Geeky London

Or: Where Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, and James Bond go for a cup of tea

If you’re into literature, London may be your Pandora’s box. Known as a very popular set for novels and stories, it has always been an oasis of inspiration to many writers and creators. And I have never seen a city where literature is so omnipresent and integrated into the everyday life of its residents as in London. Therefore, here comes a Geek Guide to London for all the fans of Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Sherlock, and James Bond.

1. “It’s bigger on the inside.”

Have you ever dreimg_2513amed of travelling through time and space with a madman in a blue Police Box, saving the world from the Darleks and the evil side of the universe in a non-Star Wars way? Then you might want to drop by at “The Baker Street Emporium” and knock on the door of the infamous Tardis. Even if the Doctor’s not home, you can take a picture and pretend you went on an exciting adventure.

Exit tube at Baker Street Station

Calculated budget: none

 

 

2. “Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan.”

This is what Dr. Who paradise looks like: an entire shop filled to the brink with merchandise of the TV series (and a Tardis as well, but in my opinion, it’s not as nice as the one near Baker Street). In case you’re in desperate need of a present for a Dr. Who enthusiast, you’ll find whatever you’ve been looking for right here.

Exit tube station at Upton Park Station

Calculated budget: depends on how much you’d like to spend

 

3. “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

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When you’re in London, there’s no way you can’t go visit the world’s most famous adress of the most beloved fictional character of all time: 221b Baker Street. After buying the ticket at the shop right below the museum, you’re granted entrance to the private rooms of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. To every fan’s delight, you can take as many pictures as you like – even on the two chairs in front of the fireplace with the deerstalker and magnifying glass. But don’t forget to pick up Mr. Holmes’ business card in case you may need his help one day.

Insider tipp: visit at 5 pm to avoid queuing for entrance and taking photographs

Opening times: 09.30 am – 06.00 pm (closed on Christmas Day)

Calculated budget: £15 – £30 per person (including souvenir budget)

 

4. “We solve crimes, I blog about it, and he forgets his pants.”

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If the modern BBC series of Sherlock is more up your alley and you’d like to see where the magic happens, North Gower Street is the place to go. Since this is merely a filming location, it’s only a house façade and a café that await you here. But if you’re lucky enough to get a table at Speedy’s, you can admire a whole gallery of fanart and photographs from behind the scenes of filming the series. And I hear the Sherlock Wrap is pretty tasty…

187 North Gower Street, London NW1 2NJ

Opening times for Speedy’s:

06.30 am – 03.30 pm (Saturday 07.30 am – 01.30 pm, closed on Sunday)

Exit tube at Euston Square, North Gower Street Exit

Calculated budget: none

 

5. “Bond. James Bond.”

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The Secret Intelligence Service‘s headquarters are a real eye-catcher when taking a walk along the Thamse. Even if you’re not into James Bond, it’s quite an intimidating sight and the atmosphere of secrecy and the resemblance to a fortress makes you wonder what is going on in there. While I get why people call it the “Babylon-on-Thames”, I really can’t see how anyone came up with the name “Legoland”.

85 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, Lambeth

Exit tube at Vauxhall Cross

Calculated budget: none

 

6. “Shaken, not stirred.”

Dine like James Bond himself at the Rules Restaurant in Covent Garden. Scenes from the latest Bond film Spectre were shot at this historic restaurant which exists for more than 200 years and has seen guests like Charles Dickens and Charlie Chaplin. And when I say ‘dine like James Bond’, I mean it because there’s a dresscode (which can be probably expected from a restaurant that close to the Savoy). Posh, exclusive, fancy – nothing I’d set a foot into, but you’re very welcome to email me your experience.

35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7LB

Exit tube at Southampton Street Station or arrive with style in an Aston Martin

Calculated budget: if you’re brave enough, peer at the menu while casually walking past

 

7. “You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

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Harry Potter fans, buckle your seatbelts … for the ultimate Harry Potter fanshop Platform 9 3/4. When I went to King’s Cross in order to take a photo of the baggage car which is fixed in the very wall where platform 9 3/4 is located in the stories, I was gobsmacked. In 2010, there was nothing but said baggage car, but now there’s an entire Harry Potter fanshop selling everything from the Harry Potter world you can possibly imagine. From all the Geeky sights, this is (in my opinion) by far the best! And for everyone who’s still disappointed that they haven’t gotten their Hogwarts letter: You can pick it up there.

The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4, Kings Cross Station, London N1 9AP

Opening times: 08.00 am – 10.00 pm (Sunday 09.00 am – 09.00 pm, closed on Christmas and Boxing Day)

Exit tube at King’s Cross St Pancras

Calculated budget: depends on how much you’d like to spend

8. “Welcome home!”

[P H O T O G R A P H]

You’ve always wondered what Butterbeer tastes like? You’ve always dreamed of walking down the Diagon Alley? The fanshop’s nice but you want to see the real thing? Then the Harry Potter studios are what you’re looking for. Located twenty train minutes outside of London, you’re granted access to the very studios the Harry Potter films were shot at – with all film sets, costumes, and props still in place. If you consider going to Leavesden, you should plan an entire day for your visit and enough budget because, let’s be realistic, this is not a cheap experience. The tickets must be booked in advance and I recommend choosing the earliest possible time to avoid the masses.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LR

Opening times: 10.00 am – 08.00 pm (in summer until 10.00 pm)

Exit train at Watford Junction and proceed with shuttle busses

Calculated budget: £60 – £100 per person (including souvenir budget and tickets for train/shuttle bus)