Visiting Camden Market: A Guide to London’s Famous Shopping Destination

Camden Market is a collection of markets that offer a variety of culinary and consumer options. It is located along Camden High Street and Chalk Farm Road and is considered one of London’s most famous markets. The market is a hub of counter-culture, street food, and indie sellers offering artisan products. It is estimated that over 100,000 people visit the markets each weekend.

The market’s history dates back to 1972 when two friends bought the derelict timber yard of T.E Dingwalls and set up Camden Lock Market. Craftspeople and antiques dealers were invited to set up shop and sell from their stalls. The market quickly gained popularity, and more sellers flocked to the area, making it a highlight of the counterculture movement. If you’re planning a trip to Camden’s Markets, there are a few things you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • Camden Market is a collection of markets that offer a range of culinary and consumer options.
  • The market is located along Camden High Street and Chalk Farm Road and is considered one of London’s most famous markets.
  • Camden Market’s history dates back to 1972 when two friends bought the derelict timber yard of T.E Dingwalls and set up Camden Lock Market.

The Camden Market Guide

Camden Lock Market

Camden Lock Market is one of the most popular weekend markets in London and has been around since 1972. It is known for its independent makers who offer unique and handmade items such as jewelry, accessories, and cutting-edge fashion. The market also features vintage vinyl records, second-hand books, and recycled furniture.

For food, visitors can head to the Kerb food stalls located by the water. Otherwise, they can explore the maze of indoor and outdoor sections of the market to find unusual buys.

The Stables Market

The Camden Stables Market traditionally had a vintage focus, but it now features a mix of vintage and new items. It is a popular destination for gothic and alternative clothing, and the original branch of Cyberdog is still located just inside the market entrance.

The market used to be an area filled with stables and horse tunnels, serving the dutiful steeds that made their living on the canal.

Camden Lock Village

Camden Lock Village is located on the site of the former Canal Market, which was destroyed by a fire in 2008. The market now sits alongside residential and office units, and there is no specific focus to this market. However, it is worth strolling through as it is just on the other side of Camden Lock Market.

Inverness Street Market

Inverness Street Market is the only market in Camden that existed before the 1970s. It used to be a fresh produce market, but it has changed significantly in the past decade. Although not many original food sellers remain, hot-food stalls and a small range of non-food traders selling the occasional gem can be found here.

Buck Street Market / Container Park

Buck Street Market used to be the go-to spot for vintage clothing, but it had gotten a little tired as the vintage pegs gave way to mass-produced items. However, it reopened in mid-2020 as a container park in the style of Boxpark, with a focus on sustainability and small businesses. Visitors can find ethical shops and eco-friendly products, as well as two rooftop bars and a host of tasty eats.

Hawley Wharf

Hawley Wharf is a newer addition to Camden’s markets, located further along the canal towards Kentish Town Road. The buildings around this stretch have been renovated and turned into office spaces and ground floor retail.

Food options at Hawley Market are plentiful, with The Cactus Noodle Bar being a standout for its authentic noodle dishes. Visitors can also try T’s Deep Fried Scoop, which offers fried ice cream.

Shopping at Hawley Wharf leans towards the boutique direction, with designer sunglasses, handbags, and souvenir shops. Koko Art is a shop that sells custom, hand-painted shoes.

New shops and businesses continue to pop up at Hawley Wharf, so visitors may discover some cool new places during their visit.

Practical Information and Map for Visiting Camden’s Markets

Camden Market Opening Times

Camden’s markets are usually open from 10am until dusk daily, but some traders only trade from Friday to Sunday. It is best to visit the markets on a weekend to experience the full swing of the market and see most of the stalls trading.

Practical Tips

To make the most of the Camden markets, it is best to visit early-to-mid morning at the weekend or on Friday to avoid the overwhelming crowds. It is important to note that the area around the markets is a hotspot for pickpockets, so visitors should avoid carrying around more cash than they need and keep an eye on their belongings. Visitors can try their hand at some gentle haggling if an item has a marked price, but sellers may not be very flexible unless buying more than one item.

It is possible to walk between all the markets, so visitors should not expect to spend all day in just one spot. In fact, it is encouraged to see what each space has to offer, and seeing it all is totally feasible within a day or afternoon.

Getting There

The nearest tube stations to Camden’s markets are Camden Town and Chalk Farm, and visitors can start at Camden Town and visit all the markets en route to Chalk Farm station. Kentish Town and Mornington Crescent are also close by. Visitors should be aware that access to the platforms in Camden Town station is via 96 stairs during busy periods, and there is no escalator access for those going into the station. Alternatively, visitors can hop on the overground to Camden Road.

Map of Camden’s Markets

Please refer to the map below for an overview of Camden’s markets and their locations:

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