When I was trying to find some cool places to stay in London during my November visit, I stumbled on the CLINK78 Hostel. They’d previously sent me a press release about how musicians could stay at the hostel for free in exchange for an evening performance. I thought that sounded pretty cool so I was keen to check out the hostel on my next visit.
Turns out besides having a unique style (this building used to be a courthouse), Clink78 is also quite sociable and fun. For being such a large hostel, I was surprised to find the common areas (and the bar) relatively easy to meet people. Since I was staying at the hostel when I wasn’t in as much of a party-mode as usual, it was nice to see that there were others like me also staying at the hostel. They seemed to have the full range of accommodation guests.
On my first night at Clink78, I stayed in one of their speciality rooms — a former prison cell. It was decked out in full prison decorations (meaning cinder-block walls and little details like funny locks and steel-plated peepholes). Thankfully the prison cell I slept in, while a tight fit, still had a heater and a coat rack. The room sleeps 2 people (in a bunk bed) so if I weren’t traveling alone it would’ve been a tight fit.
My only issue with the hostel is the fact that they make you pay extra to use wifi. It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine — especially because the wifi access only works in the common areas and not in any of the rooms. [2014 Update: Clink Hostel now offers free wifi for all guests!] Other than that, the staff was helpful and friendly, plus they provide all the guests with a handy guide to the major tourist attractions and things to do in London.
Check out the hostel rates and other details here: clinkhostels.com. Dorm bed prices can be as low as £12/night, which isn’t bad for such a central location (near Kings Cross Station).