Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Bright, bold, and fantastically irreverent
The most striking feature of Clink78 is its bold style and punk sensibility. Punk rockers The Clash were famously tried here in 1978 for shooting pigeons, and many of the original features of this 200-year-old courthouse, including the high, sculpted ceilings and original witness stands, have been preserved. Guests can even sleep in refurbished prison cells. Juxtapose these elements with bold color schemes, flashy neon signs, rebellious mottos, and giant disco balls, and it's clear a fantastically irreverent sensibility has overruled the court. Clashbar, which offers live music and other events seven nights a week, and the lounge area are fun and funky, with vintage lamp shades, hexagonal-shaped side tables and street art.
On a busy street with heavy traffic, about a 10-minute walk to King's Cross transport hub
Located on busy Kings Cross Road, Clink78 is about a 10-minute walk to King's Cross Train Station and about a 15-minute walk to St. Pancras International Train Station and Eurostar Terminal. On the block are a small off-license shop, a Thai restaurant, and a pub. Most visitors choose to stay in this area for proximity to the trains and for the lower rates, as it's a bit removed from the tourist heart of London.
Functional, hostel-style accommodations that range from dorms with 16 beds to private rooms
Clink78 offers a variety of room options, including mixed dorms, women's dorms, and single, twin, double or triple private rooms, some with en-suite bathrooms. The dormitories have bunk beds and range from four to 16 beds per room. Some of the dorm rooms have en-suite (push button) showers and toilets, but often no view, although fun stencil art and bold colors brighten up the vibe. The Prison Cell rooms, which once confined criminals, might feel too claustrophobic for some. They've been refurbished, but the heavy metal doors, barred windows, and steel toilets (now decorated with playful stencils) remain. A quiet female-only section called the Bird's Nest offers more space and serenity, and additional amenities such as hairdryers, free towels, and extra hooks for clothes.
Geared to the student and backpacker, Clink 78 has large communal spaces designed for socializing.
Hands down, the most striking elements of this hostel are the public areas, many of them converted from former courtrooms, and the communal kitchen. The Internet and PC Courtroom, which has Internet access terminals, has a central vintage chandelier that's been refashioned into a giant hybrid plastic and wire mobile with stencil shapes. While rates tend to be slightly higher than at Internet cafes, for guests with their own laptops the Wi-Fi is free for the first 14 days. The basement bar is flashy and fun. A Travel Shop across from the reception desk can answer questions, handle bookings, and is a go-to source for any forgotten travel essentials. It also offers a free walking tour of London.
Adapted from an austere 19th-century courthouse into a hostel-style accommodation with punk sensibility, Clink78 is good value for travelers on a shoestring budget who still like a bit of style. Think street art, neon signs, and bold colors juxtaposed with preserved Victorian judicial details such as witness stands and a magistrate's courtroom that now houses an Internet lounge. Clink78, located within a 10-minute walk of King's Cross Train Station, offers a range of rooms, including mixed dorms, all-women's dorms, and private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Be aware, though, that as with many hostels, the facilities are basic.