Camden London, located between the bustle of Central London and the leafy calm of North West London, Camden Town has always existed as an interesting hybrid area. As well as having one of the best markets in Londom -which we’ll get to in a second…it’s one of London’s best places to live!
While it boasts a rich literary history (Charles Dickens lived here, as did his ‘A Christmas Carol’ character Bob Cratchit) and plenty of affluent professionals, it’s also home to punks, protesters, art students, and all sorts of alternative types. Camden London is such an interesting place – it’s impossible to pigeonhole, and is as well known for the loud and proud gay scene as it is for celebrity residents who include Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.
As well as the brilliant restaurants included in this post, be sure to check out 15 of the best places to eat in Camden!
Where we put all the places we couldn’t fit in here!
History of Camden Town
Photo credit: www.hamhigh.co.uk
Originally part of the manor of Kentish Town and named after Charles Pratt, the Earl of Camden, the borough has actually only existed in its current state since 1965. When Regent’s Canal was built through the area in 1816, it began to grow around the transport hub as workers migrated to Camden. The famous markets began in 1973, and before long Camden Town became a byword for good nightlife and an alternative, arty scene. This reputation remains today, particularly as some of London’s best clubs such as Koko and Electric Ballroom are located here.
Cost of Camden
Despite the fantastic location (being NW1, after all!), it’s still possible to find a bargain property in Camden Town. The varied mix of options, from expensive townhouses to ex-social housing means that Camden Town offers much more space for your money than neighbouring areas like Primrose Hill and Hampstead.
Cheapest rent for a two-bed flat:
Most expensive rent for a two-bed flat:
Transport in Camden
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You’ll struggle to find an area in London with better transport links than Camden Town. Not only is it served by two branches of the Northern Line at Camden Town station, the Overground at Camden Road and plenty of buses, it’s a mere 20 minute walk to Kings Cross St Pancras. From here, you can get all over Britain, and even to France and Belgium!
We’ve just released 15 of the best places to eat in Camden
where we squeezed all the brilliant places we couldn’t fit in this post!
Recently recommended by Evening Standard food critic Grace Dent, Q Grill is a great new addition to the Camden Town restaurant scene. As the name suggests, grilled food is on the menu, cooked in a charcoal pit grill and served with lovely seasonal salads.
Address: 29 – 33 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AJ
Phone: 020 7267 2678
The second outpost of this hugely popular retro chippie, Poppies serves delicious fresh fish and chips in a 1940s setting, complete with jukebox and reclaimed cinema seating. Come on a Friday or Saturday evening to enjoy free live music too.
Address: 30 Hawley Crescent, London NW1 8NP
Phone: 020 7267 0440
Photo credit: www.timeout.com
A short walk up the road towards Kentish Town will get you to Arancini Factory, a charming cafe owned by market favourites ‘The Arancini Brothers’. The deep-friend risotto balls are the best you’ll find outside of Sicily, and the homemade desserts are not to be missed.
Address: 115A Kentish Town Road, London NW1 8PB
Phone: 020 3583 2242
With a cosy interior and a huge beer garden, this great gastropub is a top choice in any weather. Serving top quality British grub and a selection of craft beers from around the world, it’s not hard to understand why the locals love it.
57 Mornington Terrace, London NW1 7RU
Phone: 020 7255 9651
Despite the strong presence of burgers on the menu, Hache feels a lot more upmarket than your traditional burger joint, with dark wood furniture and a candelabra hanging from the ceiling. The burgers themselves are luxurious, with innovative flavour combinations and lovely floury buns.
Address: 24 Inverness Street, Camden Town, Greater London NW1 7HJ
Phone: 020 7485 9100
Some of Camden’s distinctive alternative shops
Camden Lock Market
The original arts and crafts market in Camden, Camden Lock Market showcases some of the finest artists and designers in London. With more than 150,000 visitors a week, it has also become one of London’s more unusual tourist attractions.
Another branch of the popular vintage chain, Rokit is filled to the brim with old classics, and the occasional odd piece that should have been left in the 70s. The range of bags and denim shorts is particularly good.
Address: 225 High Street, London, NW1 7BU
Phone: 0207 2673046
Camden Stables Market
Once a hospital for injured horses during the Victorian period, the Stables Market is now a shopping paradise full of antiques and unique items, from clothes to art and everything in-between. When you tire of shopping, head to At Proud bar to enjoy the sun on the terrace.
This tiny Portuguese corner shop may not look like much, but don’t let the exterior deceive you – despite the small premises this is one of the best delis in London, a proper local institution selling freshly baked bread, Portuguese delicacies, wonderful sandwiches and a whole host of other items. We recommend the crabs legs!
Address: 40 Delancey St, London NW1 7RY
Phone: 020 7485 2351
What’s so special about a Sainsbury’s, you say? Well, they’re not normally a beacon of polished metal and modernist architecture. Originally the ABC building, this enormous supermarket is a gem if you’re keen on contrasting architectural styles. It also has a huge selection of food, as you would expect.
With a fascinating collection documenting the Jewish community in Britain, the Holocaust, and Jewish ceremonial art, this museum is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in history or Jewish life. They also hold many temporary exhibitions on a diverse range of subjects – recent subjects have included the art of the First World War, and Amy Winehouse.
Address: Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert St, London NW1 7NB
Phone: 020 7284 7384
Located in nearby Regent’s Park, London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo, and holds nearly 17,000 animals. During the summer months, bag a ticket for ‘Zoo Lates’ on a Friday evening, and you can visit the animals while enjoying a drink and some fantastic street food.
Address: Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY
Phone: 020 7449 6200
Regent’s Canal Boat Trips
Photo credit: www.thepiratecastle.org
Starting in Little Venice and ending at Camden Lock (or vice versa), boat trips along Regent’s Canal are a brilliant way to see another side of London. Plenty of different companies offer this service depending on what you enjoy, whether that’s a historical tour or a laid-back booze cruise! Check the London Waterbus Company
, the Canal Museum
and London Canal Boat Cruises
for a start.
One of the best markets in London
; even if you don’t want to buy anything this market is a must see, just for the incredible venue it’s housed in or just to people watch. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon or you can get there early if you want to avoid the crowds. Don’t forget to grab lunch before you leave at one of the popular and tasty food stalls.
If you’re moving to London and want to check out some great property in Camden available right now, click on the link below!