This post is a visitor's guide to Camden Market, one of the most famous markets in the world.
Camden Market is home to more than 1,000 shops, food stalls, cafes, pubs, and restaurants. Shopping, eating, and seeing the sites is a great way to spend an afternoon.
How to Get to Camden Market
Camden Market consists of several individual markets, each with its own history and atmosphere. Thus you can jump into the action at a number of locations.
The best way to begin your visit is to start from the southern end of the market from the Camden Town Underground station (Northern Line).
On weekends, this station occasionally closes due to congestion. In that case, we advise accessing the market from the Chalk Farm Underground station on the northern end of the market or the Mornington Crescent Underground station, a bit further south than the Camden Town station.
The nearest bus lines are routes 24, 27, 31, and 168, but there are many other buses that go to the area.
There is the Camden Town stop on the London Rail as well.
We recommend using this Google map for directions to Camden Market from anywhere in London.
Also, see our post on How to Use the London Underground.
Opening and Closing Hours
Daily 10 am - 6 pm, including all bank holidays. Closed Christmas Day.
Hours can vary from business to business, so be sure to check the Camden Market Directory for information on hours for individual stores, stalls, and food and drink options.
Overview of Camden Market
In the 19th-century, the area where the market is now located was mostly industrial and centers on the transport of goods along the Regent’s Canal.
By the 1970s, the canal trade disappeared and the area was run down and destined for destruction.
In 1972, two long-time friends bought the old T.E. Dingwalls timber yard and started the Camden Lock Market, with just 16 stalls selling unique crafts.
Over time, other markets followed and collectively the different markets are known as “Camden Market”.
Each of the markets has its own history and atmosphere and we describe them below.
Inverness Street Market
When you exit the Camden Town tube station, you will first come to the small Inverness Street Market. From the 1980s until around 2010, this was a fresh produce market servicing the locals.
With the rise of chain supermarkets, the produce stalls closed down. Today Inverness Street Market is lined with shops selling everything from clothing, shoes, accessories, and traditional London souvenirs. There are also a number of pubs and food stalls.
While you will find some chain shops like Urban Outfitters and VANs, there are a few independently-owned iconic London stores, such as Mega City Comics andOut On The Floorrecord shop that sells actual vinyl (a rarity these days)!
There are also shops dedicated to Goth and Steampunk clothes and shoes and outdoor stalls selling bags, shoes, and assorted goods.
Buck Street Market
Along Camden High Street is one of London’s 'box markets', made up of 88 colorfully painted and recycled shipping containers spread over three stories. There is another similar market at Shoreditch.
This market is focused on independent designers and artisan craftsmen selling one-of-a-kind apparel, jewelry, accessories, home decor, and beauty products. There are also a few high-end vintage shops.
Claiming to be London’s first eco-market, Buck Street Market has plenty of shops focused on eco-friendly products. There is even a shoe store selling only vegan shoes!
Food stalls focus on local purveyors with plenty of ethnic eats. There are some rooftop bars and restaurants as well.
Camden Lock Market
On the northern side of Regent’s Canal is Camden Lock Market which opened in 1974 consisting of just 16 stalls selling crafts and antiques.
Ten years later, this market was filled with stalls opened by up-and-coming clothing designers and Camden Lock became a prime destination for punk apparel. It was THE place to shop on Sundays.
As the market expanded, a glass-roofed Victorian-style market hall was added in 1991.
Within the hall and the numerous stalls, you can still find one-of-a-kind crafts here, new and second-hand clothing, artisan jewelry, music memorabilia, collectibles, used books, and more.
There are a number of excellent food stalls, restaurants, and cafes serving a wide range of cuisine.
Camden Lock Market also features entertainment and workshops making it a very interesting destination.
Long before Camden Market existed, the area here was home to the historic Pickfords Stables that housed the horses that pulled wagons for the Pickfords moving company. Still in operation, Pickfords is believed to have been founded as early as 1695!
As these brick stables are considered of historic interest, the architecture has not been significantly altered and the market retains the feel of walking through horse stables.
No chain stores are legally permitted which makes shopping here a special experience.
While known primarily for its furniture and antique shopping, there is no shortage of clothing, accessories, and shoe sellers.
For those looking for alternative fashion, the Stables Market is the place to go for stores catering to ‘goths’ and ‘cybergoths.’
There are also numerous art houses to check out and the food stalls and cafes are absolutely tasty!
In addition to the markets, there are several other attractions in or around Camden Town.
British Library - The British Library is a fantastic, FREE library in the heart of London. There are regular free and paid exhibitions, so be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information.
Regent's Canal - The walk from Camden to Little Italy along the canal is one of the most beautiful in London!
Regent's Park - A stunning park just a few minutes' walk from Camden Market. Rowboats and pedal boats are available for hire during the summertime.
The Jewish Museum - Learn about London's Jewish history in this fantastic museum. Open from 10 am - 5 pm, daily. Includes an exhibition dedicated to Amy Winehouse and her family.