Camden; chances are you have heard of this London borough at some point in your life. Famous for its music, markets and nightclubs, as well as easily accessible by the London underground, it is a must-see for anybody travelling to or living in London.
Let me tell you something now though; the stories definitely do not live up to the real thing. Venturing into Camden, I expected the place to be bustling with music and art, but I was still completely blown away. The Camden markets in particular are incredible; walking through the many alleyways is a bit like stepping back in time. Full of passion, creativity and a bit of rebellion, I felt like I was in walking through the 70s or 80s. While it can be very overwhelming with the amount of stalls and people, if you’re a creative soul like me, you’ll fall in love instantly. Camden is a place where you don’t have to be shy about your passions because chances are there is at least one stall to suit your needs. Be it food, clothing, dream catchers, tobacco tools, jewellery, artwork, furniture, music, glow in the dark paint, tattoos… you’ll find it all in Camden. At one point I even came across a man with more piercings in his face than I have ever seen in a person before, and nobody batted an eyelid. Camden is all about embracing the weird and wonderful.
Venture outside of the markets and you may be greeted by characters such as a megaphone-holding clown on stilts or an old-time bell ringer who looks a bit like a beardless Santa Claus. The Camden roads are colourful and welcoming, with buildings adorned with graffiti and photographs. If you walk down towards Camden lock there is even a row of vespa scooters that have been converted into seats. This is the perfect opportunity to grab a bite to eat from one of the many food stalls, take a seat at the edge of the Canal and admire the view.
I would recommend visiting Camden during the week, as while not all the market stalls are open, it is far less busy and there is more space to just sit and breathe it all in. No matter what day you visit though, prepare to get lost, especially in the maze-like Stables Market. If at any point you do become overwhelmed, then it is definitely worthwhile to wander away from the main road and markets to check out the other sights the area has to offer. Camden is full of hidden and well-known treasures just waiting to be explored.