London is known for its many neighborhoods, different cultures and various atmospheres. Each district feels different and has its own characteristics. That makes this city so special. It’s still so great to get to know this enormous metropolis together with my family, after almost a year we aren’t even halfway.
This time we brought a visit to one of London’s most famous districts: Camden Town. A neighborhood with a distinct vibe and special character that is hard to miss. Famous for its location along the Regent’s Canal, the streetfood, punk music, markets, concept stores and more.
Camden is known as the more punky part of London. Punk turned into Camden in July 1976 at the Roundhouse, which is still a popular music venue today. Before the 1970s, Camden was a deserted part of North London and although it doesn’t resamble in any way how it used to be, of its pre-punk days or glory punk days, this place is still much more grungy than other parts of London, even though it is nowadays very commercialized.
Camden is touristy, but Londoners also like to visit this place during the weekend to experience the incredible range of food stalls, relax by the canal and drink a few drinks in the many pubs and bars. We visited Camden earlier during the winter, when we had just moved to London. Despite the cold, it was still very crowded. This time we decided to explore this lively district in North London in a somewhat more Summer setting.
Camden has its own underground station, which is on the Northern Line just above Eastern Station and you can get there via one of the Northern Line tubes (the northern line splits a lot). There is also a station on the overground line called Camden Road Rail Station. This station doesn’t end in the center of Camden, but is not far away either. After a short walk you’re in no time at the Camden High Street.
Characteristic of the appearance of Camden Town are the facades. The commercial buildings in Camden High Street are increasingly becoming an artistic expression of what is offered in the building. You can imagine that these facades are a popular backdrop for many photographers and bloggers. Another nice example of beautifully decorated facades are the houses on the western side of Hartland Road. Here is a list of about fifteen buildings that are all painted in a different pastel color. A beautiful picture in a side street that is only visited by a handful of tourists. Of course Lara and I also had to take some pictures here.
Camden is a really big hit among locals and tourists, something that immediately strikes you when you’re in the heart of the neighborhood on the Camden High Street. A long street with on the left and right hand different shops with bright colored facades and various street markets. People often talk about the Camden Market, which makes it look like there is one market. However, the name is a collective name for six different street markets of Camden Town. The markets are seamlessly merged, so it’s not surprising to think that it’s one big market. In addition, the same products are also offered in some markets, so an outsider will not realize that they’re walking across a different market.
When you walk through the Camden High Street you will cross the bridge over the Regent’s Canal, where also the Camden Lock Market is located. One of Camden’s biggest attractions. The Camden Lock Market is the original market where it all started in 1974. This market is next to the Stables Lock Market the most popular market of Camden Market. This partly covered market mainly offers stalls with art, jewelry, books, various handmade items and vintage clothing.
The largest and most popular market in Camden Town is the Stables Lock Market. This atmospheric market is located under a railway viaduct where formerly the stables of Camden Town were found. The Stables Lock Market is characterized by the many sculptures of horses. This market is partly covered and is divided over two levels, most stalls are nowadays to be found under the two large arches of the railway viaduct. If you love vintage and home decoration then you definitely have to visit this market.
When you’re a real foodie, then the KERB Camden Market is really the place to be. This food market is open seven days a week and offers 35 different food stalls to grab a bite to eat. You’ll get the latest cult cuisine in the city here. If you’d rather go for a sit-down meal, then you can also visit one of the many established restaurants.
After a delicious Mexican wrap with beans and chili, we decided to follow up with an ice cream at The Chin Chin Laboratories, Europe’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream parlor where ice-cream is frozen to order amid billowing clouds of liquid nitrogen-generated steam. If you want to buy an ice cream here, make sure you bring cash, because they don’t accept cards.
We continue our way towards Regent’s Canal, which is adjacent to the Camden Lock Market. The walking path of the Regent’s Canal stretches from the depths of Paddington all the way to the east to Stratford. You can explore the canal by joining one of the (themed) boat tours or water busses or by following the walkway path along the canal. Upon arrival we immediately got an offer to sail with the music boat, which incidentally must be a lot of fun, but in the end we chose to explore the canal by foot.
The walk along the canal is very nice because it’s quiet and chilled and you sometimes feel that you aren’t even in London. Hard to believe that lively Camden Town is just around the corner. Striking are also the well-known narrow canal boats, some of them are very creative decorated or even have a small garden on the roof. A special contrast with the fairly luxurious houses along the canal.
Regent’s Canal is located between two parks: Primrose Hill, a huge park with stunning views over London and Regent’s Park, where you can also find the London Zoo. If you spend the whole day in Camden Town, then a visit to these parks is definitely worth it. – After a long walk along Regent’s Canal we continue our way up to the Prince Albert Road. In the end it’s very easy to end your walk through Camden Town at your startpoint. And so we did.
If you’re in London and curious about Camden Town, then try to spend a whole day in this area. Visit all the markets, walk through the streets with colored facades, take pictures, lay down in the park, enjoy the views, walk through the London Zoo before you have diner and drinks on a fancy roof terrace. Try to come early and preferably not on weekends to avoid the peak crowds a bit.
Would you like to plan your visit in advance and want to have more information about Camden Town en the Markets? Then please take a look here.