Camden is six markets rolled into one:
Camden is famous the world over for its market and when you visit Camden, you’re in fact visiting six different markets. The collection of the six markets make Camden the largest street market in the U.K.
The sprawling market attracts both Londoners as well as overseas visitors and every weekend more than 100,000 people come to the Camden Market to browse, shop, be entertained or just to soak up the atmosphere. There are dozens of bars and restaurants so it’s a convenient place to shop and meet up with friends as well.
When Camden Market says that they are home to London’s most creative people, you’ve got to believe it. In Camden Market, you’ll find avant garde fashion designers, talented artists, musicians and craftsmen. This is certainly the place to come to if you need something a little different or if you’re looking for a costume for a fancy dress party. You can find clothing from almost any period here – from Gothic to vintage, swinging sixties, punk, etc., or you may wish to look like the King of Rock.
What’s at Camden
- Camden Lock Market – the original Camden market and is now probably best known for its arts and crafts and is visited by millions of tourists every year
- Stables Market – the biggest market in Camden and is great for clothing, music and antiques
- Canal Market – This smaller market alongside the Regents Canal features clothes, head shops, food stalls, potpourri and posters
- Inverness Street – Inverness Street Market has been a traditional street market for over 100 years. It has a number of great fruit and vegetable stalls but these days also includes many stalls selling clothes, bags and other goods.
- Buck Street Market – Nicknamed ‘The Cages’ after the metal grilles that surround it – this is a smallish area of outdoor stalls selling a variety of new and secondhand clothes and CDs.
- Electric Ballroom Market – It’s the first market you come to after leaving the tube station – it is part of the Camden station building. It is only open on the weekends when it hosts music fairs and a thriving indoor fashion market.
Camden is not about shopping only, every Friday and Saturday night, Camden Lock falls into a fit of laughter as the Jongleurs Comedy Club opens the doors. This is a very popular show and to secure tickets, bookings need to be made in advance.
History of Camden Lock
Camden Lock was once a timber yard. Timber was unloaded from large river barges to the smaller narrow boats that plied the inland canals of Britain. As more efficient forms of transport grew, the role of canals as commercial waterways began to decline. The site closed in 1971 signalling the end of an era, but also the beginning of another.
In 1973 when Camden Lock opened as the original arts and crafts market, it was a makeshift collective of workshops and traders set against a rich industrial heritage. The market has not stopped growing since that time and everything else is history.
Camden Town tube station is on the Northern line and once you exit the station you’re straight out onto Camden High Street and less than a five minute walk to the main markets.
A really pleasant way to get there is to take a canal cruise from Little Venice.
If you think of anything I left out of this post, please feel free to put that on the comment.