in it. And that's also where you'll find some of the objects from the novels: they've got the severed thumb of Victor Hatherley, for example, the amputated ears of Mary Browner, the spooky voodoo doll from Mr Garcia's, his pipe (of course), his magnifying glass and French medal, and a revolver stuffed inside a Bible. They all seem rather real when you're standing here staring at them in his room, and I'm sure a lot of people believe Sherlock to be real.
Upstairs you'll find some waxwork models of characters acting out the climatic scenes: Lady Eva Blackwell is shooting Milverton at point blank range; Lady Carfax is propped up in a coffin (and looking rather too happy for a corpse). If you're a big Holmes fan then you'll probably love it, but most of the models will go straight over your head if you're not familiar with the books.
One of the best things about this place is how free and easy they are with the exhibits. If you want to sit in his fireside seat and stick his deerstalker hat on your head then you can do.The only real criticism I can make of the place is that it's too full of people. They let too many people in at once and you're forever shuffling two steps here and three steps there to let someone out the door. Somebody is always taking a photo, and then someone else will want a selfie with his hat so you have to wait for them before it's your turn... but you still can't move because someone is posing for a photo with his pipe and expects everyone else to wait. That's exactly what it's like inside. It's like Clapham Junction.
PS: There's a good gift shop downstairs if you're looking for some London souvenirs. You can buy Sherlock's pipe and deerstalker hat and all sorts of cheesy memorabilia.
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