Camden Market is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, and is open 7 days a week, from 10 am to 6 pm. The area has long been recognised as a hub of creativity and a bohemian lifestyle, most recently during the fabled ‘Britpop’ era. The market itself consists of several separate markets, selling a mixture of craft items, fashion, jewellery and food from all over the world. The separate markets are as follows:
Camden Lock Market
This market is located next to Regents canal, in an area which, until 1974, was in a fairly run down state. When plans to build a motorway through the site were abandoned, the existing temporary market, selling crafts, began to expand, and today the stalls and shops around the Lock sell goods including books, new and used clothing and jewellery. There are also many stalls selling fast, ‘street food’ style snacks from around the world.
This market is located in a building which was originally a horse hospital and is architecturally noteworthy for the fact that many of the stalls are located within the arches of railway viaducts. The stalls in this market sell the likes of household goods, decorative furnishings and antiques.
Buck Street Market
This is an outdoor market which sells mainly clothing. On some of the stalls, the items will have been designed by the person selling them.
The Electric Ballroom
This is a nightclub close to Camden Town Tube station which operates as an indoor market at the weekend. It’s the place to visit if you’re looking for a unique and quirky gift or souvenir. Most of the stalls are run by independent dealers who specialise in providing out of the ordinary items, many of which they will have designed and crafted themselves.
Camden Market is well served by public transport and is easy to reach from all over London. If you’re setting out from Paddington, for example, then it is just over 2.5 miles away on foot, and the walk itself takes a pleasant route which cuts through Regents’ Park. Upon leaving the park simply walk along Parkway before turning left onto Camden high Street itself. Walk past Camden Town Tube station and the Electric Ballroom and you’ll be at the markets and locks. The shops along the High Street are also worth exploring, as many of them embrace the same niche, bohemian sensibility as the stalls on the market.
The two main public transport options for the journey are bus and tube. The bus is the simpler of the two in this case, requiring just the one journey on the 27 bus which runs directly between Paddington train station and the markets. Using the Tube is slightly more complicated, as it requires a couple of changes. The best option is to take the Bakerloo Line at Paddington, changing on to the Victoria line at Oxford Circus, before finally catching a train on the Northern Line at Euston and alighting at Camden Town Tube station.