At this point in my trip this was probably the largest market I’ve been to thus far. I spent nearly the whole day at these markets and its surrounding areas. I was lucky enough to meet up with some people familiar with the area who showed me around the place. The second you exit the tube station you know that you’re no longer in a typical London we’re so familiar with in Hollywood movies.
The first thing you will notice is the number of tattoo and piercing shops around. Not to mention the number of metal/punk rock folk handing out flyers to invite you to their shops. The market is about a block away from Camden Town station on the Northern Line. The first set of shops you’ll see is the large green sign that say Camden Market. This is only a small piece of the market and the much larger one, Stables Market, is down the street from here. These markets have a very large variety of things. You’ll find everything from old antique chests, mirrors, shoes, clothing, statues, dolls, posters, old records, etc.
Unlike Borough Market there are a lot more restaurants surrounding the canal. This means a lot of patio seating! If the weather is good its definitely a good place to hangout and have a few pints. Aside from the shopping of market trinkets, there are random boat rides operated by people who might be homeless; even though the dock says “no mooring (no docking)”. There’s live music around the area too. There’s this really exotic store called Cyberdog. You have to go in once and see for yourself. It’s a clothing store but something beyond clothing in terms of the experience inside.
Food. From talking to people about this place before going, I was told Camden was “the” place to go to for street food. I have to say though, coming from Toronto, will make the food here feel so fake. For example, the Chinese food here, is nothing more than “White-Chinese” food. You know. It was mostly things like, chicken balls, spring rolls, terrible fried rice, and noodles that make you want to puke. I’d definitely avoid the Chinese food here. The Indian food here is no different. It’s definitely a no-no if you’ve ever had real Indian food in Toronto. All that aside, the other foods aren’t bad. The Turkish food is really good; as it is around most of Europe. They had these really simple Turkish wraps at this one stand, but they were really good. The pizza at a couple stalls were really good. I was told to try this one restaurant in the middle of the market called Gilgamesh (named after a king in ancient times). It’s supposed to be Japanese fusion. I’ll have to make a reservation and go sometime this week.
After spending a few hours in the markets, I ended up walking around Camden High Street. Here there are a bunch of pubs. It was Camden Rock week. It’s basically a week where a bunch of live bands get lined up at every pub on the street and play for free; although some pubs were charging a cover fee later in the night. If you ever happen to be in town during this time and are into rock, alternative, or indie, this is definitely something you have to check out!
Camden Lock is definitely an area every tourist should visit. The experience you get here is totally different than visiting the typical tourist areas in London. You’ll definitely enjoy your time here. You can either relax at a pub or see some of the crazier things they sell in markets. There’s a variety of experiences to be had here.