London's Quirkiest Places to Stay

One of a Kind Stays in London

Stay somewhere with a bit of character to make your trip to London even more memorable.

01 of 06

Stay in a Converted Barge on The Regent's Canal

Gainsborough Wharf
Inside the Osbert barge at Gainsborough Wharf.

Drift off to sleep on the gentle waters of the Regent's Canal with a stay in a converted narrowboat at Gainsborough Wharf in east London. Choose from two boatels: Osbert, a cozy retreat for two with a wood-burning stove and a petite kitchen; and The Palmer, a larger option for up to four that is kitted out with cool mid-century furniture. Both boats feature private decks at the front and back and come with record players and vinyl. The location puts you within walking distance of Shoreditch, Dalston and Islington so you're spoilt for choice when it comes to eating and drinking options but you can also request that the kitchens be stocked full of produce to cook up your own private feast onboard. Ship Ahoy! 

How to get there: The nearest tube station is Haggerston. 

02 of 06

Go on Safari at London Zoo

Gir Lion Lodge
ZSL London Zoo
London NW1 4RY, UK

Sleep within roaring distance of the lions at London Zoo by spending the night in a safari-style lodge within the grounds of one of London's most popular attractions. Gir Lion Lodge is home to nine colorful cabins inspired by the lions' native Gir Forest in India. Overnight stays include breakfast, dinner, a drink on arrival, entrance to the zoo for two full days and exclusive tours (including sunset and torch-lit excursions). Children under five are not permitted. 

How to get there: The nearest tube station is Camden Town.

03 of 06

Spend The Night in (a Converted) Prison

Clink 78
Clink Hostels
78 King's Cross Road, London WC1X 9QG, UK
Phone +44 20 7183 9400

Between King's Cross and Clerkenwell, Clink 78 is a colorful hostel in a converted 19th-century courthouse where Charles Dickens once worked as a scribe. The original facade remains and the protected building sits in a conservation area a 10-minute walk from King's Cross Station. Six of the former prison cells are now rooms and two wood-paneled court rooms are used as a cinema and an internet room. The buzzy Clash bar is located in the basement and hosts DJ nights and live music events. It's named after the London band that once stood trial at the court. 

How to get there: The nearest tube station is King's Cross. 

04 of 06

Step Aboard a Luxury Yacht in East London

Sunborn Yacht Hotel
Sunborn Yacht Hotel
Royal Victoria Dock, Western Gateway, London E16 1AA, UK
Phone +44 20 3714 8111

Get a taste of the high life with an overnight stay aboard a five-story superyacht in east London. Moored at the Royal Victoria Dock, Sunborn London is kitted out with traditional cruise liner interiors like teak wood paneling, Art Deco lights, chandeliers and brass railings. The cabin-style rooms offer much more space than the average London hotel room and the top suite features a sauna and an enormous balcony. Buffet breakfast is served each morning and you can enjoy a la carte dishes at lunch and dinner. A traditional afternoon tea is available daily and you can enjoy drinks out on the terrace in the summer months. The yacht is a 5-minute walk from the Emirates Air Line, an urban cable car that connects Royal Victoria and North Greenwich.

How to get there: The nearest tube station is Royal Victoria. 

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

Stay at a Not-For-Profit Floating Hotel in the Royal Docks

Royal Victoria Dock, Western Gateway, London E16 1FA, UK
Phone +44 20 3637 7401

Also at the Royal Victoria Dock is the Good Hotel, a floating not-for-profit venture that offers training and jobs to long-term unemployed people in the local area. The floating platform was transported from Amsterdam, where it operated as a pop-up project for a year. The hotel looks like a black shipping container and has a green astroturf roof. The sleek industrial interiors feature low hanging lights, exposed ceiling pipes, rough woods and lots of concrete. All rooms have river views and are cleverly designed to make the most of the compact floor space (the smallest rooms are just 140 square feet). Tuck into tapas dishes and sharing plates at the restaurant. 

How to get there: The nearest tube station is Royal Victoria.

06 of 06

Spend a Night at The Museum

Dino Snores
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
Phone +44 20 7942 5000

Stay overnight at the Natural History Museum after the doors close to the public and enjoy a bucket-list sleepover in one of the main galleries. The Dino Snores experience for kids includes a torch-lit trail around the museum, a dinosaur t-shirt-making workshop, an interactive show presented by a museum scientist and a live animal show after breakfast the next day. Adults can get in on the action too with an event for grown ups that includes a three-course meal, a comedy show, live music, an all-night monster movie marathon and more. You'll need to take sleeping bags with you but soft floor mats are provided. 

How to get there: The nearest tube station is South Kensington.

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London's Quirkiest Places to Stay