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Selene

December 15th, 2023

10 things to see in Camden Town

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Selene

December 15th, 2023

10 things to see in Camden Town

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Camden Town is a mess.

A marvellous, artsy, charming one, but a mess nonetheless. Within the muddle of markets, the colourful street art, the music venues, and the occasional Mohican punk is the beating heart of London’s counterculture. Although Camden Town may have become a little stereotypical and gentrified in the past few years, the place still boasts an eclectic variety of things to do, night and day. Whilst Camden Town is widely known for its market and for its large shopping options, exploring this North London neighbourhood is about much more. From rainbow roads of terraced houses to strolls next to canals, here are some of Camden Town’s best activities.

 

Camden Stables Umbrella Street

This umbrella-haven is one of the must-sees of Camden Stables Market, especially on sunny days:  when the golden light shines through the hundreds of umbrellas, it truly becomes one of the most colourful places in London. This curiosity is reminiscent of an Asian alleyway and is one of the few “insta-worthy” places in the city.

 

Camden Market, Camden Lock or Camden Stables, or whatever you want to call it

Yes, yes, I know. Camden market is already famous. However, this does not mean that is overrated. Camden Market is a wicked beacon of clothing shops, arts and crafts stalls, restaurants, and bars. Located in former stables, there are lots of yards, alleyways and nooks to explore, including an underground literal Aladdin’s cave, with basement retro stalls. Open seven days a week, there are over 1000 stalls of nearly infinite variations to discover.

 

Amy Winehouse Statue

Amy Winehouse is arguably one of Camden’s most famous daughters. She sadly passed away at 27 in 2011 and the neighbourhood payed her a tribute by inauguring a bronze statue in Camden Stables Market, 407 Chalk Farm Road. This artwork, created by Scott Easton, is in fact located near one of her favourite spots,  The Lock Tavern. Most of her music was ideated and produced in Camden Town: so if you are curious to see what inspired her songs, do pay a visit!

 

Regent’s Canal walk

Camden’s Regent’s Canal, named after the prince Regent, is truly one of my favourite places in London. The canal passes through Camden’s beating heart, the market and its high street. I suggest taking a whole afternoon (preferably a sunny one) to wander along the water, from Little Venice to Regent’s Park and the London Zoo. You will likely encounter glorious street art as well as the pompously-named Camden Pirate castle – a recreation centre – and the occasional narrow boat. To reward yourself for this long walk, you can take a pint to cool off in Camden Lock’s lovely pubs.

 

Primrose Hill

This one is also very famous, but what can I say, it really is a staple of Camden’s way of life. Primrose Hill Park is only 10 minutes away from Camden’s High Street and offers one of the best views in London. However, be prepared to share the space as picnickers are especially fond of this spot, particularly during sunny days.

 

CyberDog

If you want the alternative Camden experience, you have to try shopping at CyberDog. It is a futurist dance and clothing accessory shop, which boasts two giant robots at its entrance. Do not get intimidated and check out its neon basement: the variety and quantity of goth gear and steampunk accessories they sell is amazing.

 

Gig at The Roundhouse

Camden’s iconic performance venue, The Roundhouse, opened in 1966 and hosts some of the best events in the whole city, with for instance the summer ‘beach’ that take place on the rooftop to the annual Roundhouse Rising gigfest. Theatre performances are also incredible, and they are staged in a round scene, almost like Shakespeare’s Globe. The architecture is stunning: the building is an old transformed railway engine that was built in 1847.

 

Camden Pubs

Camden is renowned for its nightlife: the club and pub scene are memorable. From good old British boozers to gastropubs, every type of establishment can be found and hosts one of the best live music scenes in London. The Hawley Arms is a perfect example: it is cosy, located just across Camden Lock, where Amy Winehouse used to work and right next to the famous railway bridge sign. It is a true gem with comfy sofas, fireside armchairs and excellent live music.

 

Camden’s Colourful Houses – Hartland Road

Just next to Camden Stables, you’ll see Hartland Road, a quiet residential neighbourhood that has some incredible street art that runs over from nearby Hawley Mews to a row of multicoloured terrace houses. Hartland Road gives Notting Hill’s Lancaster Road a tough rival in terms of being competition for the city’s most colourful street.

 

Camden Live Music

Camden Town is a dynamic spot to see established bands or upcoming known artists. Great live music venues in the area include Camden Assembly, the Jazz Café, Koko, the Electric Ballroom and The Underground, an incredible basement venue on Camden High Street.  The Dublin Castle also hosted some huge bands before they became famous like Blur and Arctic Monkeys, as well as Coldplay (we won’t hold that against Dublin Castle though!).

 

About the author

Selene

Hi! I'm Selene, a French and Italian GO LSE exchange student. I love London's vibrant cultural scene and wandering around in search for hidden historical anecdotes.

Posted In: Study Abroad

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