Last visit July 2012
When you come out of the Camden Town tube station, the 1st part of the Camden experience you'll have is the wild looking shops along Camden High Street with giant shoes and spiders adorning the tops of the multicolored buildings, then the Camden Market which is mostly clothes and accessories and Camden Lock Village (formerly the Camden Canal Market), which runs along Regent's Canal to the north of the main market which is a mix of souvenirs, clothes and little food booths.
Crossing to the other side of Camden High Street there are the main markets of Camden Lock and Camden Stables, much of which is indoors although with fresh air flowing through. Here you can find clothes, home furnishings, antiques, music, and lots of places to grab a bite to eat. Every time I go it seems like they've renovated a bit more of the Stables, there's a section on the upper floor that has had photography exhibits (also for sale), this time it was of the early days of AC/DC and the film "Withnail and I".
Camden seems to attract more locals than Portobello Road which seems to cater more to tourists and skews more towards goods for younger people with a big selection of alternative clothing, jewelry, vintage clothing, etc.
The attached website has a listing of all of the various shopping areas and their opening times. It appears that most everything is open every day, the Electric Ballroom only on Sunday. The weekends are when the market is really bustling, I've been before on a weekday and it was pretty dead. If you go on Sunday, the Camden Town tube station is closed to outbound traffic so you have to walk to the Mornington Crescent station.
What to buy: Alternative clothing, vintage clothing, home decor, souvenirs, antiques, Camden has a bit of everything
The market is located in the former Pickfords stables and horse hospital which served the horses pulling Pickford's distribution vans and barges along the canal. Many of the stalls and shops are set in large arches in railway viaducts.
Chain stores are not permitted and trade is provided by a mixture of small enclosed and outdoor shops and stalls, of which some are permanent, while others are hired by the day. In common with most of the other Camden markets the Stables Market has many clothes stalls.
What to buy: It is also the main focus for furniture in the markets. Household goods, decorative, ethnically influenced items, and secondhand or 20th-century antiquesare, many of them hand-crafted are among the wares on sale, and also includes clothing and art pieces for alternative sub-cultures, such as goths and cybergoths. Two of the more well-known of these shops are Black Rose, which caters for goths, with items such as coffin-shaped handbags, and Cyberdog, which houses a huge range of cyber-style neon PVC and rubber clothing.
Noisy and touristy, I cannot say I liked it. The atmosphere is lovely but actually I cound not say they sell something unique; I had the impression you could find the same stuff in every 2à hand market on every European capital. Well, I am happy I've gone there but I am not sure I will come back againg.
Sourbugger never has or never will have any urge to dress in a way that looks like death warmed up.
They say Black is the new Black, but believe me it has never been OUT of fashion around here.
The place sell tons of clothing for those who wish to make such a statement, along with hair care stuff, fangs, wings, wigs jewllery and gothic gifts.
They also sell PVC club Wear, but don't get me started on that subject again or i'll end up dribbling (again)
What to buy: Don't ask me I'm far too conventional
Camden Market is one of London's most popular weekend tourist attractions, offering fashion and crafts; a mix of people and foods from every corner of the world. The area has been made famous by films such as 'Withnail & I', pop icons 'Madness' & Oasis, and historic writers such as George Orwell, Mary Shelley and Charles Dickens. The Camden Market we know today is along way from the way it was in the 1800s and a short history of this make this clearer.
The Camden market of today has now less than 4 distinct markets and is complmented by shops with clothes and merchandinsing from around the world. Camden Market is a shoppers paradise!
What to buy: From punk and hypies dressing to all sort of t-shirt and jewellery. Shoes and napsack also available. You could see all kind of stuff when you stroll down the market street.
What to pay: You can expect to spend from GBP5 to GBP50. It's all matter of your choice and bargain.
Lots of so yammy shops for us who like the gothic style-and also rock-style,hippies,and so on so on!
I just wished to have more money and bigger luggage!
I bought lovely shirt from shop called Darkside. I also bought three pairs of earings,and my husband bought one pair and he also bought two t-shirts.I would have wanted to buy so lovely shirt,but they didn´t have my size.We must come back third time (and even more!)
They had so good service at Darkside-and at many others too.And everything was much cheaper than in Finland.
What to buy: Cothes, jewellery small decorations to home etc..
What to pay: Things are cheaper than same kind in Finalnd.Can´t say about other countries.
Now this store is among the weirdest I have seen in my life. Not only is it guarded by two giant android robots, it also features half-naked gogo girls and t-shirts that react visually when the bass starts pumping. Everything is neon coloured and crazy, just like back in the 1990s when techno music had its heyday. In the basement of the shop there is a real DJ and if you pushed aside the clothes racks you could create a great dancefloor. The shop calls itself the home of "intergalactic space fashion" - a name quite fitting, I'd say!
I would have loved this shop 15 years ago, but with 30 I'm definitely too old to run around in neon shirts with fake fur collar... Ah, the good old times!
What to buy: techno clothing and accessories
What to pay: not the cheapest place in London, but not the most expensive either
Between Camden Market and Camden Lock, you can find numerous other shops. Most of them seem to belong to three branches. They sell either gothic and punk clothes or touristy t-shirts and souvenirs (like the notorious "My wife/brother/dog/... went to London and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"), or they are tattoo and piercing studios advertised by some creepy looking people with tattoed faces and rings through their eyebrows. In case you like stuff like that or want to shock your mum by wearing one of the above mentioned t-shirts combined with Doc Martens, leather trousers with metal rivets, pink sunglasses and three new piercings through your tongue, nose and eyebrow, you should spend some time here. Otherwise, I'd recommend going straight on towards Camden Stables Market.
What to buy: see above
What to pay: One of the stores announced that it sells the "cheapest Doc Martens in the city"
Camden Stables Market is not far away from Camden Market, but completely different in its atmosphere. Long ago, stables for the horses pulling barges bordered the canal. These times are commemorated by numerous statues of horses in the market. Between them, you can find everything you want - mainly vintage and alternative clothing, antiques, food and ethno kitsch. There must be hundreds of shops, and while of course some of the stuff is the same as everywhere, the vintage shops can hold real surprises. Dresses from the 1950s are as common to find as 70s "Grease" style leather jackets. Another great thing to shop for are mirrors - a store somewhere deep in the heart of the stables sells dozens of them and seems to be specialized on baroque mirrors in all sizes. In between all the shops and stalls you can find several food stalls where good international food (Chinese, Indian, Caribbean, Italian...) is sold.
What to buy: Clothes, especially vintage. Mirrors of all kinds and sizes. Pseudo antiques from Africa. Whatever else you want...
What to pay: I had the feeling that clothes were more reasonably priced here than in nearby Camden Market. In the end, it all depends on what you want to get.
Camden Market is probably the most famous place in London to go shopping for clothes. Located on one end of Camden High Street, it consists of countless little stalls where you can get new t-shirts, dresses, trousers, shoes, blouses, skirts and whatever else one could use for dressing. Many of the stalls sell exactly the same stuff, so really unique clothes are hardly found. I therefore was a little disappointed by the market. Furthermore, the clothes here are quite expensive, but it might be possible to barter. My wife tried a winter coat and when she was indecisive the price suddenly fell from 65 to 45 pounds.
What to buy: Clothes of all kinds, ranging from wellies to ethno dresses
What to pay: Depends very much on what you want to get - with a little bartering good prices may be achieved, but without it I doubt that Camden Market is really a good place for bargain hunters
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