London day 16 – Sherlock Holmes Museum, 9 3/4 Platform, St. Paul’s Cathedral, British Museum

Posted on: January 24, 2014

After a long walking the previous day, we woke up a bit late that day. Our first destination was the Sherlock Holmes Museum. From Elephant and Castle station, we took the tube to Baker Street station. As soon as we got off, we saw the famous side face of Sherlock Holmes with its pipe on the station wall. There were signs to direct you toward Baker Street but the thing that I loved the most was the subtlety of the signs. It didn’t say ‘Sherlock Holmes museum’ but instead it discreetly say ‘221b’ with Sherlock logo at the side. Yeah… I loved being a detective too! hahaha…. Near the Sherlock Holmes museum, the Beatles memorabilia shop is nearby. Both had long line ups at the front. The admission ticket to the museum is £8 for adult and £5 for under 16 years old. We decided to skip the tour and went straight to the store in the next building. At the store, you can find all sort of things related to Sherlock Holmes, such as Arthur Conan Doyle’s complete Sherlock Holmes book – that pretty much looked like a bible! for £15-25,  the famous Sherlock’s pipe £28, Sherlock’s hat £30, tie with Sherlock’s motif £14, DVD, keychain, and even hand cuffs! Don’t forget to take Sherlock’s business card laying around the table! *shhh… it’s free! 🙂 *

Sherlock 1

(clockwise from top left): Baker Street station with Sherlock Holmes logo, the big logo is composed of small logos!, the discreet sign for the museum ‘221b’ with Sherlock logo at the side, another street sign of ‘221b’, and the front of Sherlock Holmes museum

Sherlock 2

(clockwise from top left): the living room, the antique light switch and door handle, the antique toilet bowl, and sink

Sherlock 3

(clockwise from top left): Sherlock’s hat, Sherlock’s pipe, and hand cuffs!

Sherlock business card

Sherlock Holmes business card

Sherlock 4

Another side of Baker Street station with its original brownish brick

Our next adventure was trying to find platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross St. Pancras station. From the tube station, we walked out to the train station. We even went looking between platform 9 and 10 but nada! It wasn’t there. We then asked a janitor and she pointed us to the right direction. Platform 9 3/4 is actually located at the area between the tube and train station – where the shops & food court is. To be more specific, it is near left baggage area and transport police office. They actually set up a rope for the line up so that every person had a chance to take picture in front of  the famous platform. We waited in the line up for a good 30 minutes – yes! it’s THAT popular!- but the staffs were very friendly and funny that we didn’t feel bored. Visitors can take picture with their own camera but there is a photographer that snaps your picture free of charge. The staffs in charge for the photo op provide scarfs from different houses that visitor can borrow. They even helped flick the scarf for me and hubby while we had our picture taken so that it looked like we were running into the ‘wall.’ Neat!

The pictures taken by the photographer can be bought at platform 9 3/4 shop with HP frame for £8. The shop also sells a few merchandise from WB Harry Potter Studio, including the replica wands. However, I noticed that the wand with noble packing is more expensive here £29.99 (vs. HP studio £24.95).

King Cross 1

King’s Cross St. Pancras station

King Cross 2

Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross station complete with the cart and the shop nearby

I felt happy that my Harry Potter experience was complete. So, we headed to St. Paul’s Cathedral next. This big elegant church stands right in the middle of bustling London shopping centre. We took a peek inside and saw that the entrance fee was £16.00! My husband immediately refused to pay to visit the church since he found that touring the Westminster Abbey was super boring! So, we only took pictures in front of the church.

If you are a Harry Potter’s fan, don’t forget to go to Millenium Bridge nearby. In Half-Blood Prince movie, there is a scene where the Death Eaters are running after Harry across London skyline and they pass Millenium Bridge. The steel structure gives a modern touch among other bridges in London. Sadly, we missed to walk on the bridge 😦

 St Paul 1

St Paul 2

St. Paul’s Cathedral

My co-worker strongly suggested that we go to British Museum. Not only it is FREE, but also it was super awesome! This museum houses thousands of world artifacts from Europe, Asia, and Middle East. When we arrived at the museum, there were already LOTS of people! And it was just outside the museum! We immediately walked into the museum and it was packed! There are thousands of artifacts on display in this museum. If you want to plan your visit, click here for the map of the museum along with interactive links to its major attractions.

From the great court on the ground floor, we immediately visited the most popular object of this museum, the Rosetta stone {#33 in room 4 on yellow area on the map}. “The Rosetta Stone is a stone with writing on it in two languages (Egyptian and Greek), using three scripts (hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek)” [ref]. This stone deemed as the most important artifact in the world. We then continued our tour by walking to the left area of The Rosetta Stone. This was where we saw big sarcophaguses and other Egyptian artifacts {yellow area on the map}. Walking toward the back of the wing, we saw more of Middle East artifacts, such as the stone panel from the South-West Palace of Sennacherib {#21 purple area on the map}. Deeper more into the wing is the Ancient Greece and Rome area {teal area on the map}. Here, we saw some European artifacts, such as statue, carving, masks, golden crown, and even the ruin of a temple, the Nereid Monument!


British Museum 1

British Museum and The Rosetta Stone

British Museum 2

European section and beautiful mosaics

At the end of the room, we went upstairs to the famous Mummy exhibit {yellow area on the map}. There are different mummies on display in this section along with clay jars containing the organs of the mummies. It also has a poster describing how the mummification works. Moving to the next section of the Middle East area {purple area on the map}, we saw some interesting artifacts, including the Cyrus Cylinder – the famous Mesopotamian and Persian that acts as “an instrument of ancient Mesopotamian propaganda” [ref]. There are also gold jewelries and other artifacts made from silver in the Ancient Iran section. We saw more of gold jewelries, bronze swords, and smaller artifacts made from metals in Europe area {green area on the map}. The Great Dish replica made of gold in the Ancient Europe section was very shiny and beautiful. The Medieval Europe section displays early Christian artifacts.


British Museum 3

Mummy exhibit in Ancient Egypt section

British Museum 4

Cyrus Cylinder in Middle East section

British Museum 5

Ancient Iran artifacts in the Middle East section

British Museum 6

Ancient Europe in the Europe section

British Museum 7

Roman Britain in the Europe section

British Museum 8

Medieval Europe in the Europe section

We then crossed the foyer where there is a small room displaying coins from all over the world {room 68 blue area on the map}. From here, we continued on to the Ancient Greece and Rome {teal area on the map}. At a small room 69a, we saw a temporary exhibit of Coins and the Bible {brown area on the map}. This was an exciting exhibit as I am a visual person. I read bible so many times and yet, it’s hard for me to imagine the silver and the shekel, the currency used in the bible. The coins on display and its explanation helped me to have an understanding how the currency works. We spent some time to explore the Ancient Greece and Rome section. The ornamental vases were so pretty. The Greek armours were cool and the details on the sculptures were amazing! It also has a display of medical tools used in that era. I never imagined that the ancient era was very advance in the medical sector!

British Museum 9

Money section with the collection of coins from all over the world

British Museum 11

Coins and the Bible exhibition in room 69a

British Museum 10

Ancient medicine in Ancient Greece and Rome section

British Museum 12

Armour, sculptures, and tablet from Ancient Greece and Rome section

Since we were pretty tired, we decided to end our tour at the museum and walked down to the ground floor. The walls along the staircase have lots of beautiful mosaics remains that were found throughout Roman Empire. The intricate design and neat tile placement were just simply amazing!

British Museum 13

The gift shop of this museum is on the ground floor at the centre of the hall. It has interesting stuffs, such as Beatrix Potter’s Tale of Peter Rabbit in hieroglyph. However, similar to any other souvenir shops, the price of merchandises here are pretty expensive too.

British Museum 14

After leaving British Museum, we took a short break at Starbucks across the street while browsing for our next destination of the day. I happened to read that there is an Agatha Christie memorial in London! I was super excited because Agatha Christie is my favourite mystery author since I was in high school. Although the murder method in her books are outdated in today’s setting, the way she wrote each book was simply clever! So, I insisted my hubby to go to the memorial. The memorial is actually a statue of Agatha Christie’s bust inside a book. It is located at the corner of Great Newport St. and Cranbourn St.

Agatha Christie Memorial

From the memorial, we walked south around Soho area. Soho is well known for its entertainment and fashion district, mostly for its vibrant nightlife. There are lots of pubs and restaurant to choose from. We walked until we were on Oxford Street with lots of shopping stores. Since we hadn’t had chance to shop, I forced my hubby to wait for me while I was trying some clothes at Primark. Well.. they were having sale back then hahaha…. I never heard of Primark brand before but I found that their clothes are pretty cheap – but the quality is just okay according to many reviewers. The store itself is huge! I think it was 4 levels in total. After trying clothes for an hour, I only bought 2 T-shirts. Yeah… it was hard to find my size especially when everything was scattered on the floor. I guess that was the disadvantage to shop during sale season. The cashier on the first floor had a long line up, so I went to the top floor to pay for my stuffs. Then, I saw this cute cushion pillows with cute rabbit face at the front and its fluffy tail at the back! Then I saw another pillow with rabbit with a pink ribbon on its ear! I swear I was squealling with JOY! hahaha… I immediately grabbed the pillows and just realized that they wouldn’t fit in my luggage! I was hesitant for a while but then my hubby said that we could just carry those and I should seriously buy them otherwise I would regret it. Ah… I love how my hubby understands my rabbit obsession so well! hahaha….  🙂 After paying the pillows, I felt like I had everything I need for my trip home. So, I reluctantly browsed some stores along Oxford Street and went back to apartment shortly afterward.


Cute bunny cushion pillows from Primark


1 Response to "London day 16 – Sherlock Holmes Museum, 9 3/4 Platform, St. Paul’s Cathedral, British Museum"

Wonderful – thanks for sharing your awesome day and photos 🙂

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