From markets to music, London's Camden Town offers a wealth of eclectic experiences.
Camden Town has been a residential area since the 1790s, but it was only the development of the Grand Union canal and the improved railway transport that turned it into a bustling part of London. Today, visitors and locals gather to hunt for treasures in Camden's markets, stroll by Regent's Canal, gaze at the beautiful buildings, sample cuisine from around the world, listen to live music and soak up the vibrant and diverse atmosphere. Many famous people, including Dylan Thomas, Walter Sickert and Amy Winehouse, have made Camden their home.
The labyrinthine open-air markets and myriad retail outlets of Camden will keep the keenest shoppers busy, with everything from vintage to futuristic designs on offer. The individual markets are:
- Camden Lock Market – crafts, books, clothing, jewellery and fast food.
- Camden Lock Village – clothing and accessories, as well as a range of unusual items.
- Camden Market – originally Buck Street market, this sells fashion for all tastes.
- Inverness Street Market – a few of the original fruit stalls remain, alongside clothing, footwear and souvenirs.
- Stables Market – a mix of permanent shops and stalls selling household items, antiques, alternative clothing, food and much more.
- There is also an indoor fashion market at the Electric Ballroom, which is only open on Sundays.
Food and Drink
Feeling peckish? You'll find food from around the globe at Camden's many eateries and street vendors. Going to a show at the Roundhouse? Try their pre-theatre menu. Check out top-quality burgers at Haché, Alpine staples at the atmospheric Méribel or pan-Asian cuisine at Gilgamesh, where you can stay on to enjoy the trendy bar and club.
You're never far from a bar in Camden. Try Scottish import BrewDog, the legendary Dublin Castle on Parkway or The World's End, opposite Camden Town Tube station (Northern line). Camden Town even has two breweries, Little Brew and Camden Town – look out for their excellent beers in local pubs.
Live Music in Camden
Camden has always been a hub for London's live music scene, with legendary venues that have launched many big names. Check out Koko, the Underworld and Electric Ballroom to catch the latest bands. You can also see top jazz and blues performances at the Jazz Café or the Blues Kitchen, while the Black Cap offers a glittering array of drag acts.
See theatrical performances from top UK companies such as the RSC, as well as films, art installations and gigs at the Roundhouse. You can also catch comedy at the Camden Highlight or see an eclectic mix of fringe performances at the Etcetera theatre.
Activities in and Around Camden Town
Check out edgy art exhibitions at the Cob Gallery, contemporary photography at Proud Camden or a huge range of modern visual arts at the highly-acclaimed Camden Arts Centre. You can explore Jewish life and heritage at the Jewish Museum.
If you’re looking for something a little more active, take the kids down to the Pirate Castle, where the whole family can enjoy a range of water-based activities. And there's always ZSL London Zoo - set within Regent's Park. It's great fun for kids and adults alike. From here, explore the area along the picturesque Regent's Canal. Trendy Primrose Hill is also well worth a visit not least for the spectacular city views from the top of the hill.
London Hotels in Camden Town
There'a lots of accommodation in and around Camden. A good budget hotel in Camden is the Smart Camden Inn hostel. Other options in the area include the Melia White House, the Pullman London St Pancras and the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.