The whole world is about to go Sherlock Holmes crazy, thanks to the upcoming Warner Brothers movie starring Robert Downey Junior and Jude Law. With each new telling, the character receives a certain amount of reinvention. One thing is constant, though. London. You can’t have Holmes without the city he was so intimately associated with. But which parts of town did he know best? Our well of nerdiness will never run dry, so we re-read all the original Holmes tales and plotted every London location on the map above.
Some interesting patterns emerge. Naturally, there’s plenty of action around the Baker Street area, but Holmes never once set foot in nearby Soho. Zooming out, there’s a surprising cluster of incidents around Crystal Palace. The reason is elementary when you know that Conan-Doyle lived for a time in South Norwood. We haven’t plotted the numerous out-of-town locations mentioned in the books, but you can get a sense of Holmes’ peregrinations by noting which rail stations he used most. Southern stations Charing Cross and Waterloo are visited a combined total of 16 times, while King’s Cross and Euston are only blessed with the detective’s patronage on four occasions.
Feel free to add your own deductions and any corrections in the comments.
Key: Green = precise location; red = imprecise location; purple = real-world Holmes-related sites; blue line = route taken by Holmes. Page numbers refer to those in the Folio Society’s 1994 collection.