When people think of Baker Street in London they undoubtedly call to mind the very famous detective whose fictional residence could be found at 221B Baker Street. Whilst there is now a museum dedicated to all things Sherlock Holmes at this well known location, there is also a lot more to the general Baker Street and Marylebone area than just the world of Sherlock Holmes so whether you have no interest in the creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or you are planning to visit the museum and want some other things to do afterwards, we have a fantastic list of things you can see and do around Baker Street:
Wander the streets
The neighbourhood of Marylebone on its own is a wonderful place to explore. It is located within the City of Westminster but despite being so close to the heart of London it still manages to keep an air of village life, rather than being another urban sprawl. Even if you didn’t wan to visit any specific attractions you might enjoy a short stroll along some of the streets which make up this area and see what you stumble across. If you are seeking that village vibe then you might appreciate the narrow streets which can be found between George Street and Montagu Place; these streets are made up of terraced houses and truly seem a far cry from the rest of bustling London which is just a short distance away.
The Wallace Collection
This national gallery can be found inside a historic London town house and consists of 25 galleries and a stunning collection of 18th century paintings, furniture and porcelain; one of the finest collections in Europe, in fact. It is completely free to visit the Wallace Collection and whether you have half an hour or a couple of hours to dedicate to exploring, it is still worth making time to visit. Handily, the Wallace Collection’s website has created a list of top 10 things you should see so if you are short on time you won’t miss out on some of the gallery’s most prized possessions which include Louis XV’s Commode and Peter Paul Ruben’s ‘The Rainbow Landscape’.
Find a new book
If you want to discover one of London’s best booksellers, and are staying in a Park Lane hotel then you are in luck; Daunt Book’s is just a 20 minute walk from Park Lane and is located on Marylebone High Street. It was founded in 1990 and is housed inside a beautiful Edwardian building but for true book lovers, the real delight comes once you step inside. The main feature is the bookshop’s main section; a long, galleried room which has a stunning arched window partly glazed with stained glass and bookshelves after bookshelves lined with all kinds of books from fiction to travel guides and plenty more besides. The unique thing about Daunt Book’s is that the books are all arranged by country, regardless of the subject matter which creates an interesting and diverse browsing experience for those seeking a new read.
One of the great things about Marylebone is the number of exclusive independent shops which line the streets and it’s a great place to head if you have booked into the Montcalm Hotel London with plans to shop until you drop in the city. There are also a good number of more affordable options as well so if you are shopping on a more restricted budget then you needn’t rule out a trip to Marylebone either and in fact, Marylebone High Street as voted as the best high street in London by BBC Radio listeners. There is a nice mixture of high street names and independent stores, such as Cadenhead’s; Scotland’s oldest independent whiskey bottler and plenty of coffee shops, bars and restaurants in the surrounding area too so you can quickly head somewhere to relax once you have completed your shopping for the day.
Go to church
Marylebone takes its name from St Mary’s church which is located within Bryanston Square and the church itself is a great place to visit if you have an interest in architecture. It is a Grade I listed building with a stone portico and tower and a recently renovated interior. There are two other churches worth mentioning here if you are interested; St James’s Roman Catholic Church on George Street has a spectacular arched nave inside and a neo-Gothic exterior and Hinde Street Methodist Church, whilst less eye-catching than the first two options does offer a classic frontage which is reminiscent of the British Museum.
Marylebone sits in the centre of two of London’s most popular parks: Regent’s Park in North London and Hyde Park which is slightly further south but you needn’t go too far if you want to get outside and enjoy some picturesque surroundings. Near to Baker Street you can find Paddington Street Gardens which is made up of two public gardens. The garden to the south is the larger of the two and consists of formal open grass areas, shrubs and flower beds and a children’s playground. It was also once a churchyard and as such still contains a number of old memorials. The garden to the north is significantly smaller but is also home to various memorials, tombs and gravestones as well as a central grass area.
And finally, if you truly can’t contemplate a trip to the Baker Street area without some mention of Sherlock Holmes then there is the Sherlock Holmes Museum which is located at 221B Baker Street and features many items associated with the famous detective as well as a shop so you can pick up some memorabilia on your way out. Hardcore fans may also be interested to know that a number of tours operate in the area, allowing you to visit some of the more notable sites from Holmes’ cases as well as visiting locations which were used in the movies and TV adaptations.