Our last weekend in London was approaching, and we were debating whether to visit Stonehenge or Camden Market. The Camden Markets were rated as fun, lively, and having great food and pubs by our Facebook fans, and Camden Town should always be part of any London vacation.
In northwest London, Camden Town is home to the popular Camden street markets. By bus and Tube (subway system), the markets are easily accessible. Weekends will be busy with tourists and young kids shopping for all kinds of goods.
High Street is a main route into the Camden Markets and is often crowded on the weekend, making walking in opposing directions difficult. It reminds me of South Street in Philadelphia, where buildings showcase art and design.
Crowds are kept in line by body piercings, tattoos, souvenirs, alternative fashions, music tapes and records, shirts, restaurants, and pubs. It would take me all day to walk up and down the street from the Tube station to the Camden Locks overpass.
Weekends feel exciting when you’re here. While enjoying a drink near the canal, let’s shop, grab some food, and watch people.
London’s Camden Markets
In addition to its location on the London Canal network, the area was first recognized during the railway network development. Today, it has been redeveloped into a hip, retail tourist attraction. The site is home to six markets:
Inverness Street Market
Camden’s oldest, the original market, is more than 100 years old. Initially a tiny fruit and vegetable market, it now includes stalls for clothes and souvenirs. There are a few fruit and vegetable stalls in the area, but they are not as popular as they used to be.
Buck Street Market
Clothes are sold at an outdoor market. You will see it as one of the first markets you pass on your way to the Camden Lock Market and the overpass. Over this market is a sign that reads, “The Camden Market,” but that market is further down the street.
In this area, a great deal of negotiating occurs. Most of the items are overpriced printed t-shirts and women’s dresses. There is little walking space, and the market is crowded. It’s OK to browse, but nothing special.
Camden Lock Market
Camden Lock Market was one of the first modern markets to open in the area in 1974. Camden Town’s tourism value increased as the market flourished in the area.
A canalside area is filled with stalls selling second-hand clothes, books, souvenirs, crafts, and fast food. Architect John Dickinson designed the three-story market hall in this area.
Camden Lock Village
Camden Lock Village is situated on the banks of the canal, and it is a place where artisans and designers sell their unique wares. You can also sit on a scooter prop facing the canal while eating.
Historic Stables Market
There are thousands of stalls in Camden Town’s Stables Market, which is the most significant. As a result, we spent most of our time lost in the market.
This market’s name refers to its design, which is reminiscent of the horse stalls in Camden Town. Many of the stalls still have their original doors.
There is something for everyone at the Stables market. Many international fast food joints offer international cuisine, antiques, retro clothes and collectibles, crafts, and alternative gothic fashion.
Camden Town’s Historic Stables Market has antique luggage.
There were a lot of food stalls, but most of them served fast food, which means fried or reheated frozen foods.
A food stall at Camden Town’s Historic Stables Market
Cyberdog was the biggest attraction in the stables market. It sold neon PVC and rubber clothing in cyber-style. From the outside, it looks like a techno club. Watch people coming and going from this store if you enjoy people watching.
This market has so much exciting stuff you’ll probably spend hours exploring and calculating how much it will cost to ship home.
Electric Ballroom is only open on Sundays, so we didn’t go there. This is where independent designers’ stalls are.
Enjoy a ride on the long narrow boats that pass through the locks on the canal. Boats offer meals and entertainment along the way.
At the inSprial Cafe in Camden Lock Village, we had a vegan meal and organic beer overlooking the canal. The area was a great place to watch the boats pass the crowds of shoppers and enjoy a stiff drink, coffee or tea.
The Camden Market should be on your list of things to do in London when traveling there.