One of the best parts about living overseas is having great places near you for your family and friends to see when they come to stay. Camden in North London is one of my favourite areas of one of my favourite cities. It’s an area I’d love to take my visitors to if we have more time, once we’ve ticked off the biggies. This is an area guide to Camden written by Charlie Wileman.
Area guide to Camden
Known for its colourful market, culture and nightlife, Camden is an inner district of North London that is incredibly popular with locals and tourists.
For more than half a century, Camden Town has been at the centre of alternative London culture with a distinctly bohemian feel. If you are looking for things to see and do, you will find plenty of cool events, exhibitions and shows to wile the hours away.
One of the most popular weekend attractions in London, Camden Market is a bustling area offering an eclectic mix of fashion and crafts from all four corners of the world. Many markets are crammed between Camden Town and Chalk Farm tube stations. Although things are now more commercial than they once were, it’s still very easy to get your hands on some fantastic bargains, from books and vintage clothing to distinctive art and records.
Camden Arts Centre
Widely regarded as a world-class contemporary visual arts centre, Camden Arts Centre regularly features exhibitions involving international and emerging artists appearing for the very first time in the city. The venue regularly seeks to involve members of the public; the vast majority of its events are free and make for a stimulating afternoon visit.
Intrepid travellers across Camden with a penchant for urban culture will appreciate an overnight stay at Generator London. Nestled in the heart of the borough of Camden, this progressive global design-led hostel chain has recently undergone a restyle, with a fresh new look including edgy graffiti, new cosy rooms and social hangout spaces. The chain is working hard to offer Camden visitors a unique experience with good old-fashioned sightseeing to underground bar events with its resident and guest DJs.
An iconic performing arts venue, the Camden Roundhouse boasts a unique history, hosting some of the world’s finest bands and musicians whilst once being involved in the world of steam engines and gin. The Roundhouse is presently home to the iTunes Music Festival and offers a wonderfully intimate setting with its 2,000+ capacity.
The British Library
Located on Euston Road, the British Library remains the official book depository of the UK, holding a copy of every single book ever printed, including an unrivalled number of periodicals. Although as a visitor you cannot enter the museum itself, you can still sample its exhibition, chronicling the history of the written and printed word.
Camley Street Natural Park
The only nature reserve in the centre of London, this small 2-acre reserve sits north of King’s Cross Station, giving visitors an ideal opportunity to learn more about the work of the London Wildlife Trust – an interesting trip if you’re an animal lover.
Cob Gallery and Studios
If contemporary art is your bag then you will appreciate a visit to Cob Gallery and Studios. This independent gallery and arts space was launched in 2011, providing a much-needed platform for emerging local artists to develop and showcase their work. With professional artist studios and a 1,500 sq ft gallery, it is often used for product launches and exhibitions.
With some of London’s most varied cuisine, a buzzing live music scene and an ‘anything goes’ attitude, Camden is a must-see region.
Have you been to Camden? If so, any tips you’d like to share?
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