London’s Camden Markets

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After a busy first day in London and good night’s sleep, we woke up feeling somewhat refreshed and eager to explore the city. The weather was nice, so we decided to head to Camden Town to shop at the famous Camden Markets. I don’t care how tacky and touristy these open-air markets can be, I like the place and the people. Besides, the last time we were in London, I bought some cool t-shirts and a pair of Doc Marten’s shoes there, and I was secretly hoping to find other good bargains—I love funky t-shirts and tank tops.

Camden Town is the location of several adjoining street markets, including Camden Lock Market, Camden Lock Village, Buck Street Market, Electric Ballroom and Inverness Street Market. They are all so close to each other that you don’t really notice any difference between the locations, and they all sell a mix of crafts, clothing, bric-a-brac, and fast food. This is a major attraction in London and the place is usually packed, but that day most Londoners and tourists were watching the cycling road race in the downtown core.

Past Camden Lock Village, we stumbled upon the Historic Stables Market that we somehow missed last time. The market is located in the former Pickfords stables and horse hospital which served the horses pulling Pickford’s distribution vans and barges along the canal. The place was a maze and it felt a bit claustrophobic at times but I found some nice little souvenirs—and yes, I bought two t-shirts and a dress for a total of £18.

Feng and I were both surprised to see that none of the stalls had bootleg Olympic merchandises—in 2008, in Beijing, people were selling unofficial t-shirts right in front of the Olympic Village!

You can see all the pic­tures taken in Lon­don on Flickr.

Camden’s High Street

Inverness Street Market

Camden Market

Camden Market

Camden Market

Buying T-Shirts

Camden Lock Village

Camden Lock Village

Punkish Camden

Historic Stables Market

Historic Stables Market

Historic Stables Market

Historic Stables Market

Historic Stables Market

Historic Stables Market

Around Camden Market

Around Camden Market

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

8 Comments

  1. This market reminds me of the market stalls in St. Marks Place in New York City. It’s just like this: it has a gothic feel, there are black outfits and metalwear being sold alongside tattoo parlors, and people display mohawks and other radical hairstyles. I would have loved these places back when I was in my early 20s, as I had a gothic phase in my life once upon a time. 🙂

  2. The reason you didn’t see any bootleg Olympic stuff is that the authorities were unbelieveably, ridiculously overzealous about protecting anything about the Games that made money. Small shopkeepers who made references to the Olympics, such as bakers who made cakes with the logo on them and hadn’t paid for it, were given threatening notices to remove them and spectators weren’t allowed to wear clothes advertising anything other than the official sponsors.

    Given the amount of taxpayers’ money that was spent on the Olympics, this was way over the top and a sad indication of what it’s all really about.

    • I read about that in British newspapers and while it didn’t surprise me (I’m not the “Olympics Family’s” biggest fan!) I found that the organizing committee went completely overboard, alienating people’s support in the process. It sucks.

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