I’ve been meaning to write this up for a while, but I’ve been overly busy with lots of other Holmes related activities…

I’ve already posted my review of the play I went to see on 24th April at Hoxton Hall – The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes – but I actually arrived much earlier on in the day, partly so I could have a ramble through the city and partly because with travelling all the way from Manchester, it’s hardly worth going if it’s only for a couple of hours then getting the bus back.

I caught the train down, however, which is always preferable but not always the cheapest option, although on this occasion, I managed to pick up a reasonably priced single ticket that got me into Euston at around 4pm. Knowing I had a few hours to kill before the play, I set off at a leisurely pace heading towards the general direction of Kings Cross, passing by the British Library on my left. I wasn’t intending to go in, but I noticed they had a special exhibition running called “The A to Z of Crime”. This, of course, sounded right up my street, so I went to check it out.

S was for Sherlock Holmes, obviously, but there were plenty of other delights of the crime world to tantalise my imagination. I took my phone out and made a list of ten or fifteen different books that I intend to buy and read as a result of expanding my knowledge on the subject. It was genuinely fascinating and I’d recommend it to anyone with a spare half hour in that part of the city to pop by and take a look. http://www.bl.uk/whatson/exhibitions/murder/

I then decided that whilst I was on the subject of “British”, I might as well take a detour to the British Museum, and locate Montague Street, which was where Sherlock Holmes first lived when he came to London to become the only consulting detective in the world. I walked right round the block of the Museum, covering both Montague Street and Montague Place. I felt it would be nice for them to have a Blue Plaque somewhere round there in honour of Holmes but sadly I couldn’t find one. I was intending to have a quick look inside the Museum too, but by that time it was approaching 6pm and they were just closing.

Instead, I headed on to Russell Square, which is just round the corner, and a location used in BBC’s Sherlock for the legendary meeting between John Watson and old Uni pal Stamford, the latter of course, introducing the ex-army doctor to his future best friend. I tried my hardest to find the actual bench used in the series, by pulling up A Study In Pink on my iPod and scrutinising the scene as I wandered through the Square, but I sadly failed on that front. I think I’ll try again next time.

By that point I was vaguely aware that I should probably make a move to head towards the theatre. I’d planned that it would take me 40 minutes to walk from Euston to Hoxton, and despite spending the best part of two hours walking around, in actuality I’d basically been walking in circles and hadn’t actually made much headway towards my eventual destination.

Despite this, I got the overwhelming urge to make another minor detour to St Bart’s.

I try to go to St Bart’s every time I come to London, and I feel like a trip isn’t complete unless I’ve made the pilgrimage, which has become even more dear in the hearts of Sherlockians worldwide since the tragic circumstances surrounding the great detective’s unfortunate demise. It took me about twenty minutes to walk there at a fairly brisk pace and when I arrived I instantly spotted two fellow Sherlockians hanging around the phone box, a common sight I can assure you.

How did I know they were Sherlockians?

One of them was dressed as Sherlock Holmes, the other as Jim Moriarty. It wasn’t a difficult deduction. I approached them and we started talking. I was wearing my John Watson jumper at the time and my Tenth Doctor red converse. They were both from America and had come over together to visit all the Sherlock related sights – in full cosplay, of course, and I have to say, their outfits were amazing. The girl cosplaying Sherlock had actually made her coat from scratch, which I always find incredibly impressive when people do that. At my request, they acted out part of the rooftop scene from The Reichenbach Fall and did unbelievably well. They’d obviously been practicing. For Americans, their accents were surprisingly good and definitely better Irish accent than I could ever hope to achieve – please don’t ever ask me to say any of Jim’s lines, I’m truly awful.

It was brilliant meeting them, especially since I’d spent the whole day on my own feeling like a bit of a Sherlock Holmes geek, to be able to let off some steam and chat Sherlock was very refreshing and put me in an excellent mood. I would have stood around talking to them for a lot longer, but I suddenly realised it was 7pm and I only had half an hour to get over to Hoxton to the theatre. Unsurprisingly, I decided to get the tube instead of walk, although that turned out to be a bit of a nightmare in the end anyway, as we were stuck for ten minutes without moving. Dull.

As a result, I was about ten minutes late to the theatre, which I documented in my review. http://napoleonofholmes.com/?p=194

After the show, I was planning to meet up with a Sherlockian friend of mine and go for a quick drink, but I’d had a text from her saying she was snowed under with Uni work and couldn’t make it out in the end. Not to be deterred, I got the tube back into town, to Charing Cross, and walked down the Strand towards Northumberland Avenue and the Sherlock Holmes Pub. By the time I arrived, it was 5 minutes to 11 and they were calling last orders but I just made it in time for a pint. Perfect! And the girl behind the bar remembered me from the last few times I’ve been in. It’s good to be a regular at the Sherlock Holmes.

Leaving the pub at around 11:30pm, I walked to Victoria along the Mall, hanging out at the train station for a bit and picking up a Burger King before my 1am bus back to Manchester. It was a really brilliant day. Sadly, I’m over in France for quite a few weeks now and won’t be getting down to London for a while. I already miss it.