Sherlock Holmes Pub London
Northumberland Street, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DB
Why is the Sherlock Holmes Pub in London so far away from the famous (fictional) detective’s home address of 221b Baker Street you may ask? The answer is simple. Charing Cross, where the pub is located, just happens to be very close to some of the settings and locations described in more than one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books about the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.
The Turkish Baths that Holmes and Watson used to frequent on occasion were right next door to the pub. Scotland Yard was just down the road. The Thames is just a few minutes away and the pub itself is mentioned as the Northumberland Arms in the 1892 Sherlock Holmes short story – The Adventure of The Noble Batchelor.
Sherlock Holmes Pub History
The building itself is historically recorded as being built in 1736 and was a small lodging house that later became a hotel. Its original name was the Northumberland Hotel, and it’s highly likely this was the hotel featured in the 1901 Sherlock Holmes novel – The Hound of The Baskervilles.
Despite the different publication dates of Conan Doyle’s stories that mentioned the pub, it was originally the Northumberland Hotel, then the Northumberland Arms, and finally to its current form, that being the only Sherlock Holmes themed pub in London.
Originally refurbished and opened in 1957 by Whitbread and Co. the Sherlock Holmes Pub is currently under management by English Pub giants Greene King as part of their portfolio of over 3000 pubs countrywide.
With its proximity to Charing Cross station, you can easily envisage Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson rushing off to catch a train to the English Countryside to solve another crime together.,
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sherlock Holmes Room
Prior to re-opening the pub Whitbread had managed to get a hold of an entire exhibition of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia that had been part of the Festival of Britain held countrywide throughout 1951. Atop of this and also thanks to the generous support from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate and family, so it was that Whitbread were able to create a historical recreation of the fictitious detective’s sitting room and study.
A number of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts had volunteered for the project and it was this group of eclectic wanabe sleuths actually planned and designed the exhibition. Whilst Whitbread & Co were the owners of the pub itself it was with the backing of Abbey National and the Marylebone Public Library that the exhibition was able to fully be realised.
This was, in 1957, the largest and most important collection of Sherlock Holmes related items anywhere in the world. So it stood as the premier exhibition anywhere featuring Holmes and Watson until 1990 when The Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street opened its doors to the public.
That room, filled with Victorian Era themed originals and replicas, is unchanged to this day and can be viewed directly from the Sherlock Holmes restaurant upstairs as well as from the roof garden and some of the smaller upstairs hallway windows.
Sherlock Holmes Hotel Restaurant
Throughout the Sherlock Holmes Pub and Hotel Restaurant in London you’ll find additional pieces and artefacts that allude to the indomitable adventures of Holmes and Watson. There are swords, Watson’s revolver, cartoons and caricatures, Holmes’s Stradivarius violin and even the stuffed head of the Hound of the Baskervilles.
Adorning the walls throughout the establishment are framed pictures, portraits, film stills and photographs of all the actors who’ve portrayed Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson through the years. There are a number of “nooks and crannies” in the pub where you can easily imagine you’re in Victorian London and to enjoy a meal and a pint as the world passes you by.
In its current modern-day form, the Sherlock Pub welcomes guests from all over the world and is one of the most popular pubs in Central London.
As a Greene King Pub, you’ll find some well-maintained cask ales on hand pump including some house produced specialty ales aptly named after the two famous characters. The last time we visited the pub had Sherlock House Ale and Dr Watsons London Porter on pump, but these can change from time to time. There are plenty of other chilled taps serving all manner of Pale Ales, Ciders and Lagers with many dedicated to the excellent brewers from the Camden Town Brewery. Obviously, in a tourist theme-styled pub of this nature, there are PLENTY of options in terms of spirits, mixers, and wine so as to cater for all tastes.
With such an interesting heritage the food on offer is quite rightly English-inspired and very traditional. Think Fish and Chips and Bread and Butter Pudding as an example.
The bar area has wooden flooring and is spacious and bright with the restaurant rooms upstairs having much more of a period feel to them.
On Friday nights the pub can get very busy as star-struck tourists and local office workers alike descend on the premises. There are always people taking photos under the Iconic pub sign outside and in front of the various pieces dotted about the interior. The roof terrace is generally only open during summer or on busier evenings, but the outside street-side tables remain even in the winter.
The pub is always holding themed nights and events and there is always something fun happening in the Sherlock Holmes Pub to keep tourists, regulars, and local businesses entertained!
How to Get To The Sherlock Holmes Pub in London
The pub is easy to get to on foot from anywhere in central London, just follow your preferred smart devices gps and directional instructions using THIS Google LINK
Travelling by Tube: The easiest way to find the Sherlock Holmes pub is to take the Villiers Street exit from either Charing Cross or Embankment Tube Stations. You can then walk downhill from Charing Cross or uphill from Embankment until you spot the arches which run underneath Charing Cross Station. Walk through the arches crossing Craven Street and continuing down Craven Passage until you reach the pub on the corner of Northumberland Street.
Travelling by Bus: Plenty of London Transport buses commute via Charing Cross or Trafalgar Square so simply alight at those destinations and walk down Northumberland Avenue towards the Thames until you reach Northumberland Street where the Sherlock Holmes pub will be right in front of you.
Sherlock Holmes Pub Contacts and Map
Sherlock Holmes Pub London | A Final Word
We’ve been to this pub many times since living in London as there are always guests and family members that ask about visiting the place so we seem to keep coming back here. It’s not our favourite pub in London but you certainly can’t deny its interesting historical background which is, after all, its major drawcard.
We hope you enjoyed this article on the Sherlock Holmes Pub in London and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the piece so please feel free to leave a comment below. Have you been to the Sherlock Holmes yourself? What was your experience?
Our Quote(s) today come from the 2011 Movie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law.
(Law) Dr. Watson – “You’re Drinking Embalming Fluid”, (Downey Jr) Sherlock Holmes – “Yes. Care for a Drop?”
Sherlock Holmes | A Game of Shadows