Home to some funky street art, the infamous Camden lock, popular haunt of late star Amy Winehouse and offering some authentic vintage stalls and food markets, Camden is North-West London’s trendy oasis. You might see this on the first page of your big city guidebook, but if you have a spare few hours in your jam-packed London itinerary, then we highly recommend a visit. So be brave, ditch the hour long London Eye queues and head off the beaten track for a few hours; we’ve got some suggestions on how to pack six hours in Camden with history, art, culture and music….
Even if this is your first time in London, you’re bound to have heard of the world famous market which takes place here. To get the best out of your visit here though, make sure you dodge the overpriced sellers hawking the generic Starbucks t-shirts and tacky sunglasses and make your way to the authentic street stalls. Not only are there a huge variety of handmade jewellery, vintage garments, soaps, artwork, chocolate, pashminas and records (just to name a few) there’s also a famously diverse street food selection on offer featuring everything from handmade sushi to gourmet hotdogs. Locals love it here, so don’t get swept away by overpriced tourist baiters and get to know the real Camden instead!
Camden Lock Pl, London NW1 8AF
THE DUBLIN CASTLE
This quirky pub was originally built in the mid nineteenth century as a place for the Irish railway workers to relax with a pint after a long day of work, but since then it’s played host to a variety of artists including Madness, Blur and Amy Winehouse, but because of the host of other later established music venues on the scene, this pub has managed to keep its humble charm. If you’re in Camden make sure you pop in for a cool beer and some great atmosphere, where you’ll be able to experience the real music soul of Camden away from the bustling streets.
94 Parkway, London NW1 7AN
THE GOOD MIXER
Established over thirty years ago, this venue is known in Camden for its great live music events, as well as quiz nights, Karaoke and pool tournaments. Rich with Britpop history and having played host to then budding artists Noel and Liam Gallagher, as well as Blur, locals love the residual rock and roll vibe it offers from its heyday, so why not pop in for an hour and experience it for yourself.
30 Inverness St, London NW1 7HJ
Ok, so it’s not quite Edinburgh – but this event, established in 2006, runs for the whole of August and showcases some major local talent through homespun performances such as ‘The Convictions of Rupert Murdoch’, ‘Curses’, ‘Henna Nights’ and ‘Mine’. Camden Fringe hosts a variety of genres, from poetry to mentalism to opera and is perfect if you can’t face a monster train journey up to chilly Scotland. It’s also in the perfect place to take advantage of some of the great pubs, clubs and venues that this edgy corner of London has to offer. Most performances aren’t more than an hour long so a perfect end to your day! For more information and the full range of performances (and venues!) check their website.
Nearest Underground stations: Camden, Chalk Farm.
Sabrina is a third year undergraduate student reading English and Drama at Royal Holloway, University of London.