The Low Down on Camden Town: Quirky sights, good eats, and the best people watching

It’s almost September, can you believe it?!

To celebrate the fact that there hasn’t been an official holiday in three months, the Brits throw in a Bank Holiday late August, where everyone gets to soak up the last of the sunshine before Autumn sets in.

Side Note: You may ask what a Bank Holiday is, and if you’re like me you may have compared it to a Teacher Work Day. And after deciding you were most likely right in thinking the Banks here just needed an extra day to catch up on their work, so everyone else got a day off, you may have decided to ask someone if you were right.

Well you weren’t right. Bank Holidays are LITERALLY just a day off!! And banks are closed. No rhyme or reason, or at least if there is – the more than handful of people I asked were not aware of said reason.

The Low Down on Camden Town

So for my first bank holiday we trekked over to Camden, an upbeat, melting pot of stores and people.

I would compare it to Brooklyn in New York because of the hipster vibe, meshed with Chinatown because there’s insane amounts of tricked out stores with people beckoning you to come in, and then throw in Ultra Music Festival because of the array of people.

For example:

We were inside a phone store and a guy ran in with no shoes, no shirt, dreaded hair, and was picking up phones and putting them back down just to run back out. No one said anything to him. Chill.

Walk a bit further down and you see a group of 12 people sitting on the sidewalk, all wearing black. Some people laying down and looking up at the sky? You’re literally two feet from the road! Is this a safety concern!? To each their own, and these people literally owned that area of the sidewalk for a good three hours. Cheers mates!

Back to the good stuff…

Regardless of what you fancy, Camden has it, and then some. Not only is this a place to go explore some foodie faves, but the lively atmosphere is an attraction in itself.

If you find yourself in the UK, and you’ve done all the sightseeing and need a tapas taste of local London life, look no further than Camden – and allow me to help with some suggestions.

The shops

Camden is the girl at the party who struts through the front door, with all the confidence in the world, a little mystery, and a whole lot of pizzazz.

You’ll easily get whiplash in this town when walking past all the storefronts. Each shop has gone above and beyond to stand out, and it shows. Gaze at the crazy structures that pop out above the shops. From down the street you’ll know exactly what’s on offer ahead – and don’t worry about there being a set price. The art of haggling is massive here!

Further down the street you’ll run into The Camden Lock Market, the bit of Camden that’s been through a hell of a year. Low down: This was the area that the fire burned down. However, now there’s bunches of stalls open selling everything from graphic tees, to sundresses, fur jackets, leather jackets, and shoes for a true low price.

The coolest thing about Camden is that there’s tons of alleyways that have plenty of shops tucked in! You can waltz down your own Diagon Alley and find just about anything in this area.

Again, haggling is a huge tactic here. Make sure you’re overly confident, and are more than aware of what money you have with you. It’s not uncommon for people to take advantage of those who sound like tourists.

The Lock

A lock is like a miniature Panama Canal. It helps to lower and raise water from one body of water to another so that boats can safely cross. In Camden, there’s a lock with a walking bridge above it and tons of bars around it. You can even take a canal tour and get a closer view for yourself.

Make sure you check out the bars around here. There’s plenty of places to sit outdoors, on rooftops, and just enjoy the sunshine. The trees cast enough shade to keep you cool, so sitting outside is the most perfect way to enjoy a cold beverage.

Food stalls

Who doesn’t love a food stall area? These areas are huge over here, especially since there’s such an emphasis on living local and supporting small businesses.

In this area, you can truly find food from every region. Creep past the crepes, drift through the whiffs of falafel, and find yourself near the back of the market. There’s some delicious brownies, and even some vegan options!

We dove into a salted carmel brownie and WOW was it amazing!! I wish I could’ve taken a picture but it was gone before I could even think about it. 

Throughout Camden you’ll come across lively areas with live music, cute bars that are tucked away, plenty of side markets, and every type of person imaginable. This town is a great area to hangout during the day, go shopping with friends, or go for a few drinks and enjoy the outdoors.

So if you’re finding yourself short on time and want to get a taste of every type of person in London, and make some stellar memories along the way, make your way over to Camden Town. You’ll not only have a fun day out, but you’ll have the opportunity to squeeze a bite size portion of London’s massive personality into a few hours.

Looking to explore more of Europe?

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