Oh Camden Town! By far one of my favourite places to go to in London. It's colourful, lively and bustling and always incredibly busy. I posted some pictures on my personal Facebook page of our day in Camden yesterday and got lots of comments, so I thought I'd share some of our favourite parts. It makes my day when people say my pictures have made them want to go somewhere.
I have been visiting Camden for years, way before we had kids and also after the kids were born, we try and go most summers. Camden Town is on the Northern Line, one stop from Euston station in London. When you leave the underground station you'll immediately see loads of colourful shops with huge boots and elephants heads statues etc. If you want a tattoo or piercing you are on the right street. The majority of these shops sell souvenirs, fake designer bags, belts and tops, space cookies and bongs (yes seriously!)
Always haggle with the owners here, nothing will have a price on, so they'll act like they are giving you a discount by telling you: "These are usually £15 but for you £10 only!"
You can usually knock the price down even more.
You'll find markets on both sides of the road but, where you really want to be is by Camden Lock. You'll see a big weeping willow tree across a bridge - enter the market here. Now, I had planned to try and visit one day in the school hols as I have been meaning to take the kids on a canal boat from Camden to Little Venice but that will have to be saved for another time.
Camden Market is mega busy all the time, especially so at the weekends. Hang on to your kids! There are loads of areas to explore - all I can suggest is take your time and stroll through all the different passages - you are bound to miss some out on your first visit. If you love vintage, retro clothes there are loads, shell suits, cowboy boots. fringed jackets.....
Amazing jewellery everywhere, plenty of Navajo style, wooden and bone earrings from Tribu and Mexican styles. It is very diverse, like you've stumbled into a Turkish Bazaar, then wandered into India, then been "Spirited Away" to the food market.
I reckon I have wanted one of these Turkish lamps for at least 15 years and every time we visit I say I will buy one. There are a few shops selling these as well as beautiful cups and bowls. Maybe a Christmas or birthday treat?!
Lee treated me to a feather hair braider from Vera Black, I have wanted one for ages.
Shannon and Fin are huge Anime fans, there are a few stalls that sell Studio Ghibli tops and bags as well as memorabilia from Fairy Tail etc, but the shop that made Fin's day was Japan Craft Manga Store. Full of comics, books, plush toys, posters, mugs and Pocky!
I always head for the Indian bohemian shops they are very cheap and full of treasures. Incense, bracelets, trinkets and wall hangings.
Cyberdog is another must - UV lights, pumping music, guarded by two giant robots. Full of wacky, clubbing clothes and gadgets.
There is worldwide food available ranging from Thai street food to bubble waffles. The stall holders in the market will try and tempt you offering you free samples - it isn't always the cheapest but it all smells so good. My kids were happy that we found Sweet Kitty - so they could get their bubble tea fix.
There is a shop in the Stable Market area that sells Rockabilly style dresses - they have a girls Frida Khalo one I have had my eye on it for years! There is also a statue of the late, great Amy Winehouse. You'll also find the Cereal Killer Cafe, you guessed it a cafe selling cereal.
We didn't walk down the Regents canal this time but on a nice day you can walk to Regents Park. If you explore the town properly you'll find plenty of Banky's and street art.
What can I say about Camden? It's quirky, bohemian, punk, goth, retro, geeky all jumbled together. You'll need a good day to explore fully. I hadn't planned on turning this into a post, if I had I would have taken more pictures!
If you are heading to London, add Camden to your list. It is amazing.