As you prepare for 6 May 2012 and the premiere of Sherlock on PBS….
If you find yourself either in the UK or planning a visit in the not-too-distant future, think about taking a tour of locations made famous, or infamous, by the brilliance that is Sherlock. Not to worry. You are not alone in your devotion to a particular series. For years, true fans have made entire holidays out of touring the locations where their favorite television series are filmed. Several years ago, while shooting interviews with the cast of Roy Clarke’s long-running British comedy, Last of the Summer Wine, we marveled daily at the thousands of fans strolling through the streets of Holmfirth in freezing July temperatures to visit the likes of Sid’s Cafe, Nora Batty’s house and Compo’s house along with numerous familiar locations throughout the Yorkshire countryside.
Sherlock tour begins…..now
While many of the locations in both series of Sherlock are internationally known landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London, the Millennium Bridge and Buckingham Palace, there are several must see locations that have skyrocketed from simple local popularity to international pop status within the last 18 months.
Speedy’s Sandwich Bar & Cafe, located at 187 North Gower Street in Camden (closest station is Euston Square), has to top the list of the not to be missed if you are anywhere close to the area. Not only are you able to spot Speedy’s throughout both series with exterior and interior shots, you’ll immediately recognize the infamous door just to the left of the front of the cafe as being the entrance to the most recognizable address next to 10 Downing Street…221B Baker Street.
Word to the wise. Don’t do what I did and get to Speedy’s after their well-deserved 3:00pm closing on weekdays (2:00p on Saturdays, closed Sundays). You need to try their most recent addition to the menu, the Sherlock Wrap, a tortilla wrap with chicken, bacon, cheese, lettuce, red onions, red peppers, cucumbers and chilli sauce. Born out of a Twitter contest, the new sandwich was won by @angella_m, who described her creation by saying it was “wrapped as tightly as Sherlock’s personality”. Brilliant…and, from what I hear, delicious.
The Bush Inn, located on St. Hilary in Wales, is a bit of a hike, but well worth it. Renamed The Cross Keys Pub for the second program of the second series of Sherlock, “The Hounds of Baskerville”, The Bush Inn is an historic 16th Century thatched roof pub that just happened to also be the base of operation for Sherlock and John Watson during ‘Hounds’.
Liz Silva-Hooker, who runs the pub with her husband Andy, told The Glamorgan “Filming took place last May (2011) and the production company were a joy to work with. We didn’t even have to close the pub, we carried on serving customers through the six days that they were here. We weren’t sure how much screen time we would get, so we were delighted with what was broadcast.”
The owner went on to add: “One funny thing was the final scene last Sunday, when Sherlock and Dr Watson were discussing the case over breakfast. Andy had to make 17 breakfasts as they had a number of retakes – so we are considering introducing our all-day Baskerville breakfast!
These two locations, by no means, make a complete tour by any stretch. If you are serious about hitting a number of other filming locations such as St. Bart’s Hospital, the Lucky Cat Shop or the great Bristol South Swimming Pool, there is a brilliantly exhaustive list of filming locations put together by Sherlockology that should have every Sherlock fan booking travel as soon as they read this. Huge credit to the folks at the award-winning ‘Ultimate Guide for any BBC Sherlock Fan’, Sherlockology, for your pain-staking efforts to create our potential next tour of the UK.