Ever wonder what a hostel is like in London? We stayed in one for a night! This post is all about why we did, our experience, and if it was worth it.
We needed a night stopover on the train journey from Baden, Switzerland to Morley, England. This hostel served its purpose providing us the basics at a reasonable cost for London. Consider hostels sometimes!
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Since we recently spent so much time in the Schengen Zone, we wanted to leave so we had the option to return to the Schengen Zone later in the year. So we decided to head towards Scotland!
After Staying in Datwil (Baden), Switzerland for the second weekend, we are using our Eurail Pass to get ALLLLLLL the way back up to London. We are heading even further north to Morley (where we had a House Sit lined up), which is just southwest of Leeds in the middle of the UK.
The train from Switzerland to London is a pretty straight shot through Brussels. We jumped on the Eurostar for the 3rd time using our Eurail pass. Eurail gives a hefty discount but you still have to pay a seat reservation fee. Eurostar is currently the only way to get from the UK to mainland Europe by train.
We arrived at St. Pancras station late late at night, it started to feel like home (and we’re not even done yet). A quick walk down the street, we arrived at Clinc 261 London Hostel. The next morning, we were leaving early to catch another train to take us to Leeds. Our train left at 8:03am from St. Pancras headed to Leeds on the express (EXP) train with a change over in Sheffield.
Let’s talk about the value of the Hostel
What is it like staying in a hostel in London? It was surprisingly comfortable! It was clean, the people were respectful, and it felt pretty safe. Additionally, there were locks for storing our stuff (our luggage didn’t fit but it would have been nice if it did). Also, each bed had a light and an outlet for charging your electronics.
Was it affordable? Compared to other lodging options, incredibly. Hostels tend to be in a strange middle ground on cost for 2 people. The cost of a hotel room, a private hostel room, and a shared accommodation room tend to be similar. The location is what helped us make this pick since it was so close to the station.
This hostel did not include towels for the shower. No issue for us since we brought our own. We also brought earplugs that were most useful. In fact, you should review this list so you know what to bring on your trip. But they did include clean sheets for us to make our bed with and an optional breakfast for an extra charge.
Trip Cost Breakdown – London Hostel
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Cost Breakdown and Cost Saving Opportunities
London is super expensive! We selected the cheapest option for the night we could find. the $72.52 was for both of us to stay the night. We just needed a place to lay our head. This location is a 5 minute walk from Kings Cross, so we hoofed it over there to save an extra couple bucks.
Making sure to get the seat reservation from Eurostar is really important. The seats tend to fill up quickly, even more so during the high season in the summer. The earlier you book the reservations, the better for your wallet. However, in our case booking last minute, we were trying to find a train journey that would work. Compared to an extra night at lodging somewhere, the seat reservation is small – even last minute – if you can get to a less expensive accommodation.
This hostel had an 8 bed mixed dorm with shared showers down the hall. They also had breakfast for a small charge in the basement. We decided to starve. Just kidding, we had leftover snacks in our bags for breakfast.
Memorable Experiences and Key Take Aways of this Hostel
It is, and I can’t stress this enough, amazing to take the train! Even though it was over a 10 hour travel day, the train rides are so comfortable. There are places for your bags, you have loads of leg room, and often WIFI to use for entertainment (as if staring out at the European countryside isn’t enough entertainment already).
I wouldn’t recommend staying at a hostel for an extended period of time. It was good in our situation as a stop-over at a primary transportation hub. I would also recommend staying in a hostel for a night if you are getting into London late at night so you have the morning to get to your real lodging and still have the day to explore! It will save a few dollars that can be put to use for activities. Here is how you explore London on a budget.
Any challenges or lessons learned from this trip? Yup. Even though it is fairly comfy, we didn’t get much sleep. People come and go, it’s loud, alarms go off sometimes, and it’s bright. Now, we know much better what we are getting into for the future!
Hostels aren’t the right choice for everyone, but they do have their place! Don’t discount them too quickly because they can save a good chunk of cash in the right circumstances. We were able to check in late, leave early, shower, and get 8ish hours of sleep. Would we do it again? Absolutely we will.