Explore the Markets of Camden Town, London
A Guide to Camden Markets
Explore the Markets of Camden Town
Camden is a hive of activity all hours of the day and night. It is home to one of London’s most famous markets, with people heading there to shop and explore the areas surrounding bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.
The borough itself is spread across a large area from the southern point of Holborn to the northern edge of Hampstead Heath, so there is a varied landscape to match the varied people who famously inhabit Camden Town.
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The market is the most obvious place to visit during your time in Camden and is an experience not to be missed. There are actually several markets in the northern end of Camden Town, the two most notable are Buck Street Market and Camden Lock. As the one time centre of London’s alternative scene there are many unique and not-on-the-high street delights to be found in these stalls. There are daily markets in Camden ready for you to delve in and discover some treasures.
The changing face of Camden has been the source of debate in recent years, with many claiming it’s not what it once was. However, if you know where to go you can still find plenty of vintage fashion gems and first edition books amongst the more commercialised wares some stalls offer.
*** This post was first published in January 2013. Some of the content has since been updated along with Links, Pins and images.
Buck Street Market is the first market you will reach if you walk from Camden Town tube station and it’s home to the iconic neon and spandex clothing that have long troubled the mothers of teenagers everywhere. Here is where you will find an array of t-shirts printed with funny captions or reprinted logos of bands that are bound to be older than those that buy them.
Camden Lock Village is, predictably, by the lock. You will find this area of the market next to the railway bridge, home to the most tattooed old lady you are likely to ever come across. She sits most days by the river charging people to take her photo, actually a clever plan considering how many do want to do just that.
The stalls in this area have a Japanese pop culture feel and are influenced heavily by all things manga and anime. Here the wares extend beyond clothes into unique crafts, brick-a-brack as well as costumes and jewellery.
Inverness street market is a little off the main street and was once the place to buy fruit, veg and other more traditional market goods. There is still a healthy supply of these perishables to be had if you get there early enough, but increasingly this market is stocked more like Camden Lock.
The Stables Market is the final member of the set, home to vintage and retro everything. The feel of this market is different to the rest and is more higgledy-piggledy that the other markets.
The Stables Market was once the home to around 700 – 800 horses working in the Victorian railway goods depots of the area. There were stables, tunnels, saddlers workshops, blacksmiths and a hospital for horses. The stables and ‘Horse Hospital’ Victorian railway goods depots required large numbers of horses for the transfer of goods and shunting of wagons.
The Horse Hospital has been converted to use as shops with a music venue on the upper floor.
You can pick up bargain antiques, furniture, and many little homemade gems. This is also a great place to grab lunch, as a feature of Stables is the many food stalls for eating as you shop.
Camden Market has changed over the years, but not in a bad way. Take a little time to explore and you will find the heart of London’s alternative town still going strong.
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