A couple girlfriends of mine mentioned that they’re meeting up in Camden this afternoon to wander the markets, so I thought I’d give a shout-out.

If you hop the Northern Line to the Camden Town tube station, a brief walk toward the canal will take you past assorted colorful, eclectic urban shops and pubs (which play far better music than I ever get to hear in the more mainstream Kensington venues…while on the topic, might I recommend the Dublin Castle as an atmospheric pub with live music in back,

the very stage where the band Madness got its start—and, yes, they had a lot more hits than just “Our House“!  To call them a one-hit wonder is a myth…).  Cross the canal to wander into the Camden Lock Market and, just beyond it, the Stables Market.  What you’ll find here is a variety of clothing, jewelry, art, decor and whatnot—a much more alternative scene than you’ll find on the usual high streets—with an old London aesthetic as you walk on brick pavement amidst the industrial buidings of yesteryear.  In the Stables Market is the multi-faceted Proud Camden, which encompasses art galleries and a low-key-by-day pub located within what were once actually stables for the horses that pulled the barges along the canal; by night, then, it becomes a live music venue with a more clubby ambiance.  Another bar that comes highly recommended is the Ice Wharf, which has a spacious beer garden out on the water.

And this is random, but I recently learned of the spookishly named Camden Catacombs, a series of Victorian subterranean tunnels that run from Primrose Hill to Camden Lock; evidently, they were also used as stables for horses.  Much to my chagrin, they are not accessible by the public, so my dreams of spelunking through Victorian London have been dashed…it’s still neat somehow knowing that they’re there, though 🙂

This is honestly an area that I need to explore more of myself, so when I do so (as well as hear back from how my friends’ day goes), I’ll give you the heads-up on more must-sees there.  In the meantime, follow this link to the Best of Camden guide that details other markets to be had as well as the Camden Lock Village open on weekend days.

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