In choosing a location from a Sherlock Holmes story, it was easy to settle on Oxford Street. I recently visited London and Oxford Street/Oxford Circus was my favorite place to walk around and spend my time. Oxford Street is located relatively close and even connects with Baker Street, the infamous home of Sherlock Holmes.
Though today it is home to over 300 stores and many tourist attractions, it wasn’t always a beautiful travel destination. During WWII, Oxford Street suffered its share of bombings, unfortunate occurrences that were unfortunately all-too-frequent in London at that time.1 Even earlier than that, however, (even earlier than Sherlock Holmes’ time) Oxford Street was home to an array of less-than-savory attractions including bear-baiting shows and masquerading.2
One famous example of Sherlock Holmes’ time on Oxford Street can be summed up by this observation from The London Of Sherlock Holmes website; “Upon reaching Oxford Street, it’s a short walk east to Regent Street, which curves splendidly to Piccadilly Circus. On the left, just where it curves at the Quadrant, is the Cafe Royal, a splendidly elegant French restaurant since 1865 and the place where Holmes was attacked in ”The Adventure of the Illustrious Client.””3 In The Adventure of the Illustrious Client, Holmes is attacked on Oxford Street by two men, which led to newspapers publishing that he was close to death in order to exaggerate his condition.
During Sherlock Holmes’s time, Oxford Street housed many theatres which could have been frequented by a man like Holmes incredibly often.4
Though in Holmes’s time Oxford Street was a less-than-hot-spot, Oxford Street is now home to many historical landmarks and also houses a grand array of shopping and dining options.
1. “The Blitz: Oxford Street’s store wars”. BBC News. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
2. “Bear-baiting”. Encyclopaedia Britannica 3. Encyclopaedia Britannica Company. 1910. p. 575
3. “The London of Sherlock Holmes.” The London of Sherlock Holmes. Web. 10 Nov.
4. 2014.”Piccadilly to Oxford Street.” Historicaleye.com. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.