Camden is one of my favourite places in London. Hands down. I go once a month minimum. It is so easy to spend the whole day exploring Camden Lock and its surrounding quirky shops and pubs and restaurants. For the benefit of this article, I am going to focus exclusively on Camden Lock and Camden Market- composed of a diverse community of creative sellers and street food traders. But don’t just take my word for how amazing and popular Camden Market is, its history speaks volumes: starting off as a small, temporary arts and crafts fair only open on Sundays, today it is London’s largest market and open seven days a week! Below is a list of things to do in Camden:
1. EAT LIKE A KING.
You can travel the world without leaving England when you visit Camden. The market stalls offer a diverse array of dishes from Indian, Japanese, Korean, British, Italian, American and Mexican to name a few. Top tip: walk around all of the stalls first, including those in the main market and those near the Cereal Killer Cafe. This is for two reasons: number one to take advantage of all the free samples every stall ALWAYS gives out, and number two: to make sure you see everything that is on offer- there is nothing worse than paying for food and finding something else you would have preferred five minutes later. This is much easier to do than you might think due to the maze like structure of Camden’s winding cobbled paths! The food stalls offer both sweet and savoury so make sure you opt for starters, mains and desserts. Chin Chin Labs’ liquid nitrogen ice cream is defo worth a try (the brain freeze isn’t as bad as you expect it to be).
2. Buy Camden’s orange juice.
Linked to the theme of food above, you NEED to try the orange juice that is squeezed daily in front of your very eyes. A small milk bottle is £1 and a large one is £2.50 – you can’t beat these kinds of prices for a drink unrivalled in terms of freshness. It will wake you up and give you the energy you need to keep exploring Camden all day long.
3. Visit Cyborg.
To this day, Cyborg never ceases to surprise me. Every time I enter through the doors I feel like it is my first time; spanning over three floors I don’t even know how to describe what exists in this building. There are loads of gadgets, neon clothing, a DJ and live dancers (including a pole dancer), and in the basement there is a sex shop for all Fifty Shades of Grey fans to get excited about!
4. People Watch.
Like the hip and trendy area of Shoreditch, Camden also attracts all sorts of colourful and unique people. From stall owners to those walking around the market, you will never be starved of entertainment. The best things to do in Camden is the fact it is FREE and you can literally sit for hours and let the world go by. Position yourself near the elevated section of the Lock where there is always live music to blend in with the crowd and stare without being spotted!
5. Visit the Canal.
Need an Insta-worthy backdrop for your latest picture? Then look no further than Regent’s Canal which runs through the heart of Camden and its markets. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can also take a boat tour to Little Venice and back! In winter, this quiet and atmospheric waterway can be bone chillingly eerie and make you feel as if you have stepped into a horror film. On rainy and misty autumnal days, the canal is truly enchanting, and in the summer the water’s sparkles are blinding. Whatever the weather, the canal is always full of personality at any time of the year.
6. Shop till you drop.
I have already covered the food markets, but some things to do in Camden are not the same without scouring its endless stalls selling everything from vintage fashion, handmade jewellery, home wares from around the world, and statement art pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. Leading up to the market itself are rows upon rows of neighbouring boutique, independent and branded shops. Pay attention to the façade of these shops – each exterior reflects the interior, for example my favourite is the Indian/Asian influenced shop which has a giant elephant head above its door.
7. Admire the street art.
One of the most common things to do in Camden is look at all the street art. Camden is one of the (if not the) best place to go for street art in London. Portraying various themes such as celebrities, fashion, political issues, British culture, the true beauty is that you won’t be able to understand some of Camden’s street art, but that’s what makes it so wonderful – it’s open to interpretation. On most walls, shop doorways and on the side of buildings are street art dedications to the late musical legend Amy Winehouse. You also can’t miss the Amy Winehouse statue in the middle of the Lock- there is normally a queue of people armed with cameras, desperate to take a picture. Her presence hangs over Camden which is the way it should be for such a musical talent.
8. Dine/Club at Shaka Zulu.
Set over an impressive 27,000 sq ft in Camden’s Market, Shaka Zulu is London’s largest South African restaurant, bar and club. It offers amazing food such as steaks of Zebra fillet, Harissa Crocodile Loin, and Chermoula Wild Boar Tenderloin. Prepare to have your taste buds tested while things to do in Camden! You can also experience Shaka Zulu’s exclusive drinks, live music and dancing. The architecture of this venue will truly blow you away, 20ft high warrior statues as well as carved wooden murals are noteworthy features that stand out.
So there you have it, a list of things to do in Camden. Can you think of anything else? If so, then answer in the comment section below.
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My name is Nicole Brownfield and I am 20 years old. I am studying English Literature and going into my 3rd and final year of Queen Mary University, London in September. I am currently the Editor-In-chief of my University magazine 'CUB' and my dream is to pursue a career in journalism after I graduate. I love living in London and am obsessed with sourcing out food and drink places, as well as exploring the parts of London I have never been to before. My boyfriend and I have recently turned pescatarian and this symbolises my goal to constantly keep bettering myself and to stay healthy and disciplined. Every day I try and achieve something as I want to look back and be proud of the life I have lived, and to make my family proud too.