Lets be honest. More often than not the most hyped up things in life can be overrated. Like New Years, Halloween, Victoria sponge and anything that’s supposedly vegetarian from Greggs. And where can this stuff happen more than in the tourist traps that no North Londoner will ever want to admit to wasting their precious time, money and will to live at? Perhaps controversial to some, here are some of the most overrated places to go in North London, the side of the city that supposedly basks in the glory of having everything.
1. Camden Market
Dare I say it? Once the home of artists, musicians, artisans and those who were not afraid to be a little bit different, and cold hands would exchange warm cash over something wonderful and unique. That’s all gone now. Camden Market may be busier now than it ever has been but perhaps will evermore find itself living as a shadow of what it once was and living off its past glory. The once independent shops and stalls have been replaced by inauthentic T-shirt stalls, is insufferably crowded, expensive, and the only person you see with docs and a Mohawk is probably from Surrey.
2. Abbey Road
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Abbey Road is not a worthwhile excursion. Yes, I will admit that every now and then you’ll find yourself unexpectedly going over the celebrated crossing and feel a little something but the rest of the time it’s just a plain nuisance. You try being stuck in traffic on your way to work because a bunch of people are posing on a piece of tarmac. Because that’s what it is. An overhyped piece of tarmac. At least it’s free I guess.
3. Kings Cross Station for a Harry Potter Moment
What’s worse than Harry Potter fans that can’t let go? Harry Potter fans who queue up at Kings Cross to take a picture, make you miss your train, and still won’t let go after that. The Station is not as grand as you’d think and sometimes you have to queue for longer than fifteen minutes to take a rushed and more than unnatural picture than actually running into the wall itself (one hero actually did do this… but not this guy).
4. Madame Tussauds
In these celebrity-obsessed days where people are literally clambering over one another to get a picture with pretty much anyone with a blue tick next to their Twitter handle, the expression “picture or it didn’t happen” couldn’t be less true. You can take as many pictures as you want here at Madame Tussauds but the truth will still echo through your Instagram feed: Nothing Happened Here. Yes, you stood next to an inanimate object that debatably looked like a celebrity you kind-of-don’t-mind and you may or may not have stroked Prince Harry’s bum. Overrated, overpriced, and nothing will ever beat the real, free experience.
5. Primrose Hill
Alas, the home of Gwyneth Paltrow and her recently inspired revival of yoga that provided jobs for oh so many. This North London hotspot, known for its panoramic views, muddy dogs and of course, new age yoga, is just a stone throw away from Camden. If you love getting lost, obnoxious uphill sprinters, walking up big mounds of dirt and sitting next to couples canoodling because they can see the outline of some phallic buildings, this is the place for you.
6. Kenwood House
Apart from that one scene in Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant there’s not much going for this place, just another big empty house in North London. Come here if you enjoy paying over fifteen quid to learn about the history of dead rich people when you could be climbing trees outside.
7. The Haberdashery
Don’t let their cutesy bunting and adorable mismatching crockery and furniture fool you, these guys will charge you double the price for a pot of tea if you’re sharing it with a pal and won’t increase the size. That’s £5.50 for less tea people! Don’t take your nan, it’ll only break your heart.
8. Little Venice
I haven’t got the faintest idea what people are on about, it doesn’t look even remotely like Venice.
Overall who are we to judge? I’m sure there’s some sort of fulfilment to be had by those who are happy to conform for the sake of conforming whilst the going is still average. But ultimately, why not actually go and look for the new and unique treasures that crop up in every neighbourhood every day, instead of these overrated places that no longer acquiesce to the ever changing needs of the modern day, broke Londoner?