Search for cheapest prices: YHA London Earls Court
Admittedly, London can be a very expensive city to stay in; especially if you want to be within walking distance of the exclusive sights and shops of the Westend district; however, for those travellers who simply need a place to put their luggage and rest their head after a day of sight seeing, the Youth Hostel Association has accommodation in some very convenient areas of the city, which will allow you to stick to your budget and enjoy the best London has to offer.
The YHA Earl's Court is a cut above your average youth hostel. Housed in an elegant Victorian building, which is typical of the surrounding area, it features bright, cheerful communal areas an outdoor terrace with picnic tables and clean, comfortable bunk beds, all in the heart of south west London. The hostel is open 24 hours, so it is perfect for late night revellers and it features board games, shared bathrooms, a launderette, cots, a self catering kitchen, a library, luggage store, TV room and free Wi-Fi access, more than some four and five star hotels in the area offer! Guests can also book into basic but serviceable private rooms if they wish.
The hostel is in an excellent location, mere minutes from Earls Court exhibition centre and a short tube ride from Olympia exhibition centre, so if you are attending a concert or a show, such as the Ideal Home Show at one of the exhibition centres, this is a great place to stop for the night. In the immediate area of Earls Court, which enjoys a multi-cultural, bohemian feel, you will find The Troubadour Cafe, which has hosted legends such as Jimi Hendrix, throughout the years; The Finborough Theatre, which shows plays by up and coming writers; and the Cine Lumiere at The Institut Francais, where you can watch some eloquent art house cinema.
A little further afield, in South Kensington, which is abut a 15 minute walk or a short bus or tube ride away, you will find some of London's grandest sights, including the Victoria & Albert, Science and Natural History museums, the Royal Albert Hall, Harrods and Harvey Nichols Department Stores for some exquisite window shopping and Imperial College London, which makes this hostel a great place for prospective students to stay at.
The Sainsbury’s supermarket in Cromwell Road and the M&S Simply Food Store near Earl's Court tube station will ensure you have some tasty goodies to cook in the kitchen, although if you decide to head out for a meal you will be spoilt for choice, with chains such as Strada and Pizza Express nearby, exotic offerings at Mr Wing and Cambio De Tercio and fine dining at Balans brasserie just a few minutes from the hostel.
Transport links form the YHA are good, with Earls Court tube station just a few minutes walk away, from which you can travel on the District and Piccadilly lines. The District line will take you to Paddington Station for the Heathrow Express train, or you can access Heathrow directly via the Piccadilly line. You also have a direct link to King's Cross St Pancras Station where the Eurostar terminus is located.
Some may balk at the idea of staying in a hostel, but the YHA are known for their good standards and in many ways the hostel beats some of the budget hotels in the area. It may not be ideal for a special or romantic break, but you can't argue with the combination of cheap rates and central location. Rooms on the second floor tend to be the quietest, and avoid the basement rooms, as these tend to be dark and noisy at times.