Unique Accommodation: Spend the night behind bars in London


Clink78 on King’s Cross Road in London

I’ve been visiting a fair amount of hostels around Europe and especially the UK in recent years, and what I’m always looking for is an original idea, a story behind it all – and most of all lots of passion. I knew I had found one of these places when I checked in to Clink78 in London last week.

First thing, this hostel is set in a very unique building – a former courthouse – and the owners behind it have run with this concept but made it their own. The passion shines through in all the little details around the facilities, and it’s clear to see that this hostel was set up by people with the true hostel spirit – not by pure businessmen. In fact, they’re not men at all, but two sisters from Dublin, and Clink78 is the second of two Clink hostels in London. The other one being Clink261 at Greys Inn Road nearby, while a third is found in Amsterdam in The Netherlands.


The reception area welcomes you with a funky decor 


Blackboards are stuffed with tips on how to spend your time in London

Due to the history of the beautiful Victorian building, Clink78 is kind of an attraction in itself, and already as you enter the large reception you’ll get a feel of this hostel’s funky decor. But the really nice surprise is the two adjacent court rooms which are kept much to the original concept but spiced up extensively with bright colours, a disco ball and cool quotes written across the walls. One court room is now functioning as a tv-room in which to kick back and hang out with fellow hostellers – while the other one is more of a work-friendly laptop-zone, though wifi is reached for free throughout the hostel.


Former court room turned surf-zone


Inspirational quotes adorn the walls of Clink78


Colourful & funky – you won’t be bored in Clink78

And we’re not even done on the cool details yet – because yes, you CAN spend the night behind bars… well, not those with the alcohol, but the ones that won’t let you out – although these will. Just push the green botton! These actual prison cells are available as accommodation, sparsely offering a wooden bunkbed for the real experience, but decorated with humouristic “street art” features and a comfortable mattress.


Prison cell accommodation – do you dare?


The prison cells are decorated in street art style

I spent my first night in one of these cells and my second night in an en-suite private room, that gives you some extra comfort if you’re not too keen on to the whole dorm-room-experience. But even if you’re going private you’ll have plenty of chances to meet fellow hostellers downstairs in the surprisingly large breakfast-kitchen-bar-lounge-room (ClashBAR), which offers some excellent hostel-facilities and events to attend. Really, everything a true hosteller could ask for.


Private en-suite room at Clink78


A great example of how much they’ve gone into the details at Clink Hostels

As for location, you’ll only have a short walk from the St. Pancras and King’s Cross stations, which makes it easy to get around town with the tube.

I really liked Clink78 – but go to court and judge for yourself!

to follow Travelooney Blog on Facebook for lots of extra material and even more travel inspiration to Europe!

By Brian Schæfer Dreyer