In The Speckled Band Helen Stoner comes to Sherlock Holmes to request help in solving the mystery of her sister's death. Her sister died after getting engaged; her death was mysterious and Helen Stoner is suspicious that she may not have died of natural causes. Helen is further motivated to talk to Sherlock Holmes because she has recently gotten engaged. Because of renovations at Stoke Moran, she has to move into the bedroom where her sister inexplicably died; while sleeping in this room, she hears a mysterious whistle, just like the whistle that her sister claimed to hear before she died. All of these events prompt her to visit Sherlock Holmes to see if he can help her solve the mystery.
After she tells Sherlock about her case, Sherlock asks if he can come and visit Stoke Moran (her current home) without her stepfather's knowledge:
"If we were to come to Stoke Moran to-day, would it be possible for us to see over these rooms without the knowledge of your stepfather?”
She says that this is possible, and Sherlock agrees that they will meet that afternoon. Watson goes along. To get there, they first call a cab to take them to Waterloo. (The cab would be a horse and carriage, since cars were not yet popularized.) They then took a train to Leatherhead; from the station, they hired a trap (another horse and carriage) to take them the rest of the way to Stoke Moran.
"At Waterloo we were fortunate in catching a train for Leatherhead, where we hired a trap at the station inn and drove for four or five miles through the lovely Surrey lanes. It was a perfect day, with a bright sun and a few fleecy clouds in the heavens."
Once they arrive, Holmes and Watson explore Stoke Moran to try to get clues to help solve Helen Stoner's mystery.