As a native English speaker, I was confident arriving in London that even though I’d never been there, I’d be able to figure out the train system. I was right, it is very straightforward and also has a smart phone app to help you figure out which trains to take where! The new wombat’s hostel in London is located very close to public transport making it super easy to find.
After getting off the tube at Tower Hill station, I noticed the magnificent medieval building right in front of me. What a great first impression. It was the Tower of London, a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. Upon arrival at wombat’s (about 10 minutes by foot from the station), I instantly felt at home. They have such an inviting lobby, with chairs and cushions, outlets everywhere, a luggage room, and smiling staff.
At reception I was given a booklet with a map of London and an incredibly helpful list of recommendations for sights, shopping, eating and drinking around town. After settling in, however, I headed down to have a drink at the womBar in the basement. WOW. This is by FAR the coolest hostel bar I have ever been to! The brick archways and unique decor give the bar a very cool, kitschy feel that I really enjoyed. The kitchen is also connected and is huge and fully stocked with cookware. I had my first pint of proper English Ale and started chatting with the other travelers, who were also having a great time.
As for the location, not only is wombat’s London close to a tube station, but it is also in the East part of London, which has a really cool bar scene. It’s outside of the Financial District, so in my opinion, more compatible with backpackers’ style. The bars here also stay open later than most, which is a bonus! This is also where all the Jack the Ripper tours start, because the East is where the murders took place.
There are several other free walking tours (with expected tip at the end) and countless tours that cost around 10 pounds. I highly recommend the Free Jack the Ripper tour as well as the Free Royal Tour which meets at The Churchill statue in Parliament Square.
If you are looking to see, eat, or drink something specific, the wombat’s staff are the best people to ask and have never steered me wrong. I have no doubt this new womBaby will become one of the most popular hostels in London in no time!w