On Monday 25th March members of my Sherlock fan forum (http://www.bbcsherlock.com) met up in London for a day out looking round some Sherlockian sites.

As their “boss” and the one with the most knowledge of London (although not an exact knowledge), I had volunteered myself to show them all around and lead a tour. It was the first time I’d ever done anything like that but with some help from Sherlockology who gave me a map and list of all the important sites, I was able to plan a mini expedition.

We all met up at Speedy’s on North Gower Street from 11am and it was a truly inernational contingent – three Germans, one French, one American, one Australian and two English. After treating ourselves to Watson Wraps and Sherlock Wraps, comparing coats and scarves, and getting to know each other face to face, we all headed off to Baker Street and spent half an hour looking round the gift shop. I had originally been planning to take everyone in the museum but the queues were rather large and we probably would have had to wait an extra half an hour and couldn’t spare the time.

The next section of the tour was the longest and most epic, with a walk to Irene Adler’s residence at 44 Eaton Square. I think if I was doing it again I would take the group on the tube for that bit, seeing as it took around an hour to walk and because everyone got tired and cold we had to stop for coffee too, which all put more time on and meant we ended up having to drop a couple of locations later on.

Anyway, we got there in the end and it was definitely worth it as it was one of the most fun sections of the day. We all posed for photographs outside number 44, until the security guard came and asked if we could be as quick as we could as someone actually lived there. I really hope they weren’t in as we looked like a bunch of crazy people…! Then we walked round the corner to Boscobel Place, location of the famous “punch me in the face” scene from Scandal in Belgravia. A couple of us did a recreation of the scene and mini-fight, which we took photographs off and scared one of the residents who was coming out of his house to go for a jog.

We decided to get the tube round the next few sites, as it was bitterly cold and we wanted to see as many as possible before we had to go for our meal at the Sherlock Holmes pub where we had reservations for 8pm. We tubed it to Piccadilly, nipped into the Criterion to look at the plaque, discussed the fact that you couldn’t actually get the Criterion coffee cups we see John and Mike using sat in Russell Square in A Study in Pink, saw the pillars in Blind Banker where Sherlock and John bump into each other, then walked round Chinatown where we couldn’t find any lucky cats for only ten pound.

Then it was the tube to St Pauls and a short walk to St Barts hospital, an essential pilgrimage for any Sherlockian and especially poignant for fans of BBC Sherlock. I’ve been to the location many many times before but it never fails to have an impact on me and we spent quite some time here reading the notes that people left in support of Sherlock, lying on the floor for photographs, discussing potential theories and occasionally getting a bit emotional.

The final section of the tour was a tube over to Waterloo and a walk round the Southbank. It was dark by this point so we didn’t get a very good view of the beach where they find Alex Woodbridge’s body in The Great Game, but we did hang out by the skate park for a while then walked across Waterloo Bridge to the other side, ducking underneath the Victoria Embankment to see the section where Sherlock and John go to visit one of Sherlock’s Homeless Network in The Great Game to find out more about the Golem.

We took a left onto the Strand and walked up past the famous Simpsons restaurant featured in more than one Holmes adventure, or as we succinctly put it – where Holmes used to take Watson on dates. Arriving in Trafalgar Square (another BBC Sherlock location featured in Blind Banker), we walked down  Northumberland Street to the Sherlock Holmes Pub arriving just in time for our reservations.

I had the Goats Cheese salad with a side portion of Cheesy Chips (the best in England). I was quite amused that the staff appear to know me there now and when we were leaving the waitress said to me “see you next time”. We had a fantastic and leisurely meal where we all got quite excited over the latest news to come from the Sherlock Series 3 camp with regard to a night shoot that was taking place that evening in Bristol. We spent some time speculating over the various rumours whilst enjoying our dinner.

I also led a toast to (and in this order):

The Sherlock message board
Arthur Conan Doyle
Steven Moffat
Mark Gatiss
Sue Vertue
Benedict Cumberbatch
Martin Freeman
Andrew Scott
The rest of the Sherlock cast and crew
Sherlock Holmes
Dr John H Watson

And then at the end, I remembered somebody very important who I’d left off, so I led another toast to:

Mike Stamford

Because without him, there would be no Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. He really is a good matchmaker. He should start his own business, forget medicine.

Anyway, after the meal, we all said our fond farewells and went our separate ways. It was a really great day that I thoroughly enjoyed and I can’t wait till we can all meet again, possibly after Series 3 has aired, then we’ll have a load of different locations to visit.

I hope to get some photos up here shortly.