Camden Town is a very interesting place in London. It is completly different to other streets like the Oxford Street with his "normal" shopping-shops. In Camden Town are a lot of small shops where you can buy souvenirs and clothes. The shops offer many different printing t-shirts, pullovers and there are also shoe-stores.
It is worth a visit, because the streets are so busy and there are so many interesting things to see.
You'll get a lot of new impressions if you visit Camden Town!
Camden High Street should not confuse those who visit the area. While it may be a high street, there is not much High Street about this particular thoroughfare. True, this is a major shopping area, but it lacks many of the so-called High-Street chains, and it preserves the funky and alternative sub-culture feel of the Camden Markets. Rather than Marks and Spencer or Top Shop, Camden High Street is lined with record shops, tattoo parlours, sub-culture clothing stores and, yes, shops that cater to drug cultures. The popularity of the area, combined with the gentrification of some sub-cultures, mean that it is not hard to find chic restaurants serving Brazilian fusion or sushi on side-streets, but the main drag continues to be brashly and unabashedly low-brow British.
While the Lock Market may be the more picturesque of the Camden Markets, the Camden Stables Market is the largest and more historic of the two. Named after the Stables and Horse Hospital that was on this site until the Canal became mechanized, this area specializes more in clothing and housewares than the Lock Market. Still, there are no brand stores here, and the merchants are a healthy mix of itinerant sellers and permanent shops. An enclosed area was constructed in the late 2000s, and now the area has a more permanent feel to it, but that does not diminish its appeal to counterculture. While disputes continue to rage about the redevelopment of the area, it is fairly certain that the popularity of Camden Stables Market, and the entire Camden Markets area, as an alternative to the sanitized commercial culture of other high streets will ensure that at least part of its original character will continue to be maintained for the foreseeable future.
Camden Markets are a collection of various commercial areas around the Regent’s Canal and Camden High Street area that are best known for their embracing counter-culture and their offering of various items and services that appeal to subcultures such as rockers, goths, punks and other groups that are usually identifiable by both their music and their modes of dress. The Camden Lock Market is perhaps the most famous of the grouping, as it is located along the water’s edge and includes both tchotchke/miscellany sellers and a rather large food court. The markets have proven to be accommodating and flexible, and rather than Camden Lock Market beginning to feel like a commercialized replica of whatever the initial market was, it has allowed for all manner of handicraft sellers and local artisans to set up shop and offer their wares. Certainly, there is no shortage of crap, but the Lock Market still has a feel of a flea market, rather than a carefully managed craft bazaar. The food court has also embraced the city’s diversity, and you will easily find stalls that sell Brazilian, Indian, Japanese, Arab and other cuisines beside stolid English fare. Don’t miss the chance to eat on the back of a fake motorcycle!
North of Euston station is an area called Camden Town, where a canal passes through the area, and under the High Street. Camden Town is a bohemian area, where many cultures and nationalities live in harmony. There are several ways of reaching Camden, by bus (No 24 runs from Paddington station), underground (Camden Town station on the Northern Line), or by walking from the North London Train terminals Euston, Kings Cross or St Pancras.
The best way to explore the area is by walking, the High Street has an interesting collection of Shop fronts, several markets, a walk by the canal, and interesting pubs and international restaurants.
My son and I had an oriental buffet in a cafe called Qine, we enjoyed beer in a courtyard pub called the Worlds End, and had coffee in a coffee bar in the Stables Market.
I think everyone must visit this lovely part of London.
The many markets are spread out & can cater to practically every need. Lots of eateries, cafes, restaurants, clothes & garment stores, reputed bars, tattoo artists, funky shoes, souvenir stores, health foods, music stores, specialist dress shops, etc.
The Lock also adds to the look, feel, and vibe of the place. If you wish take the Canal ride of the most scenic & beautiful stretch of the Grand Union Canal: from Camden Lock to Little Venice (Warwick Avenue) due west, via Regent's Park. This is a 45 minute ride, with an adult return costing 7 GBP. On the way you'll pass some gorgeous mansions with their gardens extending down to the canal-side.
There are various locks in Camden, so it offers the chance to see these in operation! Observe how a barge approaches, then it enters the lock (enclosure) and the gates are closed behind the barge. Next the water level rises... in no time it reaches the level of the body of water that was originally at a higher altitude. Next the front gates are swung open for the barge to continue it's upstream journey. The same process is applied for a journey in the opposite direction, where a barge enters the lock with water at a higher level which is subsequently emptied till the level matches the downstream section. Great fun to watch & learn ;-)
There are market stalls with lots of fast-food joints, and many have really quirky seating arrangements - on top of a line of scooters cut in half and stuck to a wall or railings overlooking the Canal.
Also there are nice cafes overlooking the canal, including ones with a high open terrace, to sit and just relax with a drink while you watch the world pass by ;-)
*** This place is so popular that Camden Town tube station only serves as 'alight only' on Sundays till 1730 hours. So for your return simply walk either north to Chalk Farm, or south to Mornington Crescent, each being a mere 5 minute walk away, and both served by the Northern Line.
Camden is a funky neighbourhood in north London. It's eclectic, colourful and crowded. Camden suffered a bad fire a few years ago but has most definitely bounced back. Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest times, Mondays are pretty quiet. Many of the market stalls and shops are open through the week but the weekend is the real experience.
The high street has lots of colourful shops and shop fronts to see as well but the markets themselves are the attraction. There are actually a number of markets in the area, from two on the streets, the high street and Inverness Street, the huge Camden Lock market overlooking Regent Canal and the older and just as interesting Camden Stables market a little further up where Camden High Street turns into Chalk Farm Road.
All the markets have a wide assortment of booths and stalls where you can buy new and old, vintage and up and coming designer. The weekends will be crowded, mind you, so if crowds make you feel claustrophobic, it might not be the place for you but if you brave the throngs, you could be well rewarded. There are lots of treasures to be found and plenty of food stalls for a cheap meal. You can try many types of ethnic cuisine at affordable prices.
On my last visit to London, I went to the "new" Camden Market after they had the big fire there. I loved the "new" market with all the beautiful sculptures of horses at the entrance to The Camden Stables Market.
London has so many interesting places of interest, but Camden Town is my all time favourite. And now they have even made it better with all the beautiful sculptures of horses at The Camden Stables Market. There used to be a Horse Hospital/Stables (since 1854) there and all these sculpture are a wonderful tribute to honour that time.
I go there every day when visiting London, it is so lively and the people who visit are so diverse - and this is the meeting place for people of alternative culture, f.ex. Gothic and Punks. Camden High street is lined with stores on both sides, many of them selling alternative clothes.
There are several market there covering a vast area: The Camden Market (formerly Buck Street Market), which is an outdoor market with 200 stalls mostly selling clothes and accessory. It is so narrow there though and gets very crowded and it is a bit pricey.
Inverness street market: Both fruit and vegetable stalls and clothes-stalls.
Camden Lock Market: by the canal, wich is the first market which opened in Camden Town in 1975. It is both an indoor and outdoor market and it has got very diverse selection of goods for sale. And a lot of food-stalls and bars. You can also get palmistry on the ground-floor of Camden Lock Market ;)
Camden Canal Market: this market has been totally reconstructed, with a lot of stalls and especially food stalls with food from all over the world and the chairs are small motor-bikes. A lovely area right by the canal.
Camden Stables Market: This place is just a heaven for a market-nut like me. I could go to London and only visit Camden Town and stay there the whole day and be very happy about that.
My favourite is Camden Stables Market which is connected to Camden Lock Market (which is mostly indoors). These two markets are awesome and in Camden Stables you can find all these sculptures of horses and blacksmiths - plus many food-stalls with food from all over the world, and a very ornate food area (see my photos). Here are also myriad of small and large stores with all kinds of clothes and trinkets and many many vintage stores.
The market opens at ca 10 and stays open til 18h, but after that there are so many bars, clubs and restaurants in this area that it is always lively there. Especially during the weekends though - I am actually not a fan of going there during the weekends as it can get unbelievably crowdy. But always fun - especially if you are just going to have a meal and watch the crowds go by. I am getting very nostalgic when writing this. It is such a fantastic place!!
As VT only allows for 5 photos (which by far is not enough to cover Camden Town) I have added a travelogue with more photos.
this whole area is a pleasant place to spend several hours or even the whole day. There are loads of touristy shops selling arts and crafts and T-shirts, etc. There is also a good variety of ethnic food stands. Of course, the main draw is the locks and the narrow boats you can take a ride on.
At Camden you can find the past, the present and the future in only a few blocks. It's amazing how whatever you may think of, and a lot of thinks that I never thought of, lol, you can find on sale there.
Also, and once again as in most parts of London, the different people you can find it's, in itself, an aspect that enriches the whole experience of spending an afternoon in Camden.
Arriving in Camden Town, I could see why my friend loved this place. Very bohemian and she fits right in. We went down to the horse market, and although they were still busy revamping after the big fire, there was quite a bit to see and buy. A very interesting place this.
Before the 1790’s the area that is now Camden town was fields and open land.
There were a few scattered farms and two coaching inns, the "Mother Red Cap" (now the "Worlds End") and the "Southampton" (now "Edwards"); these marked a dangerous landscape frequented by highwaymen. Many an unfortunate ended his days swinging from the gibbet near what is today Camden Town underground station.
In 1850 Camden was just a small village when the railway arrived and brought with it Irish settlers.
Camden grew into a centre for shopping and entertainment including two big music halls “Camden theatre” [now Camden palace] and the “Bedford”.
Camden underground was opened in 1907.
Camden is now known for its markets, which attract tourist’s especially young people looking for alternative items of clothing.
It is also known for its antique shops.
Camden Market was one of my favorite visits in London. The eclectic, bohemian labyrinth of shops was a stimulus of sight, sound and smells. I loved seeing all the gothic and funky fashions, and the cluster of food vendors, mingling the odors of various ethnic cuisine. It's the kind of place to hang out and explore, and just enjoy the laid back atmosphere.
Campden Town really spun me out! Such a colourful, crowded, happening and bustling place...it is hard to describe it.
The different markets are...Camden Lock Market, Inverness Street Market, Stable Market, Buck Street Market and Camden Canal Market.
The whole place is full of shops and stalls, restaurants, bars, and tattoo and piercing joints...all mostly of the 'alternative' kind. It has an intense mixture of styles....punk, gothic, funky, bohemian....anything really that spells 'alternative'
Here you can buy things that are hard to come by elsewhere. Stuff like jewelery, artifacts, leather jackets, home furnishings, clothes, boots and shoes and collectibles, plus heaps of souvineer shops.
To get there by tube take the Northern Line to Camden Town Station.