Discover – Camden
Street performers, live music, an international crowd and shoppers greet you when you exit Camden Town Tube station, which is just 10 minutes on the Northern line from central London. As the Camden Fringe Festival (to 27 Aug) takes place across 22 venues, featuring 1,000 performers, it’s a great time to visit Camden, an area with an alternative vibe. It feels worlds away from the West End.
Camden’s famous Stables Market (which was formerly a horse hospital) is an easy place to get lost in, and is the best way to experience the area. You can shop for everything here, from vintage clothes and handmade jewellery to novelty phone cases and quirky gifts. Whatever you do, don’t miss the crazy neon underground world at Cyberdog.
From Peruvian ceviche and Japanese sushi to Argentinian steak and Indian roti, there’s barely a cuisine that isn’t represented at Camden’s food market. Grab a bite and find a spot to sit by the canal. Room for more? There are lots of sweet treats on offer including crêpes and cupcakes. You can even have your favourite chocolate bar fried into a doughnut at The Original Crispy Candy Co.
Whether you fancy somewhere traditional, a gastro pub, a place to hear live music or watch football, there are tons of great pubs to choose from. A firm favourite is The Colonel Fawcett. With moe than 60 varieties of gin, a gourmet menu including scallops, bavette steak, epic burgers (such as the beef rump and oxtail burger) and the best pub roasts around, it’s hard to beat.
Camden Lock and Regent’s Canal are the area’s heart and soul. Head in one direction and you’ll come to Regent’s Park, while in the other you’ll pass the revamped King’s Cross before reaching Angel. Along the way you’ll pass beautiful canalside mansions, cool street art, colourful narrow boats, buskers and Feng Shang – a floating Chinese restaurant. The London Waterbus Company takes its passengers along Regent’s Canal from Camden Lock to ZSL London Zoo and Little Venice. It’s a peaceful way to see the area, and a chance to travel on one of the canal’s historic narrow boats. If you’re feeling adventurous, head to The Pirate Castle and hire a kayak.
Whether you like rock, R’n’B, house or some full-on cheese, there’s something for everyone here. You can catch the biggest live acts at the Roundhouse, dust off your stilettos for a night out at A-list Gilgamesh, or party until the early hours in a former stable at Proud.
Camden is a lovely green neighbourhood and a favourite spot is Primrose Hill. Head to the top for one of the best views of the capital, with the London Eye, the ‘Gherkin’, The Shard, BT Tower and Canary Wharf all in sight. In the summer, gather your friends for a picnic with a view, then head to a nearby pub once the sun disappears.