Detective Shaw’s London: Marylebone
Wedged between Regent’s Park to the north and the famous Oxford Street to the south, Marylebone is in central London, within the City of Westminster. It is mainly a residential area, although there are also some diplomatic buildings (consulates) located there. Over the years it has been home to various famous people, such as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, the author HG Wells (in the photo the plaque indicating his home), Jimi Hendrix, Madonna (at the time of her marriage to Guy Ritchie) and many others, but perhaps its most famous resident, if only in fiction, was and always will be Sherlock Holmes.
Indeed, in this district, there is the address 221B Baker Street, which Arthur Conan Doyle gave as the residence of the protagonist of his detective stories (though the statue in the photo is outside Baker Street Station).
Obviously, Holmes’s house never existed; in fact, Baker Street did not even reach that number at the time of the novels’ publication, but now the same street houses the Sherlock Holmes Museum. It is not exactly at number 221B (it is located between 237 and 241), but since 1990 after a long dispute, the museum has obtained it to become its official address, despite this altering the numbering of the street.
Willing somehow to pay homage to the character created by Arthur Conan Doyle, I put DCI Eric Shaw’s home (equally imaginary) in a side street of Baker Street called York Street.
Another reason for my choice is that I know Marylebone very well, as every time I go to London I stay in a hotel in Gloucester Place called Hotel 82.
In addition to being a nice hotel and not costing much, despite being a four-star hotel (and anyone who has been to the British capital at least once knows how important the category of a hotel is to avoid nasty surprises concerning cleanliness!), it has the peculiarity of being a five-minute walk from the stop of the EasyBus shuttle to Stansted airport and at the same time in an area, precisely Marylebone, from which, if you are not afraid to walk a bit, you can basically visit the whole of central London on foot.
In fact, moving south along Gloucester Place (which then continues into Portman Street) or the parallel Baker Street you arrive at the famous shopping street, Oxford Street, directly next to the department stores of Selfridges.
From there, moving west, you soon reach the edge…