Sherlock Holmes at the Museum of London

Last month I had one of my geeky museum days out. I love that London has so many museums and galleries and most don't charge for entry (unless it's a specific exhibit that you want to see) so it can be a really cheap but fun day out as long as you have a contactless debit card to beep your way in and out of tube stations (which I actually did that day, I used my debit card for every journey, and it worked!).


Sherlock Holmes Museum of London




Museum of London Sherlock HolmesThat's the entrance. Well, in true Holmes style, you have to find the entrance. Clue: it's not the bit on the right, that's the exit.

But when you do deduct your way through the entrance you're greeted with a wall of mirrors which reflect the text on the wall behind you, a hidden introduction to the exhibit: 

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes


And you're in! The exhibit is set out like a little maze; opening with all the different incarnations of Holmes from tv and film:


Museum of London Sherlock Holmes

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes

It quickly moves onto the man behind the character; Arthur Conan Doyle. It's easy to forget that Sherlock Holmes never existed (hence the title of this exhibit) because he's so engrained into British culture that he feels like a part of history. Baker Street tube station has walls tiled with his image, there's a statue outside the station, I've even been to his house! The next section of the exhibit is about London, the influences that the city had over Conan Doyle's work and what the city was like at the time of writing this work. 

There's interactive maps, which guide you through the old maps and the new streets by video for each of the tales, photos of the city, and artists work from the period: 


Museum of London Sherlock Holmes

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes Monet
Oooof. I love a Monet. 

There's a whole section full of costumes (you're greeted by Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock's overcoat and scarf the moment you walk through this legendary door): 


Museum of London Sherlock Holmes

And (this was my favourite bit) the deductive bits and science behind the stories; like code breaking and forensic science:

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes
You see but you do not observe

It closes with a lovely audio visual from The Final Problem, which is lovely to stand there in the dark, listening to water rushing at speed over the falls and hear the words from the text being softly read to you. 

Then it's on to the gift shop! WOOHOO! Love me a gift shop! There was some particularly good swag in this one, from this exhibit and just the museum in general. 

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes
The book from the exhibit (£5 off the price if you show your ticket at the till)

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes
The back cover. YES SHERLOCK!

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes
These cards I'm going to make into a collage and frame for my wall

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes
The book bags are £1.50 and all monies go to the museum, good price & good cause

This was my best friend's birthday gift. Dani is responsible for making me watch Jeremy Brett's incarnation of Sherlock Holmes at the start of our friendship. Back when she was a student, she worked in Past Times (remember those stores?) which was around the corner from my office where I worked in a call centre. One quiet summer lunch break when I went up to the shop to take advantage of their aircon she decided to bestow all her knowledge on me about her love of Sherlock Holmes whilst guiding me through the dvd boxset that they had in the store. That was me hooked. She still loves teddy bears too, so when she spotted this at the Baker Street Sherlock Holmes shop and squeaked, I knew it was going to be her birthday gift. They were selling them at the exhibition, so one came home with me to travel north for her birthday last weekend. 


(We share a guilty pleasure love of Made in Chelsea too, hence the full range of Candy Kittens treats that Jeremy, yes that's his name, came with. I recommend the Apple & Elderflower ones, they are delicious, all natural ingredients too.)

I've been past the Museum of London so many times and never been in, it's that great big black curved wall that you see when you come out of Barbican tube station, at the moment it is a little more bright though: 

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes

One last snap, I loved this touch: 

Museum of London Sherlock Holmes


This exhibit costs £10.90 to see but everything else in the Museum is free and there's some great things in there at the moment; the permanent gallery is all about the history of London (great for someone who's only lived her for 7 years, I learned lots!), there's also a Suffragettes piece and one about my favourite bear - Paddington! 

Museum of London Paddington Bear

Museum of London

I didn't get around the whole of the London gallery, so I'll have to go back and have another look on another day. I like it museums fill you so much that you have to go back, that's the sign of a good one!

The man who lived and will never die is on at the Museum until April 2015 and if you're a Conan Doyle fan, it's well worth the trip. 

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