Sherlock’s Memory Palace comes to Soho

Truth is stranger than fiction! In the recent episode of Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch demonstrated a memory technique known as the Memory Palace which allowed him to remember incredible amounts of information. Far from being an invention, real life memory competitors from nine countries have come to demonstrate that it is something that anyone can do, – if you know the simple techniques involved.

The UK Open Memory Championships tests mental athletes with 10 different memory disciplines over two days. The winner is the one with the highest cumulative score – and the best memory!

Locked in a quiet room in the famous L’Escargot Restaurant in Soho, and under the supervision of the founder of the Mind Sport of Memory, Tony Buzan, competitors will be presented with packs of cards, lists of numbers, binary digits, names and faces, and abstract images.

Top competitors can memorise one pack of cards in 21 seconds and upwards of thirty packs of randomly shuffled packs of cards on one hour – and recall them exactly!

None of these competitors were born with a great memories and have all learned techniques, including the memory palace, to make it easy for the brain to memorise vast amount of information.

“Even if you lost the car keys this morning, you probably have a far better memory than you give yourself credit for.” Says Chris Day, General Secretary of the World Memory Sports Council “All you need to do is learn the techniques and keep practicing. You could amaze yourself!”

The UK Open is the last change for competitors to test the results of all their practice before the World Memory Championships which take place in China in December

Schedule UK Open 2015



08:50   Arrival

09:00   Registration and Coffee

09:15   Welcome

09:30   Names and Faces memorisation (15 Mins)

09:45   Recall (30 Mins)

10:30   Binary Digits memorisation (30 Mins)

11:00   Recall (1 hour)

12:10   LUNCH

13:10   Announcement of Results

13:15   Abstract Images (15 Mins)

13:30   Recall (30 Mins)

14:10   Speed Numbers (Trial One) (5 Mins)

14:15   Recall (15 Mins)

14:45   Results of Trial One

14:55   Speed Numbers (Trial Two) (5 Mins)

15:00   Recall (15 Mins)

15:30   Numbers (30 Mins)

16:00   Recall (1 hour)

17:00   Close (vacate Green Room)

08:50   Arrival

09:00   Coffee

09:15   Results from Day One

09:30   Random Words (15 Mins)

09:45   Recall (40 Mins)

10:35   Cards (30 Mins)

11:05   Recall (1 hour)

12:15   LUNCH

13:10   Announcement of Results

13:15   Historic Dates (5 Mins)

13:20   Recall (15 Mins)

13:50   Setup for Spoken Numbers – Test sound

14:00   Spoken Numbers 100 digits

14:05   Recall (5 Mins)

14:20   Annoucement of results trial one

14:25   Spoken Numbers 470 digits

14:33   Recall (25 Mins)

15:15   Announcement of Results

15:20   Speed Cards Trial One (5 Mins)

15:30   Recall (5 Mins)

15:45   Announcement of Results

16:00   Speed Cards Trial Two (5 Mins)

16:10   Recall (5 Mins)

16:15   End of Competition (vacate Green Room)

17:15   Awards Ceremony (in Library)

18:00   Close and Celebrations