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A Night in a Prison Cell at a London Hostel

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: Dorm bed prices can be as low as £12/night, which isn’t bad for such a central location (near Kings Cross Station).

Clink Hostel 78

The prison cell rooms were decorated to resemble actual prison cells. There was even a peep hole to see into the room (though you could cover it from the inside)

Clink Prison Hostel

The old courthouse room looked just like a court room

Clink London Hostel

Fun paintings adorned the walls throughout the hostel to continue with the prison theme

Kings Cross Harry Potter Platform

The Cink78 Hostel is a short walk from Kings Cross Station where you can visit the Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4

  1. Jay@TravelIdeaz says:

    Not bad at all. I was expecting something different really, given that hostels trigger a bad ring in my ears . Don’t ask! :)

    You might have shed some positive light with this post.

    • Adam says:

      Hostels aren’t for everyone Jay…and even still I tend to prefer private rooms these days. Clink78’s private rooms were really comfortable — just wish the wifi had worked in them!

      • Nicky Moore says:

        Hi Adam and everyone! Merry Christmas to you all!
        Just to let you know that after lots of chaos with our internet providers, the wifi at Clink78 is now FREE! Hurrah! We’re getting there :-)
        Hope you all have a fantastic New Year and we hope to see you, and your guitars (if you have one), in 2014! Best wishes, Clink.

  2. Hogga says:

    that’s so cool! I’d totally be down for staying there

  3. Sounds like fun! I love that picture at the end of Harry Potter’s platform… it could be Hermoine!

  4. Wow a pretty cool concept, clicked through to see if I could find more pictures of this place. Might consider staying here next time I am travelling (im not a musician however :))

    • Adam says:

      Nice to hear that! It’s a convenient hostel – just make sure you bring some cash to cover some of the extra costs! And the bar’s really cool even if you’re not the one playing music :)

  5. Alinka says:

    Wow! I’ve only stayed in a hostel once – in Sydney but that lasted for only a few minutes – I ran away to Holiday Inn when I saw two huge cockroaches running around my room, which I think could have been a prison cell too!

    • Adam says:

      Hahahah – yeah most accommodation can be hit or miss. Definitely worth reading up online in advance for any reviews – but it’s so hard to know until you stay in a place and see it for yourself!

  6. Patrick Smith says:

    Another great post Adam! Hostels are getting so creative! We also stayed in an old jail turned hostel in Lublijana, Slovenia ( here is the web site. When we were young, we always stayed at hostels, now that we are older, we mostly stay in cheaper hotels, but some hostels these days are too cool not to stay in, and you seem to find them:-). Thank you again for sharing this!

    • Adam says:

      Patrick – thanks for this tip! I’m headed to Ljubljana in a few weeks so will have to check out that place!

  7. Ross says:

    That sounds like a great place (now that they have the wifi). I go to London a good bit so I must stay there the next time Im over.

    • Adam says:

      Yep – this is a really convenient hostel especially if you need to be in that area of the city

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