There is no denying that travellers are always on the lookout for gifts and souvenirs to bring home—a certain something that will help to remind them of their exciting trip. However, many travellers can often become caught up in buying cheap knick knacks and gifts from tourist traps. Putting together a list of top souvenirs to bring home from a UK trip can be difficult since there are just so many amazing things that you can shop for. To avoid purchasing something you may only decide to throw away in a few months, we’ve put together a short list of some authentic items that you may wish to consider when travelling to the United Kingdom.

Tea from Whittard and British Tea

If you are visiting the capital of England, London comes with its very own Whittard tea shop—a very popular chain tea shop that sells exquisite teas, both hot and iced. They provide a lovely selection of quality teas from across the globe. From fruit infusions and flowering teas to oolong and flavoured green. Why not sample a few of their teas from their house blends? If you’re not a big tea drinker, they also have a wide selection of coffee and hot chocolate for you to choose from. Not only that, they have incredibly creative flavours such as strawberry, tiramisu, and even salted caramel! If you miss out on shopping in London and are perhaps visiting somewhere further afield, there are plenty of tea shops hidden around most towns and cities. It’s certainly well worth a visit.

Chocolate and Sweets

cadbury chocolate

It’s no secret that the British are absolutely in love with sweets. The British are well-known for making some of the most delicious sweets (candy) and chocolate that is often craved across the globe. The famous British Cadbury chocolate bars taste so much better, compared to the reformulated ones that you can easily find in your local supermarket. Some fantastic favourites to try are Dairy Milk, Wispa and Aero. For travellers coming from the United States of America, the Hershey Company has banned the sale of Cadbury’s chocolate in the US, which means bringing back a bar of Cadbury’s chocolate will certainly be a special treat.

Museum Gifts

museum shop

There are plenty of museums dotted around the UK, but for travellers heading to London, you should take some time out to visit The British Museum and V&A Museum, which offer more than your regular museum souvenir shop. Admission to most museums in London is free, so your budget might be able to accommodate a visit to the museums’ shops. Both museums are known to commission special pieces and gifts for their own lines of accessories, homeware, and jewellery, which are based on their exhibits. Not only are some of the most commissioned artists based in the United Kingdom, but the collections are typically only available for purchase at museums. How’s that for a unique gift?

Vintage Treasures

Vintage pieces

England is a treasure trove of gifts and unique antiques that range from small simple trinkets to extravagant historic artefacts. With so many different shops for you to visit and what seems to be an endless selection of vintage goods for you to choose from, you are bound to discover something that will catch your eye. If you are spending enough time in London, you should definitely focus your treasure hunt on the numerous marketplaces, such as Camden, Brick Lane or the Old Spitalfields Markets.
The weekends, in particular, see markets popping up throughout London. In East London you can easily visit Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane Market and Greenwich Market to fill your bags up with authentic vintage gifts.

Union Jack Souvenirs

union jack souvenirs

For travellers visiting London, a short walk along the streets of Central London will unearth a world of ubiquitous souvenir shops selling key chains, hats and t-shirts emblazoned with the Union Jack. You can discover incredibly interesting keepsakes that will certainly commemorate your trip to the UK!
If you are one of those, who start to think about gifts just when you stand at the airport and realise that your trip is nearly over. Union Jack souvenirs are obviously the option for you. As you can easily get literally anything labeled with an Union Jack at any British airport. :)

Over the past years Hostelworld.com has launched campaigns starring celebrities, such as Chris Eubank or 50cent. In 2017 they rolled out their clickbait campaign featuring scandalous Charlie Sheen.

Having a filming in a fully booked hostel

We had been asked if this piece could be filmed at wombat’s CITY Hostel London on quite short notice – roughly a week before the filming.

If you have ever hosted a filming, you know how exhausting it can be to stand on the organisational side. Although One of our hostel managers was on annual leave at the time, Zsuzska, the remaining manager took on this challenge. Together with Katja, our front desk manager, she dealt with approximately a billion emails over the following days, shifted reservations and organized some additional manpower for the special occasion.

Fortunately, our hostel was fully booked and it was a day with plenty of departures and arrivals. Furthermore we had to hold back a double room in order to facilitate some takes there.

‘Sorry, would you mind to check in a bit later? Charlie Sheen is shooting in your room.’ So, that cost us some additional free drinks later in the evening ;)
We also had a huge group of 100 people having breakfast when filming started next to the breakfast area. Keeping noise at an acceptable level cost us another couple of rounds in our bar.

Overall, everything went smoothly and Charlie Sheen turned out to be a real asset to our hostel that day. He was laid back, hanging out on our terrace and in our chill-out areas, chatting and taking selfies with everybody.

The campaign behind it

Charlie`s clickbait campaign reached over 30 million views and had a broad reach throughout all social media platforms.
In 6 short videos, it plays with trending topics such as leaked and fake news. Hostelworld.com wanted to address misinformation around hostels and “highlight how their reputation, similarly to Sheen’s, is outdated”.
As thedrum.com puts it: “The films in the campaign end with a twist, revealing Sheen is actually just enjoying all the facilities a modern hostel has to offer. The series will run as skippable video and pre-roll ads across YouTube and Facebook as well as sites like Ladbible, TMZ, and Vice.”

A beautiful idea to polish up the reputation of hostels and we’re glad to be part of it. Big ups to Hostelworld.com and their marketing team!

All in all Charlie, it was a pleasure having you with us!

Furthermore find all videos in our favourites playlist here:

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