The Camden markets are several different markets rolled into one, called Camden Market or Camden Lock and on the banks of the Regents Canal. You'll find fun at the historic former Pickfords stables in Camden Town, a veritable warren of alleyways lined with shops and eateries. If you love alternative clothing, are a bit of a rebel or just fancy picking up a few fab vintage treasures, it's perfect.
Camden Lock Market is one of the most eclectic, eccentric and unusual London destinations, a place stacked to the rafters with cool alternative clothing, music, jewellery, books, food and drink, vintage and classic home décor, arts and crafts. You name it, you can find it here. And if you'd like to stay in a comfortable, low-cost hotel near Camden Market our easyHotel Old Street is perfect.
Explore the Camden Market, Camden Lock, Camden Stables Market, Canal Market, Buck Street Market, Inverness Street Market, and the market inside Electric Ballroom, and discover the magic of alternative London for yourself.
History and trivia on Camden Market
- Camden Lock isn't one lock, it's made up of three canal locks: the Hampstead Lock no. 1, Hawley Lock and Kentish Town Lock
- In the 1800s the area was known for its many gin distilleries and warehouses. The last Camden gin distillery closed in the 1950s
- A whole train packed with gin left the area every day for export far and wide
- The new trend for exotic gins has led gin distilleries to open in the area once again
- Camden Market is the city's 4th best-loved attraction. More than 100,000 people visit every weekend
- George Orwell, Mary Shelley and Charles Dickens all lived in the area
- Withnail and I was filmed here, inspired by the filmmaker Bruce Robinson's experiences living in Camden
- The Roundhouse performing arts venue was built in 1847 as roundhouse for turning steam engines around. In the 1960s it became a concert hall
- 280 stalls and 50 shops await you, mostly independent and different
- The area generates £1.2 billion a year from visitors
- Camden Market's first ever food stall was called 'The Stall' after the old stalls the horses used to live in. It was owned by June Foulds, the Olympic sprinter who won Bronze and Silver medals in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics, and opened in 1974
- The Electric Ballroom turns into a nightclub after dark, with 2 dance floors and 4 bars
- The Camden catacombs are a network of tunnels and engine vaults designed to support the industrial activity above
- The Stables Market used to be the Pickford horse stables
- It was also a hospital for the horses that pulled Pickfords' removal vans
- The barges that carried goods along London's canals were pulled by horses, too
- During World War Two the Camden stable blocks, horse tunnels, tack rooms, saddler's workshops and horse hospital looked after 800 or so working horses, mainly operating out of the Camden Goods Depot
- Look around you and you can still see plenty of clear signs that horses once ruled this small yet fascinating world
When's it open? The markets originally opened only on Sundays, and that remains the major trading day. But most of the market today is also open on Saturdays, and many of the traders are open every day of the week. These days Camden Market hours are 10am to 6pm every day.
Camden Market events
Camden Market events are hugely popular, and there's a dazzling variety to choose from. Take Solomon's Yard, where weekenders take place. It's a summer special involving pop-up shops and eateries, household name DJs, great street food and more, and there's a different theme each time.
You can learn the ropes at Gin School courtesy of the Half Hitch local gin distillery, or sample the wonderful Italian Alley by candlelight. There are pop ups in the Provender Building and the annual Camden Rocks festival in June, plus summer parties, festivals and vintage fairs, something for everyone. There are special movie screenings and comedy shows, exhibitions, gourmet masterclasses and theatrical events to enjoy. Or you could just sit in the sunshine outside a cafe and watch the uber-funky Camden world go by.
Gigs at Camden Market
There's more. Camden Market hosts a variety of gigs, including pop-up music events from local and national stars. The Roundhouse, Jazz Cafe, Lock Tavern, Dingwalls at Lock 17 and Camden Assembly all host gigs, everything from dubstep to hip hop, jazz to funk, soul, rock, punk and house music.
Restaurants near Camden Market
There are lots of cool places to eat in the markets themselves, as well as plenty of choice in the immediate area. Try Honest Burgers at 34a Camden Lock Place for really good British produce, or Maize Blaize at 215-1 Chalk Farm Road for exotic Colombian street food. Puezze Camden at 43 Parkway serves fab vegan dishes, and Villa di Geggiano at 66-68 Chiswick High Road for excellent Italian food. Last but not least, how about Zala Levantine Grill at 39 Camden Lock Place, where gorgeous Middle Eastern food is on offer.
Camden Market pubs
Need a jolly good boozer? The George and Dragon on Market Square, Hubbub Bar and Kitchen at 269 Westferry Road, Lockside Camden on Upper Walkway and The Hawley Arms at 2 Castlehaven Road and The World's End at 174 Camden High Street are all really good.
Getting to Camden Market
How to get to Camden Market? This is a very central destination, at a big junction for north London, so it's easy to reach in all sorts of ways.
Walking - Whatever direction you approach Camden from on foot, there's so much to see. Walking is the best way of all to find out more about the city on an intimate basis, discover hidden secrets and unusual sights. As a general rule most people walk at about three miles an hour, and that takes you a very long way in our compact city centre.
Underground – Chalk Farm and Camden Town underground stations are your nearest, both a short walk away. You can also hop on the Docklands Light Railway at Bank, Tower Gateway or Shadwell stations.
Bus – Bus numbers 31, N28, N31 all pass through Camden, and these bus services all pass through it: 24, 27, 29, 46. 134, 168, 214, 253, 274, C2, N5, N20, N27, N29, N253, and N279.
Train – The nearest mainline stations to Camden Market are Kentish Town railway station and Euston. It's also not far from the Eurostar service at St Pancras.
Bicycle – There's a Santander Cycle Station at Camden Town, NW1 0AS.