10 Unusual Places To Stay In London

By Victoria Thomas Last edited 17 months ago
Unusual Places To Stay In London
Cosy up in a capsule above Southbank. Image: Stickynotes

Fancy bedding down under London Bridge? Suspended over South Bank? How about grabbing some zzzs with T-Rex? If you like your sleepovers with a side of the unexpected, check out some of London's most unusual places to stay.

1. Little Red River Boat

All aboard The Heron

The Little Red River Boat is owned by someone called Rosie, who together with co-host Christopher (sadly not Jim), offers The Heron for rent on Airbnb. She (the boat, not Rosie) is a broad beam river barge, moored at various London locations near Limehouse, with a full-sized double bed, ensuite, wood-burning stove and complete kitchen. Perfect for feeling like a captain.

A stay on The Heron (three-night minimum) starts from £90 per night. Book here.

2. Hazlitt's very British luxury

Hazlitt's total old fashioned indulgence

"Civilized, charming and oh! So curious" is how the 1718 boutique hotel Hazlitt's describes itself. Here you can expect old-school hospitality and the kind of London property many Americans think we all live in. The Frith Street den offers four-poster beds, plenty of luxurious furnishings, a library complete with roaring fire and an honesty bar. It even gets a name check from Bill Bryson in Notes On A Small Island.

A Club Double Room starts from £255 per night.

3. Room with a zoo

For a rest with a roar, grab 40 winks at Gir Lion Lodge

You get more than a view at Gir Lion Lodge, ZSL London Zoo's new accommodation. Be prepared to feel like shouting,"ah zabenya," as you wake from a sleep soundtracked by the roars of lions. From May-December, you can hide away in a luxury lodge on the Land of the Lions development, with a two-course dinner, breakfast and two-day entry pass to ZSL London Zoo. You even get to take sunset, torchlight and pre-breakfast tours with zoo experts. Any closer and you'd be in the enclosures themselves.

A Gir Lion Lodge experience starts from £378 for two people.

4. Flirt with a yurt

Feel a world away from the city in a yurt

Camping in the city? Fall asleep with the foxes at this Highgate yurt. Cosy up with a double bed, wood-burning stove and Persian rugs. There's a private garden entrance to your little tent and washing and cooking facilities in an adjacent building. Make friends with resident kittens, Rocky and Flash, while you munch on al-fresco breakfast.

A stay in the Highgate Yurt costs £99 per night (two-night minimum).

5. A room in the tomb

You probably won't be sleeping at London Tombs

You'll probably not be doing much sleeping at one of London Bridge Experience & Tombs Silver Scream Sleepovers. After terrifying you with a scary movie, the ghosts invite you to bed down under the arches of London Bridge or in the horrific museum itself. You can upgrade to Sir John Rennie's study and "enjoy" a rickety bed and threadbare sheet, while plenty of spooks haunt your slumbers.

Silver Scream Sleepovers are not currently available to book, but keep an eye on their website. Tickets cost from £30-£100.

6. Doze with da Vinci

Enjoy your own Science of Sleep

Spend a night among the science at Astronights — the Science Museum's sleepover experience. Get after-hours access to the galleries and watch a midnight IMAX screening of  Batman Vs Superman in 70mm. Keep your peepers open for workshops and a torchlight tour of the museums. Free drink, dinner and breakfast is also included.

The next Astronight takes place on 18 June 2016. Tickets cost £180.

7. Night at the museum

It's dino snores all round at the Natural History Museum

Drop off under a diplodocus at the Natural History Museum's Dino Snores sleepover. Or stay up all night and listen to live bands, sample edible insects, hunt some treasure or scream along to a monster movie marathon. Tour the exhibitions after hours, maybe catch some stand-up comedy or do a food tasting. You also get a three-course meal and hot breakfast included. Will there be any time for sleeping?

The next Dino Snores exclusively for adults takes place on 5 August 2016 and costs £180.

8. Dream sleepover

Grab some extra guests at your Hamleys sleepover

It's officially a package for birthday parties, but there's nothing to stop you booking the Hamleys Dream Sleepover for anything — except possibly the cost of it. Available for a minimum of 10 children, the Saturday experience lasts 12 hours overnight and includes Hamleys entertainers, exclusive hire of the entire store, red carpet arrival for your guests, store tours, treasure hunts, loads (and we mean loads) of sweet stuff, gift bags, games and, best of all, complimentary DIY ice cream at Gordon Ramsey's Heddon Street Kitchen.

Price (not surprisingly) is on application, and we're a bit terrified to ask, but you can read more about the Hamleys Dream Sleepover here.

9. Ghostly glamour

More scares than snoozing at The Langham Hotel

It may look just like a really nice London hotel, but room 333 in The Langham Hotel is apparently the most haunted hotel room in London. It's been giving guests the creeps since 1865 and resident ghosts supposedly include a murderous doctor, suicidal German prince, a butler, footman in a powdered wig, one with a penchant for tipping guests out of bed — and even Emperor Napoleon III drops in. Members of the English cricket team found it so eerie, they moved rooms after the taps came on by themselves — and that wasn't even in 333.

A Club Room at The Langham Hotel starts from around £300, and you can ask specially for Room 333 if you're feeling brave.

10. Sail above South Bank

Spot the room? Perch on the Southbank in A Room For London

Stay the night in a work of art by booking into A Room For London. Poised on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall (it's the little wooden pod you can see on the left), this installation by David Kohn and Fiona Banner offers two people the chance to spend a night with 360 degree views of London. The capsule holds a double bed, kitchenette, ensuite and secret library "bridge" — only accessible by ladder.

It's currently out of bounds during the refurbishment of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, but A Room For London usually costs £300 per couple and you can find out more here.

Last Updated 25 May 2016