*The review of the Brit Movie Locations Tour of BBC Sherlock contains spoiler*
The BBC Sherlock Locations Tour organised by Brit Movie Tours was an opportunity, not only to find out more about one of my favourite TV shows, but also to see a side of London I wouldn’t see normally.
Writer and creator Steven Moffat and Mark Grattiss brought their version of Sherlock Holmes to the small screen with Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes, Martin Freeman as his friend and sidekick, Dr John Watson.
Everyone met outside Lancaster Gate Station at 2 pm, directly opposite a park which was worth a visit.
We were seventeen in number and we had a mini bus that took us round the locations. The bus had a small TV at the front which showed the clips of BBC Sherlock that related to the locations we were about to visit. The tour leader was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and clearly a fan of the show; a self-proclaimed ‘cumber cookie’ (nickname for fans of Benedict Cumberbatch).
Organised tours generally aren’t my favourite way to discover places but they are convenient, especially when you’re short on time. The majority of the outdoor scenes of the show were filmed in West London, but the indoor scenes were filmed in Wales in order to reduce production cost.
I’ll share with you some of the highlights from the tour
23-24 Leinster Gardens
The first stop was at Leinster Gardens which appeared in the final episode of season 3. The building has a false front and a train line which runs underneath. You’ll get to see the front and back of the building. I’ll leave the view from the back as a surprise for when you go on the tour.
The mini bus continued through west London, passing a few major landmarks, including a stop in Trafalgar Square.
We took a walk along the Southbank to Gabriel’s wharf/Oxo Tower where we covered two locations. The first was the skate park covered in graffiti in the The Blind Banker. The other was where Sherlock, Watson and Lestrade investigated the remains of a dead security guard that washed up on the shore in The Great Game.
St Barts Hospital
The scenes from inside the hospital were filmed in Wales, but the roof of St Bart’s Hospital was used as the scene where Sherlock and Moriarty had one last run-in before Sherlock met his supposed demise.
The tour ended at Speedy’s cafe which is right next door to the house used at 221b Baker Street. Since the tour was on a Sunday, the cafe was not opened for business.
It was a great day exploring London and getting to understand how the show was made. The tour leader gave lots of little known facts about London and how they related to the show. There were other locations along the way such as Irene Adler’s residence in Belgravia and The Diogenes Club.
On each stop of the tour, there was enough time to take pictures. It lasted just over 3 hours but I would allow for 3 1/2 to make up for time lost in traffic. The tour I went on was the last for the year. They start again next February.