Camden Market - London
Camden Market has been a popular hangout for the famous, infamous and trendy since it began (in its current form) in 1974. A collection of six markets selling arts, crafts, clothing bric-a-brac, fast food amidst pubs, restaurants and cafes that are the haunts of the some of the UK’s most notorious rock and pop stars, Camden Market is a unique UK and London attraction that plays host to over 150,000 visitors every weekend.
Situated between the lock of Regent’s Canal – Camden Lock – near Hampstead Road, Camden Market offers visitors an exciting and eclectic shopping experience in the form of a collection of markets:
Stables Market is a Mecca for alternative fashionistas with the most up-to-date in off-the-wall fashion and shops selling clothing from other eras for those hoping to chisel together a more individual look. There is also a wide selection of objet d’art on offer in the 500 stalls and shops situated here, many, if not most, of which are open all week. The shops are housed in renovated industrial buildings and the old Horse Hospital, where barge pulling horses went for treatment before the arrival of steam. Stables Market can be reached on the Underground to Chalk Farm station on the Northern Line.
Camden Lock Market is the original part of the market – established in 1974 – and for many still the best. Items on sale here include juggling equipment, music in every format from old 78s, to vinyl, cassettes and CDs; games, juggling accessories, movies and books; home furnishings, fabrics, paintings and prints; handmade jewellery and designer clothes. Camden Lock Market is open all week and is served by Camden Town Underground station on the Northern Line.
Buck Street Market is a hotchpotch of a couple of hundred stalls in alleyways off Camden High Street opposite Inverness Street. Stalls sell a selection of clothing, clubwear, alternative fashions, and are well worth a look for stallholders own designs and creations. Buck Street Market is open seven days a week.
Inverness Street has traditionally been a fruit and veg market since 1900 but has given way to clothes, jewellery, crafts et al to the point where there are now just a handful of stalls selling fresh produce. As with all the other parts of Camden Market, Inverness Street comes replete with a selection of cool eateries and cafes.
Camden Canal Market was destroyed by fire in February 2008 and is closed pending decisions about its future.
Camden Market offers a lot more than just shopping however, and has a vibrate night scene that is a draw for people from all across London, the UK, and the world.
The Electric Ballroom is a famous nightclub that has played host to revellers since the 1950s. Providing a launch pad for many UK pop careers, the club also doubles up as an indoor market during the day at weekends. The Electric Ballroom is easily found, situated just a few metres from Camden Town Tube Station.
Camden Market is also home to many pubs
rowdy, crowded pubs, alive with youth and straining to the sounds of music, comedy and often bawdy hedonism.
The Hawley Arms (2 Castlehaven Rd - 020 7267 7106) once home to Hells Angels was until recently the local of the bad boys and girls of the UK music scene – most notably messrs Winehouse and Dougherty. Badly damaged in the Camden Canal Market fire in February 2008, The Hawley is currently undergoing repairs.
The Devonshire (The Dev to regulars on 33 Kentish Town Rd - 020 7284 0562) is Goth central with black clothing, cider and teen and post-teen torpor being the high orders of the day, everyday. The Dev is a popular spot to get charged up on fermented apples and music to slash your wrists to before heading off for continued self-abuse in the Electric Ballroom
Bar Risa (formerly Dingwalls on Middle Yard, Camden Lock - 020 7267 1577) is a popular summer venue with a great interior and large roof terrace decked out with picnic tables from where drinkers and diners get a great view of the markets below. Downstairs is still home to the Dingwalls music venue that has seen many of the great names in British music headline here, including Madness and the Stone Roses.
The Lock Tavern (35 Chalk Farm Rd - 020 7424 9067) is back in style following a refurb by the new owner – DJ John Carter. Drawing a young ‘it’ type crowd, The Lock still manages to welcome all to its sofas and garden, as beer and traditional English fare is consumed to the accompaniment of tunes dropped by guest DJs.
Getting to Camden Market
Nearest tube to Camden Market is Camden Town