Heading to London for a visit soon? Then you’ve no doubt started to do your research to identify the best places to spend your time. After all, the city is super diverse, with so many amazing boroughs and hidden gems to see that all offer something totally unique to their visitors.
After a bit of research, or from speaking to people who have visited the city before, you’ll have most likely come across the Camden neighbourhood. It’s one of our absolute favourite spots in the city, and to show you why we’ve put together a handy area guide for you.
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First things first… what’s the vibe like in Camden?
‘Fun with an edge’ is a good way to sum up the feel of Camden Town. The days when it was defined only by punk music and grunge are long gone, and today it’s an exciting place for young adults to live, work and generally enjoy as it brings in a diverse group of people every day. There are painters, teachers, lawyers, doctors, bakers, and even budding rock stars living side by side on these streets, so you never know who you may spot. It’s also well connected to other great parts of the city, as it’s served by the Northern Line on the London Underground, so you can get across London with ease from Camden, and to the Hyde Park International London as painlessly as possible.
What to see and do in Camden
The iconic Camden Market, which is home to a range of quirky specialist music shops and fashion-forward boutiques, in Camden Town, is the ideal place to pick up a beautiful piece of vintage clothing, an unusual gift or a limited EP from your favourite band or artist.
Take a tour of world cuisines in the market in minutes, devour a fry up from a local café on the high street or discover flavours and dietary delights you have never encountered before. Particular diets like veganism are rife in Camden, so expect to find things like vegan pie shops and vegan ice cream parlours.
Where to eat in Camden
Camden might be known for its markets, bars and clubs, but it is also home to a good share of great restaurants and cafes, with new options popping up almost daily. Celeb favourite Gilgamesh, in the middle of the Stables Market, offers impressive pan Asian food in a charming setting, switching to a club later on as the evening progresses.
Across the road, Belgo is a Camden food mecca loved for its Belgian food offering and its vast range of beer, while Gordon Ramsay’s York and Albany contributes contemporary British food.
Countless food stalls crowd the markets of Camden with delicious offerings, but there’s also a great cafe scene, much of which focuses around the Parkway area. Check out Falla & Mocaer for their amazing assortment of homemade cakes and brownies – perfect for those with a sweet tooth!
Nightlife in Camden
A night out in Camden Town truly is a night like no other in the city, or anywhere else in the world! You may start your evening with a few tranquil drinks in one of the area’s many bars, but before you know it you’ll be on your feet dancing to some of the greatest music London has to offer at the likes of the famous KOKO and the Jazz Cafe.
Also, don’t worry about getting home or back to your hotel, as the city’s night buses and the night tube serve the area well, so you can relax with us and your hotel rewards, knowing you’ll be treated like a VIP as soon as you return.
A few fun facts
- Camden Market has been rated as London’s fourth-largest attraction with roughly 100,000 people hitting the stalls and shops every weekend. The market has around 280 stalls and 54 shops.
- Fittingly enough, the market recognised as the Stables Market used to be the Picksford horse stables as well as the horse hospital that assisted the animals that pulled the Picksford vans. It is the biggest part of the markets and one where chain stores are not permitted.
- Camden Lock isn’t a single lock but is really three of them. Hampstead Lock no. 1 composes of twin locks, but counts as one single lock. Hawley Lock and Kentish Town Lock make up the other two. The term Camden lock applies to all three of them.
- Camden is home to the highest population of students in London, with over 24,000 higher education students, and more higher education institutions than any other local authority.
- The original food stall in Camden Market was first opened by June Foulds, an Olympic sprinter who competed in the 100 metres relay in the 1952 and 1956 games, obtaining bronze and silver, respectively. Called simply “The Stall”, it started in 1974.
- Bob Dylan supposedly played his first UK concert in December 1962 at the Pindar of Wakefield Pub in Gray’s Inn Road (now recognised as the Water Rats).
- Camden streets also act as a modern art gallery with pictures of Amy Winehouse and John Lennon, as well as work from artists such as Hunto, Dank, Sr. X and Alice Pasquini.
- On the Camden website, you can request information about your community in 91 various languages.
- Renowned writers who have lived in Camden include Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Dylan Thomas, Virginia Woolf and other members of the Bloomsbury Group, George Orwell and Agatha Christie.
- Camden has three inner-city nature parks – Camley Street Natural Park, the Belsize Woods and Russell Nurseries Nature Reserve in Belsize Park, and the Adelaide Road Nature Reserve.