Camden is eclectic, creative and alive with activity 24/7. In the 1970s, London’s subculture kids claimed Camden as their own. Today, Camden market shops, live music venues and street art still reflect that alternative scene. The heart of Camden Lock is Regent’s Canal, home to former warehouses and workhouses converted into thriving covered and outdoor craft markets. It’s all just a short underground trip on the Northern Line from Central London. So, here’s your guide to the perfect Camden shopping trip.
Camden Market shopping
Take in the sights and sounds of thousands of food stalls, clothes stores, cafes and bars that make up Camden Market shops. Buck Street Market, Camden Lock Market and The Stables Market are spread around both Camden High Street and Chalk Farm Road. Buck Street Market, close to Camden Town underground station, is filled with quirky shops, ethical fashion stalls and exceptional street food.
Camden Lock Market and The Stables Market blend into one these days, but you can identify which one you’re in thanks to the railway arches and distinctive stable blocks – a reminder of a time when canal horses lived here. The Camden Lock Market section is both inside and outside a three-story warehouse overlooking Regent’s Canal. The stalls sell an eclectic mix, from mod-inspired jackets to circus equipment, with plenty of handmade goods, vintage finds and food stalls, too. A fascinating visit in Camden Market, Cyberdog is unmissable thanks to the giant robot dogs outside and neon interiors.
Thrift and vintage shopping in Camden Market
There’s no shortage of Camden Market vintage shops to keep you busy. Head to Stables Market to lose yourself in The Vintage Collection, a cornucopia of unworn vintage clothes from the 1930s to the 1990s. Or visit the nearby Monkey’s Emporium for collectible toys.
The Baggage Room on Chalk Farm Road is the place for restored trunks and suitcases covered in stickers. Here also, Teddy Boy sells 1950s suits. To pick up some tempting second hand vinyl, make your way to Disc Disciples in Camden Lock Market. For Camden Market thrift shops, head to Traid on Camden High Street alongside the other charity shop treasure troves, Oxfam, Scope and Mind.
Camden Town Shopping
Along with the famous markets, Camden now has Hawley Wharf, Camden’s new shopping centre filled with independent retailers and dining spaces. It’s one of the many former neglected canal-side spaces now reclaimed and repurposed.
Many of Camden’s warehouses were once factories that lay empty and decaying by the 1960s. Then in 1973, Camden Lock Market opened. The area quickly attracted London’s young creatives, who opened pubs, record shops and stalls selling punk clothing. Today, that mix of music, rebellion and creative freedom lives on, giving new life to old spaces.
Include a Camden shopping trip in your London plans and book into The Clermont, Charing Cross just 10 minutes away by tube. Or take a leisurely walk from the hotel via Regent’s Park past London Zoo. You’ll be staying in comfort in the heart of London, with the capital’s best shops on your doorstep.