London Guide: Ten Things to do in Camden. Whether you want to go shopping at Camden Market, eat your way around the street food stalls or visit one of the many music venues, there is certainly something to keep you entertained. Camden Town is a bit gritty and rough around the edges but that’s the charm of this area. It attracts a cross-section of subcultures from goths to punks and club kids to rockers. It’s surrounded by upscale and expensive neighbourhoods and nearby attractions include Regent’s Canal, Regent’s Park, London Zoo and Primrose Hill. My guide gives you Ten things to do in Camden plus more information about the surrounding area and places to eat in Camden. The only other place I’ve been in the world which reminds me of Camden is Harajuku in Japan. If you love music, markets, fashion and crowds, this is the place for you!
Ten Things To Do In Camden List
10 Things to do in Camden List
- Kick start your day at The Cereal Killer Café
- Have your photograph taken next to the Amy Winehouse statue
- Spot the Amy Winehouse street art
- Treat yourself to a gift from Camden Market
- Buy crazy neon club gear in the Cyberdog shop
- Graze the food stalls for lunch
- Enjoy a canal boat ride
- Visit the Jewish Museum
- Admire the amazing architecture
- Enjoy a pint and a live event
Ten Things To Do In Camden Information
Kick start your day at The Cereal Killer Café: After much success of their Brick Lane café specialising in cereal, the twin brothers opened up this branch. Situated at the world-famous Stables and open from 9.30 am until 7 pm every day, it’s the perfect spot to start off your Camden adventure. With over 120 different types of cereal from all over the world, thirty types of milk and some twenty toppings, you can have fun creating your own cereal cocktail concoctions.
Kick Start Your Day at the Cereal Killer Cafe
Have your photograph taken next to Amy Winehouse: Close to the Cereal Killer Café is the life-size memorial bronze statue of Amy situated in Stables Market. The statue was created by Scott Eaton which shows the singer with a red flower tucked in her famous beehive hairdo. It was unveiled on what would have been the singer’s 31st birthday. Her father said that Amy “was in love with Camden” and her fans associated the district with her. It’s an important memorial to an amazing artist who tragically passed away at a young age.
Have Your Picture Taken With Amy Winehouse
Spot the Amy Winehouse street art: Seek out and snap the Amy Winehouse street art tributes which you’ll spot as you wander around the area. This cute Bambi homage can be found on a doorway opposite the large Sainsbury’s supermarket on Camden Road.
Seek and Snap The Amy Winehouse Street Art
Treat yourself to a gift from Camden Market: If you want a little something to take home with you then buy Nag Champa incense sticks because that will really remind you of the aroma wafting in the air as you walk past all the market stalls. There are plenty of music, arts and crafts goods to buy and fashion clothing ranging from goth to retro and club styles. With different sections of markets to browse you’ll certainly have fun getting lost in the crowds.
Wander Around the Market
Situated by the canal side is the Camden Lock Markets where you’ll find food stalls along with fashion goods. This area was developed by the Earl of Camden who opened up the market in the 70s. If you wander around you’ll find yourself in different sections which all have distinct identities and vibes from The Market Hall which is dedicated to arts and crafts and is a stunning building so do look around to admire the architecture. The Stables has a mix of stalls and shops selling furniture, fashion and more. The Horse Hospital used to be where the barge horses were treated and are now home to the Proud gallery and venue. You’ll come across lots of horse statues on your travels, I love that this one got totally stickered!
See the Stickered Horse
Close by are additional markets known as Camden Lock Village, Camden Buck Street and Inverness Street. Just wander around and you should eventually see it all. Opening times are generally 10 am until 6 pm every day except Christmas day. Weekends are really busy so if you don’t like crowds go during the week, the afternoons are better when more stalls are likely to be open.
Rummage Around the Stalls
Buy crazy neon club gear in the Cyberdog shop: One amazing shop you really should check out is Cyberdog. It’s so crazy that you’ll feel as high as a kite in every sense of that phrase when you venture inside. This neon-lit store with throbbing music is the place to pick up futuristic fashion and clubwear which is out of this world. You’ll notice the shop when you come across two giant metal robots flanking the doorway.
Buy Crazy Neon Club Gear in Cyberdog
Graze the food stalls for lunch: There are hundreds of stalls serving every cuisine you could possibly think of. It’s a great place to eat with friends, especially if you all want something different.
Graze The Food Stalls
I usually head for the Venezuelan stall called Arepa and Co and opt for a vegetarian filled Arepa. I then follow this with a filled chocolate churro coated with cinnamon and sugar, yum! These are made fresh right in front of your eyes but be careful the hot chocolate doesn’t burn your lips!
Enjoy a Freshly Made Churro
Enjoy a canal boat ride: Hop on the Jenny Wren canal boat where you can rise up in the lock at Camden and explore the areas of London Zoo, Regents Park and Little Venice in a barge covered with a canopy.
Enjoy a Canal Boat Ride in a Barge
Visit the Jewish Museum: While you’re in the area you can browse around this unique museum which showcases the vibrancy of Jewish history and culture in Britain. You can see some interesting films, photographs and objects along with a recreation of an East End London street. They also have a kosher café and shop on the premises. You’ll find this located at 129-131 Albert Street, NW1 7NB.
Visit the Jewish Museum
Admire the amazing architecture: Camden is awash with stunning architecture, new and old. Of course, there are the Camden Market Lock, Stables and Market Hall buildings which are amazing Victorian warehouse buildings.
Take Time to Admire the Market Buildings
As you walk down Camden High Street you’ll notice all the colourful shop facades with giant objects protruding from the brickwork which includes trainers, Dr Martens boots and dragons.
Look up at the Colourful Shop Facades
You should certainly seek out the Carreras Cigarette Factory which is just so stunning and outrageous my jaw literally drops every time I go by on the bus. It’s an Art Deco building which showcases the early 20th Century fascination with Egyptian Revival architecture. Built-in 1926, it was owned by Bernhard Baron who was an inventor and philanthropist. It has two giant cats flanking the entrance and colourful columns. This is just behind Mornington Crescent Station.
Admire the Egyptian Revival Architecture of the Carreras Cigarette Factory
The St Martin’s in the Fields Almshouses situated at 17-29 Hawley Crescent are listed buildings and worth taking a peek. They were built in 1817-18 to house up to seventy poor widows or spinsters in the parish of St Martins in the Fields.
See St Martin’s in the Fields Almshouses
See the row of pretty painted Victorian terraced houses lining Hartland Road.
Admire the Pretty Painted Hartland Road Houses
Our Lady of Hal Roman Catholic Church at 165 Arlington Road, NW1 7EX is very striking. It was designed by an Irish architect called Wilfred Mangan who was asked by the Belgian Fathers to reflect the Belgian origins. Inside is a copy of the famous statue which protects the people of Hal in Belgium.
Visit the Our Lady of Hal Roman Catholic Church
The MTV building is very colourful, they have covered it in powder-coated aluminium and steel which is situated at 17-29 Hawley Crescent, NW1 8TT.
Love the Colourful MTV Building
Enjoy a pint and a live event. Camden really is London’s destination for big boozers (pubs), gigs, live music, and performances. I’ll mention a few of these venues, starting with The Roundhouse located at Chalk Farm Road NW18EH. What began life as a railway repair shed in 1847 is now an international performing arts venue showcasing live music to spoken word, theatre and dance. Proud Camden is situated in a former horse hospital in The Stables Market and is a gallery space by day and a bar come live music venue and club after dark with a secret garden. Dingwalls is another music venue also situated in the market overlooking the canal.
In terms of pubs, you might want to seek out Amy Winehouse’s favourite which was said to be The Hawley Arms. The Devonshire Arms, The Dev and The Hobgoblin is one pub referred to many names by its frequenters which are often goths or punks. It’s located at 33 Kentish Town Road NW1 8NL. The Underworld is an alternative music venue with gigs and club nights and is right next to the World’s End Pub on Camden High Street. Electric Ballroom has an interesting music history which you can read on their website, today they host club nights, live gigs and different fairs like the record and film event.
The Jazz Café, situated on Parkway, is an iconic music venue which is celebrating twenty-five years. They’ve hosted everyone from Bobby Womack to Grandmaster Flash and Cameo. Close by is the Blues Kitchen which serves Texan BBQ style food, you can also sample rare bourbon and rye while you listen to a live rhythm and blues music. You’ll find this venue located at Camden High Street.
More Things to do in Camden and Beyond
I’ve just scratched the surface of what you can do in Camden Town. Depending on what you’re interests are there is plenty more to explore. For instance, if you prefer the alternative side of life, you might be interested in tarot card readings. You’ll find Butterfly Tarot situated in Camden Market. There are also a lot of tattoo parlours in the area and places to get piercings if you’re into that kind of thing. If you’re short of cash Camden Town and the market are ideal for wandering around and people watching. You can eat cheaply at the food stalls and sit by the canal side so you don’t have to spend much money. Just soak up the atmosphere and take it all in.
Get a Tarot Card Reading
If you’re not a fan of street food you can find some big chain restaurants down Jamestown Road which include The Diner serving American style food from pancakes to burgers and milkshakes. At Hawley Crescent, you’ll find Poppies which serves great fish and chips. There are also a few eateries on Parkway including Japanese cuisine and a couple of little coffee shops. If you want to try some lovely tea blends and escape the madness try Yum Chaa Tea House on Parkway.
Escape the Madness with a Nice Cup of Tea
If you want to explore nearby and get a taste of upmarket London you are very close to Regent’s Park and London Zoo. If you head up Chalk Farm Road and past the Roundhouse you can visit Primrose Hill which has a smattering of independent boutique shops and lovely little eateries. The Hill itself gives you a great view over London and connects with Regent’s Park. Of course, the must-do walk is along Regent’s Canal which runs from Little Venice to Limehouse Basin. I hope you enjoy your visit to this wild and wonderful part of London.
You can reach Camden Town by travelling to Camden Town Tube on the Northern Line. Also, close by is Mornington Crescent on the Northern Line and Camden Road station on the Overground line.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Thanks: Homeboy for eating street food with me.
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