Begun initially as a small weekly crafts market, it has since grown exponentially to encompass numerous interconnected markets, including Camden Lock Market, Stables Market, Hawley Wharf and Buck Street Market, getting over 250,000 visitors weekly. And it shows as the streets can get bustling, especially on weekends. Camden Market isn’t just a tourist spot; it’s an experience.
Shopping and entertainment
The market isn’t just about shopping; it’s also a pulsating hub for music lovers. The Camden Market’s Music Monthly list, accessible on their website, provides an array of gigs to attend. Live music venues dot the area, complemented by many eateries and pubs, making it the ultimate entertainment hub. Some of the best-known music venues are the Roundhouse, The Underworld and the Electric Ballroom, but there are many more, each with its atmosphere.
Camden Market’s History
Camden Market’s roots can be traced back to Camden Lock, which opened as a timber yard in the early 19th century and later transformed into a flourishing hub for crafts, antiques, and bric-a-brac in the 1970s. It quickly gained popularity and led to the development of the Stables Market. Today, it is famous for its unique blend of shops and stalls selling vintage clothes, furniture, and an array of fascinating curiosities.
In the 1980s, Buck Street Market, also known as ‘The Cages’, opened as a venue for selling fashionable clothing and accessories, further enhancing Camden Market’s reputation as a go-to destination for style seekers.
Camden Market Today
Today, Camden Market is a thriving hotspot for foodies, fashionistas, and collectors, attracting millions of visitors annually with its diverse offering and vibrant atmosphere. Despite its evolution and expansion, Camden Market has retained its original charm and symbolises London’s rich cultural diversity and artistic spirit.
Exploring the Markets within Camden
Camden Market is made of multiple different markets within the Camden Town area.
Camden Lock Market
Camden Lock Market, also known as Camden Lock, was the original market that started the famous Camden markets phenomenon. Opened in 1974, it was initially a crafts market, offering a platform for artisans to sell their handmade goods. Over time, it has become a bustling hotspot for unique clothing, jewellery, and one-of-a-kind arts and crafts. It’s named after the nearby Regent’s Canal Lock.
Camden Stables Market
Camden Stables Market gets its name from its previous incarnation as a horse hospital in the 19th century. Offering a labyrinth of shops and stalls, this part of Camden Market is best known for its eclectic mix of antiques, vintage clothing, and unusual items. The horse sculptures scattered around the market serve as a reminder of its equine past.
Inverness Street Market
Inverness Street Market, once famous for its fruit and vegetable stalls serving the local community, has transformed over the years to cater to the influx of tourists. Today, it consists mainly of stalls selling souvenirs, clothing, and street food. Despite these changes, it remains a vibrant part of the Camden Market experience.
Camden Market Hawley Wharf
The newest addition to Camden Market offerings is the Hawley Wharf market. It is located in a new canal-side building and has a mix of independent retailers and well-known brands. There are also around 30 places for food and drinks, from burgers to smoothies and ice cream. You’ll also find a cinema and an indoor theme park for kids.