Found in inner North London, Camden Lock market has an alternative vibe and is famous for its buzzing markets, canal-side bars, popular gig venues and many street performers. During the week Camden is quite relaxed and residential, then it really comes to life on weekends with its busy markets. Camden Lock market has a reputation as the grunge and punk capital of London and tourists flock to the area every year to discover this alternative side of London.
Famous markets aside, Camden also has another big claim to fame. The area’s deep-rooted history with music idols like Amy Winehouse, Blur and Oasis has cemented Camden as the after-hours home of Britain’s music industry. Not only is the area home to many musicians past and present, the famous Roundhouse music venue has hosted some of the biggest bands and artists in the world. In 2014 Prince surprised fans with a secret gig at the 3000-person venue, which has also launched the early careers of The Doors, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix.
If you’re looking for some art and culture, Camden also has one of the highest proportions of museums in London. While the British Museum is the most well-known, you’ll also find other gems like the Freud Museum, Keats House or the Illustration Museum in the area.
Prepare your visit to Camden Lock Market
When to visit Camden Lock
Camden is a popular destination Monday-Sunday, all year ’round. The Camden market has over 1000 stalls that are open every day from 10am until late, including bank holidays. Weekends are particularly busy with tourists and the canal is best enjoyed with a drink on a warm, sunny day.
How long is needed to visit Camden Lock
You should reserve at least two hours to visit Camden, explore the markets and canal on foot. If you go for lunch or dinner, you’ll need a little longer if you want to also explore the area. Take your time to see the many stalls and go for a wander along the canal to see what other hidden gems you can find.
What should I wear to visit Camden Lock
Camden is very alternative so expect to see a lot of punk and grunge outfits. However, it welcomes anyone and everyone, so there really is no dress code. Simply wear whatever you’re most comfortable in, no matter how sensible or outrageous it is. Remember to take a bag for some inevitable shopping though! Read the ultimate shopping guide for the best shopping in London to get more tips!
What is there to see in Camden Lock Market
Camden Lock Market
What originally started with just 16 stalls, Camden Lock Market has grown to become one of London’s most famous markets. Not only famous, Camden Lock Market is also London’s biggest. It’s open 7 days a week and there are over 1,000 stalls to explore. Fashion, music and food are all at the core of its unique set-up. You’ll find everything from street food vans, vintage nights and independent retailers to record shops, pop-up bars and everything in between!
The Roundhouse is one of London’s most iconic music venues. Originally built in 1847 as a turntable for the London and North Western Railway, it reopened as a performing arts venue in 1964. It has since hosted many legendary concerts from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and The Doors. Nowadays it still provides for a huge variety of acts and the opportunity to see a live performance in this iconic space should not be missed.
The British Library
The British Library is home to more than 170 million items from all around the world. That technically makes it the world’s largest library by number of items categorised. The library is open to the public every day of the week and it’s free to visit. If you’re not a huge fan of libraries, it also plays host to lots of other interesting events. Exhibitions like the Harry Potter curation pop-up in the building, as well as lectures, panel discussions and tours.
Where to stay in Camden Lock Market
Holiday Inn London – Camden Lock
This affordable 4-star hotel is found in the heart of Camden. Part of the reliable Holiday Inn hotel chain, this property has 130 rooms including executive and penthouse suites. The open lobby is also the perfect place for business, meeting friends or relaxation.
Amenities: Free wifi, fitness centre, children’s program, business services
Recommended for: Families, couples, budget travellers, business travellers, groups
Address: Camden Lock, 30 Jamestown Rd, London, NW1 7BY
St. Christopher’s Inn Camden Hostel
This budget-friendly hostel in the heart of Camden has a fun party vibe, friendly staff and a fantastic location. Popular with backpackers, it offers bunk beds, shared bathrooms and free breakfast. Perfect to rest your head after a night out in Camden Lock market.
Amenities: Free wifi, lockers, shared bathrooms, shared accommodation, free breakfast, 24 hour reception, communal area
Recommended for: Budget travellers, groups
Address: 48-50 Camden High St, London NW1 0LT
York & Albany Hotel
This Camden Lock market boutique hotel has nine individually-designed, cosy rooms in a classic British style. The hotel is close to the best of what Camden has to offer, and even sits on top of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant.
Things to do in Camden Lock Market
Camden Lock Market & Music Legends Walking Tour
This two hour walking tour of Camden Market will take you off the beaten path of this North London suburb. You’ll learn about the city’s music history and discover where music legends like Amy Winehouse and Jimi Hendrix used to spend their time. Your guide will also take you to explore Camden Town’s famous market.
Camden Pub Crawl in London
A great way to meet new people and have a fun night out on the town, this Camden pub crawl is great value for money. Your local host will take you to five different venues and the night will include free shots, drink discounts and queue jumps. All entrance fees are included in the cost.
Private Tour: Camden Eclectic Culture & Markets Tour
This private tour of Camden will introduce you to the eclectic culture that the area is famous for. The four-hour tour will show you the best shops, panoramic London views and culinary delights found in the area. The best part? It’s a private tour so you can personalise it based on your interests.
How to get to Camden Lock Market
Access Camden by air
Camden is easily accessible from London’s biggest airport – Heathrow, which you can reach on the Picadilly then Northern lines in under an hour.
Access Camden by car
Street parking around Camden can be hard to come by and is mostly reserved for permit holders and residents. However, there are some paid car parks in the vicinity. Lomax Carpark Corporation Ltd is the closest car park.
Access Camden by Train & Bus
Camden has some of the best transport connections in London, with three of London’s busiest railway stations in the borough – Euston, King’s Cross and St. Pancras. Many lines on the London Underground, Overground and National Railway Network can be accessed via these key stations.
What to eat in Camden Lock Market
Edinboro Castle Pub
This Camden institution is a vibrant British pub with one of the best outdoor beer gardens in town. Don’t miss the Sunday roast – they cater to vegetarians too with a delicious nut roast.
This sustainable fish and chips restaurant in Camden gives a new take on the classic British staple meal. You can choose to eat in or take-away.