With Open-air and indoor markets that offer almost everything you could imagine Camden Town, North West London is a Must. The East and West Yards of Camden Lock Market have a huge range of clothing, arts, crafts, jewellery and food on offer. The streets were bursting with life and this was only a Wednesday, I don't even know what to think about how ridiculous this place would get come weekend.
Renowned for its alternative attitude, fashion is one of the focal points for both locals and visitors. Absorbing the unique styles of the people who pass by you in the street is just the beginning. Pushed passed by an overly pierced and violently tattooed punk it was clear the locals are well and truly over tourists. Sorry but this place is my new Mecca and bargains are calling. I’m not leaving any time soon.
Dita-esque and burlesque fashion trends are popular in Camden, therefore many stores offer this plus an array of seductive modern lingerie. Also hugely popular are the Gothic and Punk styles that showcase chains, leathers, studs and not to mention an elaborate collection of Doc Martins at one of the shoe stores. I did also happen to notice the occasional latex or PVC donned mannequin in the Fetish shops. It also comes as no surprise that piercing and tattoo shops are on almost every corner. I’m due for another one, so next time perhaps.
Even with the unusual styling of Japanese street art canvassed across t shirts and bags the most unique style and shop in Camden would have to be the collection at Cyberdog. A rave influenced shop that has everything from UV and PVC clothing, light reflecting strips, fluffy pants, fluorescent everything, and odd items that will glow, flash or god knows what. Aside from the (mostly camp) store assistants flamboyantly dancing to the heavy techno being played and my experience was topped when I discovered a selection of plush STD toys. Yep, you can pick up your very own cuddly Chlamydia molecule. Strange.
Back in the stable market, posters and canvases are also a popular sale point for stall holders, many of which recreating or selling prints of the famous British graffiti artist and political activist, Banksy. I believe some of his works are even around the streets of Camden.
Food wise, these was a huge selection of market stalls, restaurants, bars and pubs, each with its own distinctive flavour. What I loved most about this was the fact that the stall holders would try and entice customers over with free samples. I probably had about four lunches that day on samples alone. The proper sit down lunch part of my free sample degustation was a table at a roof top pub overlooking the still functioning Camden Lock. The grub was OK but the view was perfect.
Having enough energy to visit all bar about 2 of the markets and stores along the main drag our Camden Market experience was complete. Actually maybe not, I did still have money in my wallet. Either way I was knackered and ready to head home….