- Knowledge of Literature – nil.
- Knowledge of Philosophy – nil.
- Knowledge of Astronomy – nil.
- Knowledge of Politics – Feeble.
- Knowledge of Botany – Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening.
- Knowledge of Geology – Practical, but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks, has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.
- Knowledge of Chemistry – Profound.
- Knowledge of Anatomy – Accurate, but unsystematic.
- Knowledge of Sensational Literature – Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century.
- Plays the violin well.
- Is an expert singlestick player, boxer and swordsman.
- Has a good practical knowledge of British law.
- Holmes is also a competent cryptanalyst.
- Sherlock Holmes knows German,French and Latin appart from English
Despite the excitement of his life (or perhaps seeking to leave it behind), Holmes retired to the Sussex Downs to take up beekeeping ("The Second Stain") and wrote a book on the subject entitled "Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen". His search for relaxation can also be seen in his love for music, notably in "The Red-Headed League", wherein Holmes takes an evening off from a case to listen to Pablo de Sarasate play violin.
Holmes, as a gentleman, often carries a stick or cane. He is described by Watson as an expert at singlestick and twice uses his cane as a weapon.
In A Study in Scarlet, Watson describes Holmes as an expert with a sword—although none of the stories have Holmes using a sword. It is mentioned in "Gloria Scott" that Holmes practised fencing.
Holmes is described as a formidable bare-knuckle fighter. In The Sign of the Four, Holmes introduces himself to a prize-fighter as:
"The amateur who fought three rounds with you at Alison's rooms on the night of your benefit four years back". McMurdo responds by saying, "Ah, you're one that has wasted your gifts, you have! You might have aimed high, if you had joined the fancy".
Holmes engages in hand-to-hand combat with his adversaries on occasions throughout the stories, inevitably emerging the victor. It is mentioned also in "Gloria Scott" that Holmes trained as a boxer, and in "The Yellow Face" Watson comments that "he was undoubtedly one of the finest boxers of his weight that I have ever seen."
In several stories, Holmes is described or demonstrated as having above average physical strength. As an example, in "The Adventure of the Speckled Band", Dr. Roylott, 6 feet tall and wide as a doorframe, demonstrates his strength by bending a fire poker in half. After the Doctor leaves, Holmes said, "laughing, 'I am not quite so bulky, but if he had remained I might have shown him that my grip was not much more feeble than his own.' As he spoke he picked up the steel poker and, with a sudden effort, straightened it out again." In "The Yellow Face" Watson comments of Holmes, that "Few men were capable of greater muscular effort."