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Board your vintage double-decker bus at London’s Victoria Coach Station to start your journey. Settle into your seat, pop on your comfortable headphones to clearly hear your onboard guide’s commentary, and brace yourself for the creepy sights ahead.
Hear about the intriguing legends buried at Westminster Abbey and see Banqueting House, where Charles I was beheaded on the orders of Oliver Cromwell in 1649. Listen spellbound as your guide explains the ‘etiquette’ of the executions of the time, including how the highly trained axe men would often dispatch their victims in front of baying crowds at Tower Hill — another spooky sight on your tour. In a barbarous act of showmanship, many would lift the severed (and occasionally twitching) head of the deceased for the gawping crowd to see. Some historical accounts suggest this was also done to show the still-conscious head to the watching crowd — a spine-chilling thought.
Next, pass the Old Bailey, the site of many public hangings, and the Royal London Hospital, once home to the famous Elephant Man. See Fleet Street, where the infamous barber Sweeney Todd and his accomplice, Mrs Lovett, allegedly made pies packed with the flesh of their victims before selling them to peckish passersby.
At London’s Smithfield Market, walk through the deserted building and surrounding cobbled lanes. See the memorial to William Wallace (depicted in the film Braveheart) who was executed here in 1305, and hear about the 19th century body snatchers who exhumed local graves in the ‘interests of science.’ As you walk, strain to hear the scratching and knocking sounds of Fanny Lines, the Cock Lane ghost, said to have haunted the street during the 18th century.
As darkness descends, visit London’s East End, a hotbed of crime and vice during the 19th century. Here, in 1888, Jack the Ripper preyed on his victims, stalking the shadowy alleyways and butchering five local women in the flickering gaslight. Leave the safety of your bus to trace the serial killer’s gory trail with your guide, and inspect the murder sites while untangling fact from fiction in what is still one of London’s greatest crime mysteries.
Afterward, retreat to the reassuring warmth of the Sherlock Holmes Pub near Trafalgar Square, a temple of memorabilia to the master detective. Your tour ends here, so stay to enjoy a drink and perhaps a traditional English fish and chip supper (own expense); it’s a fitting finale to your exploits.
Head to the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes Hotel in central London for 7pm, then step inside to begin your murder mystery experience. Meet the larger-than-life comic suspects — played by 3 skilled actors — and pay close attention as the complex mystery unfolds. Witness a brutal murder then bring your problem-solving skills to the fore to correctly identify the culprit!
During your fully interactive 3-hour murder mystery experience, work with your team to solve the crime and savor a delicious 3-course dinner. (Alcoholic drinks are available to purchase separately.)
From January to March and July to September, enjoy the Sherlock Holmes and the Professor Bugels Last Post experience. Here, Professor Bugle's Baker Street laboratory has been ransacked just as he’s celebrating winning the prestigious ‘Golden Test Tube Award’. Not all goes according to plan, and soon there's a hideous murder.
From April to June and November to December, participate in the Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Black Pearl experience. On this interactive evening, Lady Plenty is opening a new tea room on Baker Street and is celebrating in style with a showing of the mysterious black pearl — said to be pirates’ treasure. Following a robbery and a gruesome murder, Sherlock Holmes is called in to solve the crime.
At 10pm, when your immersive murder mystery evening draws to a close, step outside the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes Hotel to conclude your experience.
Meet your guide at Piccadilly Circus in central London, and then set off on your walking tour, hearing about Sherlock Holmes – the fictional sleuth from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s late 19th-century stories. The escapades of the deerstalker-clad detective were so popular that film adaptations followed the books, and filming sites are now scattered around the capital.
See the place where the eccentric Sherlock Holmes first met Dr Watson – his loyal friend and adviser – and hear trivia about the 1979 thriller Murder by Decree, which featured the pair. Visit the Royal Academy building, which was used in the film, and stroll around some of the pubs and grand hotels that were mentioned in the books.
As your guide entertains you with insider gossip about Guy Ritchie’s 2009 film Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Junior, walk to the Diogenes Club – a fictional gentleman’s club where a strict no-talking rule was imposed. After stopping for photos outside, continue to Somerset House, to see the site that was used as Pentonville Prison in the film. While the grand Neo-Classical façade of the building couldn’t be more different to the real-life prison, your guide will bring scenes from the film to life with tales of the baddie who was held there – Lord Blackwood.
When your Sherlock Holmes tour of London is over, finish your tour on the Strand in central London.
Meet your private guide at the time of your choosing at your centrally located London hotel or Westminster Tube Station. Then, head onward to 221B Baker Street — the famous fictional address of Holmes and now home to the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
On arrival, visit the house (own expense) and explore rooms left as they would have been during Holmes’ residency. After your visit, perhaps browse Sherlock Holmes memorabilia at the neighboring store.
Continue onward through central London and discover sites made famous in Sherlock, the BBC television adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous tales. Perhaps visit Russell Square to see where John Watson met the old friend that would change his life forever, or go to New Scotland Yard — headquarters of the Metropolitan Police on historic Whitehall.
See the exact spot where Holmes jumps — or falls — to his supposed death in the Sherlock cliff-hanger episode ‘The Reichenbach Fall’, then return in comfort to your London hotel to conclude your tour.
Public payphones are disappearing everywhere in the mobile era, and of the some 47,000 phone kiosks remaining on British streets, fewer than 11,000 are that iconic, classic red phone box.
The two most popular variations of this British classic were designed in the 1920s and 30s by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott—same bloke who did the Bankside power station that now houses the Tate Modern. Its design and domed top were supposedly inspired by Sir John Soane's tomb in the yard at St Pancras Old Church.