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Camden Market

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The Camden Market, located in the north of London, is one of the most famous and diverse markets in the world. With its fascinating mix of art, music, fashion and culinary delights, it attracts thousands of visitors daily. Originally started in the 1970s as a flea market, Camden Market has evolved into a creative and vibrant center. From vintage clothing to handmade art and international delicacies, the market offers a unique shopping experience.
Jessica DonevBy Jessica Donev
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Tours

Learn details about the stories of the most popular market in the U.K. and discover the most important market stalls as well as the tastiest food.
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London Camden Market Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours
4.9starstarstarstarstar(18)
 
viator.com
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London Private Music Tour with a Local Guide Tailored to Your Interests
3.8starstarstarstarstar empty(6)
 
viator.com
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London: Flavors of Camden Market Guided Walking Tour
5.0starstarstarstarstar(3)
 
getyourguide.com
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10 tips for visiting the Camden Market

Camden Lock
1
CulinaryThe many Food-Stalls at Camden Market let you take a culinary journey around the world. You can either go through yourself and decide by the nose, or let yourself be inspired by the latest Instagram hypes. Every few months, a new dish from Camden Market is leading the way on social media.
Camden Market
2
Arrive earlyThe market is a very popular destination among tourists and Londoners. To avoid the biggest hustle, you should arrive early. This way, you can stroll through the stands in peace.
3
It's quietest during the weekTo avoid even larger crowds, it's best to come during the week.
4
A Festival of DiversityThe market is famous for its diversity. Explore the different sections, including the Stables Market, Camden Lock Market, and Inverness Street Market. Here you'll discover a wide range of styles and goods.
5
Take Your TimeCamden Market is big and offers many more experiences besides the stalls, such as Junk Yard Golf, CyberDog (a rave and techno clothing store), or the interactive Tomb Raider Live Experience.
6
Live MusicCamden is known for its vibrant music scene. Follow the sounds that echo through the alleys and experience live performances in the creative flair of the district.
7
Cash or Card?In London, you can leave your cash at home. This also applies to Camden Market. All Stalls offer the option to pay by card.
8
Comfortable clothing and shoes, but make it fashion!Camden screams for Fashionistas! Nonetheless, make sure that you feel comfortable in what you're wearing and wear comfortable shoes. A shopping day in Camden can be long!
9
Support local artInstead of buying the 10th plastic Big Ben as a souvenir in a gift shop, how about taking home handmade artworks and products from local artists? These are unique souvenirs that will remind you of your London trip for a long time and make the artist happy.
10
EventsCamden Market regularly hosts events and markets with special themes. Find out in advance about current events and enjoy dance performances, comedy, live screenings, or music.
Dingwalls | Flickr: Miguel Discart CC-BY 2.0

Camden Market - three stories

The market started as a Sunday market where arts and crafts were sold. Today, it is London's largest market and is open seven days a week.
Half Hitch Gin Distillery | Flickr: Maggie Jones CC-BY 2.0

The History of Commerce

In the 19th century, the area between Camden Lock and Roundhouse was an industrial zone dedicated to the production of gin. However, the industry soon gave way to retail, and Camden became a recreational destination. The old buildings now housed various shops; gin production had to find a new home.

On March 30, 1974, a brand new Sunday market was opened in Camden Town. Only 16 traders sold antiques, jewelry and crafts. This small market quickly developed into the most famous and one of the largest markets in the UK during its now 50-years of existence.

In 2014, Mark Holdsworth established a new micro-distillery at Camden Lock and produced his unique Half Hitch Gin with additional ingredients of black tea and bergamot. He received the Gold Medal from Gin Masters and today sells his gin in prestigious locations like Selfridges or The Shard. The distillery can now be visited in the West Yard of Camden Lock. An interesting fact about Half Hitch Gin is that its name comes from the knot used to tie boats at the shore of Camden Lock, where the distillery is located. Of course, you can also taste the famous gin!

The reason why so many producers, brands, and traders choose Camden is its vibrancy, rich cultural heritage, and sense of community. That's why today you'll find over 1,000 shops, market stalls, bars, and cafés at the Camden Market, contributing to the area's multicultural diversity.
Kongos at Dingwalls | Flickr: Drew de F Fawkes CC-BY 2.0

The History of Music

One of London's most famous live music venues opened its doors in June 1973 in Camden: Dingwalls. Today we know the Dingwalls site as Camden Lock Market; it was purchased in 1972 by friends Bill Fulford and Peter Wheeler from Northside Developments Limited. They wanted to create a space for artists, designers, and craftspeople, and thus opened one of London's first arts, crafts and antiques markets.

In 1973, together with business partners, they transformed the packaging warehouse into the Dingwalls Dance Hall, known for bringing emerging musicians to the stage. Moreover, Dingwalls Dance Hall stayed open until 2 am, unlike most bars and pubs which closed at 11 pm.

Bands like The Ramones or The Sex Pistols performed at Dingwalls Dance Hall. It quickly became a popular hangout for musicians such as David Gilmour from Pink Floyd and jazz legend George Melly, or artists like Lucian Freud. The debut concert by Blondie at Dingwalls Dance Hall went down in history as one of the wildest nights.

Music greats like The Foo Fighters, Mumford & Sons or The Smiths have performed at Dingwalls. Even today, the venue remains popular among music lovers.
Camden Street Food | Flickr: Geoff Henson CC-BY 2.0
Camden Market Fashion

The History of Fashion

The history of fashion and music is inextricably linked; and Camden Market is right in the middle of it. In the 1970s, music subcultures emerged, and their followers dressed accordingly. Camden quickly became a meeting point for Bohemians, Punks, Mods, and Rockers. Anyone who was anyone bought the alternative, sometimes second hand clothes at Camden Market. A typical outfit for Camden would be, for example, worn-out Dr. Martens paired with a baggy 501 Levi’s jeans.

Thanks to the flexibility of a market stall combined with the mix of its visitors, the shops of Camden Market became a popular hub for young designers. According to Daily Express Camden Lock, “many of the top British designers started out with a stall here.”

Even today, Camden Lock remains a popular spot for many people, dressed in a variety of styles. Many brands like Collectif, General Eyewear, or Modfather’s Store started in Camden and are now well-known everywhere.

Camden Market has changed a lot, but it is still the place to go if you want to grab a worn pair of Dr. Martens or the quirky designs of up-and-coming fashion labels.
Camden Market | Flickr: Tredok CC-BY 2.0

Summary

Camden Market is not just a place of consumption; it is a vibrant social fabric. Street artists enliven the atmosphere with music, art, and performances, captivating the visitors. There is room for the development of talents, for showcasing ideas, and for community care.
The diversity of culinary experiences is just as impressive as the artistic diversity.

Located in the heart of London, Camden Market is much more than just an ordinary market – it is a lively center of creativity, diversity, and innovation. Here, tradition and modernity merge into a fascinating mosaic that attracts people from all over the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of products can I find in Camden Market?

Camden Market offers a wide range of products, including clothing, jewelry, crafts, vintage items, music, books, and international cuisine. Read more.

What special events take place at Camden Market?

Camden Market regularly hosts events, including live music, art exhibitions, food festivals, and more. The dates for such events can be found on the official website of the market here or on site. Read more.

Does it make sense to take a guided tour of Camden Market?

Yes, the guided tours through Camden Market offer much more background information than a self-guided shopping tour would. A tour with a local guide shows visitors more than just the typical highlights. Read more.

Is Camden Market suitable for children?

The market offers a variety of products and activities that can be suitable for children of all ages, including toys, clothing, crafts, and culinary offerings. Especially on weekends, Camden Market can be very popular. It is advisable to consider this, especially when you're with small children. It could be difficult to navigate through the crowds with a stroller in the narrow alleys. Small children could also get lost quickly, so it's best to always hold their hand. Read more.

Is Camden Market wheelchair accessible?

Unfortunately, the most famous market in the UK is not easy to navigate for people with mobility impairments. The market is a labyrinth of many small alleyways, cobblestones, stairs and crowds.
An option to still see the market while avoiding the hustle and bustle is a completely barrier-free canal boat tour on the Pirate Prince canal boat. It docks at the market and sails for three hours through the canals along the Regent’s Canal and Little Venice. The boat is wheelchair friendly, has a wheelchair lift, accessible toilets, and even an adapted ship's steering wheel so that it is possible for any passenger to steer the ship.
Read more.

General information

opening hours

The Camden Market is open daily from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Many shops are open longer, however. Some of the street food carts don't open until about 11:30 am for lunch but then stay open until about 9:00 pm.

tickets

The entrance to the Camden Market is free. However, we cannot predict how much you will spend there. In any case, prepare yourself for a shopping delight and a feast for your taste buds!

address

54-56 Camden Lock Pl
London NW1 8AF
United Kingdom

how to get there

With the London Underground network, you can easily reach Camden Market. You can get off at Camden Town (5 minutes walk), Chalk Farm (10 minutes walk) or Camden Road (8 minutes walk). The buses 214 from King’s Cross, 24 from Victoria or 274 from West End go directly to Camden Market. However, there are several more buses that stop at Camden Market. For public transportation in London, we advise you to download the Citymapper app.
You can also reach Camden Market by boat. From the nearby Little Venice or Regents Canal, you can take a boat trip to get to Camden Market.
In London, there are many places where you can rent a bicycle. Camden is very well connected by bike paths.
Arriving by car is possible, but the traffic in London can often be very heavy. Note that there are limited parking options.
Jessica Donev
Written byJessica DonevJessica is the definition of Jack of all trades. When she wants to do something, she just does it. That's why Jessica is an event manager, professional dancer, trainer, content creator, speaker / presenter in training and much more. Having traveled the world a lot, she knows what's important when traveling and shares it with you here on TicketLens.
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