When I’m not at Queen Mary reading away, my favorite thing to do in London is explore. Walking new streets and finding new things is pretty exhilarating to me. This week, my explorations brought me to what I can only call the coolest market ever, Camden Market.
No, this is not like Camden, New Jersey which I couldn’t stop thinking about either, but a huge half indoor half outdoor market in the heart of Camden, London. The market itself stretches down blocks and blocks of road and winds and twists through old cobblestone streets. Some of these streets used to be old horse and carriage roads that merchants would bring goods through. Now it is a mashup of high end clothing, vintage shops, small exhibits and anything else you could possibly want. I think the most interesting store by far was Cyberdog. This store was an electro-music wonder complete with rave gear and glow in the dark makeup. Guarded by two giant robots, you couldn’t help but want to check out the fantasy world that was inside.
This area of London has deep ties to the punk scene as well, with many of the original London punk culture coming out of this area. A staple of the punk/rock aesthetic are Doc Martens, which subsequently came out of Camden as well! There was a great little exhibit in the Doc Martens store of the impact these shoes had on this subculture as it was being created. Complete with signed shoes and artifacts, it was really cool to see a little bit of history about the counter-culture youth, and just how important a pair of shoes could be within that.
Continuing through the winding roads of the market you come across tons of vintage shops and knick knacks. You could really create an entire outfit from any era through here.
Once you’ve made it through the maze of shops, you finally come across the food plaza. Just like the rest of London the food in the food areas of Camden Market are extremely diverse. Anything you could imagine from any part of the world is in these food courts. While most of my friends went for Chinese, I found a wonderful raclette stand, where I was able to order garlic potatoes covered in melted cheese (scraped right off the wheel!)
Out of all the exploring I’ve done so far, I can safely say that Camden Market has been one of my favorite places. London is full of markets with amazing food and goods, but Camden Market beats them all with everything they have to offer. If you’re ever in London, make it down to Camden, I don’t think you’ll regret it.