Getting alternative at London’s Camden Markets
BRON IN THE DON | Already a self-confessed shopaholic, our resident adventurer could not turn down the lure of #38 on her London Top 100 list and return (time after time) to the crazy world of the Camden Markets.
MY first experience of Camden Markets was when I was 16 and visiting my cousin who lived in London. She took my sister and I to the markets on the weekend and we were instantly overwhelmed and bewildered by it all. The markets are a permanent fixture in London and spread all the way from Camden Town tube station up to Chalk Farm.
Nine years on and I still feel overwhelmed when I visit the markets. Just the amount of stalls spread across the area with all the different types of things on sale – it’s a shopaholics dream come true! The best part about it is that, I have probably been more then a dozen times since living here and each time I discover something new.
When you come out of the tube station and head towards the markets the first section is filled with stalls selling t-shirts with funny slogans and other clothing, which is found repeated throughout this section. Once you cross the canal and over to the actual wooden stalls you find a bit more ‘one of a kind’ type goods with jewelers and print stalls – although these can also be repetitive. Across the road towards the horse stables is where you find the most variety and here is where you can really discover what is on offer!
The markets are so much more then just stallholders selling clothes, jewelry and other goods – it’s a whole experience of discovery. It wasn’t until maybe my second or third time visiting that I stopped to grab some food from one of the many choices of vendors and sat eating it beside the canals on the motorbike seats. From Asian to Mexican to hot dog stands, whatever kind of food you are in the mood for – you will most likely find. Another time I stumbled across Cyberdog – a place dedicated to ravers featuring what I feel is insane outfits and crazy accessories but for a place like Camden is par for the course.
Then there is the vintage clothing and antiques in the Horse Stables. Previous visits I had only glanced over these sections but once when I had time to spare I spent ages meandering through clothes racks looking at vintage Levi denim jackets and fur coats and old fashioned leather suitcases – wishing I could just take them all home.
Home to the ‘punk’ scene, Camden is a great place if you want a tattoo or piercings or just a great pair of Doc Martin boots as there are shops all along the high street providing it all. Next to a shop selling fishnet stockings and corsets is a young designers stand selling home made jewelry and printed t-shirts. There are antique traders, next to musicians, next to a coffee house, next to a fish pedicure stall and yet it all just mixes together and works.
The Camden Markets are a bit of a London institution and most Londoners would have visited them at one time or another, but the best part about it is that it is ever changing which means that there is always something new to see and discover.
Do you love or hate the Camden Markets? What’s your favourite place? Tell us below: