London/Camden

Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom England London London/Camden

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Introduction

Camden Markets

Camden Markets

© fishitaly

Londoners associate the word 'Camden' with the alternative community. Goths, punks, indie kids and celebrity hangers-on congregate in the square mile around Camden Town tube station, with flash and scruffy bars overlooking the canal and live music playing until the small hours.

The Borough of Camden also covers the expensive and traditional areas North of Camden Town - particularly Belsize Park and Hampstead Village - and the great expanse of countryside-in-a-city that is Hampstead Heath.

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Sights and Activities

  • Camden Market - You can find just about anything here. The good, the bad and the often downright bizarre. Amongst other things get your gothy trinkets, paraboots and cheap T-Shirts here.
  • Camden Lock is a great place for a waterside pint.
  • The British Museum is in the South of the Borough.
  • Hampstead Heath - one of the most attractive parks in London. A huge, wild open space with great views over London including the famous view from Parliament Hill.
  • Belsize Park and Hampstead Village - historic, pretty, traditional and expensive.
  • A walk along the Regent's Canal.
  • Kenwood House and Gardens on the edge of the Heath - a historic house, with lovely grounds and a Henry Moore statue.
  • The British Library.
  • The Swiss Cottage - a strange Swiss-themed pub in the middle of grey, urban Finchley Road. The food isn't bad and the beer's often their own brand.

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Events and Festivals

  • The Red Stripe Camden Crawl is a 2 day music festival in Camden, with buskers, acoustic and electric performances in venues and spots all around Camden, and poetry readings to boot. It's a blast!

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Getting There

By Train

By Bus

There are many buses to Camden from all over London and from almost every direction. Check out TFL for which route you want.

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Getting Around

By Car

Driving in Camden can be tricky - especially as there are many one way streets and very limited parking available. Street Wardens patrol stringently so be careful if you do drive. Best bet is public transport though!

By Public Transport

Underground and overground stations in Camden include Camden Town, Camden Road, Chalk Farm, Kentish Town, Belsize Park, Hampstead, Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage, Warren Street, Goodge Street, Euston Square and Russell Square.

Many bus routes pass through Camden - see the TFL website for details.

By Foot

Don't plan on walking unless you're only visiting a specific area. Camden Town is explorable on foot, Belsize Park and Hampstead are too, and Hampstead Heath is a pleasant place for a stroll.

By Bike

London isn't a particularly great place to cycle unless you're familiar/comfortable with the traffic, though due to investment from the current administration this is slowly improving. An exception is along the Regent's Canal - a traffic free route shared with pedestrians.

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Eat

Eating possibilities within the borough are many and varied.

At the cheapest end, food stalls and cafes dotted around Camden Market dole out inexpensive plates of food to hungry bargain hunters. The Thai and Vietnamese food stalls are particularly palatable.

In the mid-range, Camden Town hosts burger joints, Mexican cantinas, Carribean places selling modern takes on Jerk and Escoveitch and vegetarian music bars. Smarter Belsize and Hampstead have gastro-pubs serving modern British food, trendy cafes and sushi places.

As ever in London, you're never too far away from an Indian restaurant, with Hampstead's Bombay Bicycle Club being among the best of the bunch.

Camden is surprisingly light on really top-end places to eat - the esoteric Gilgamesh on Chalk Farm Road is probably the most widely acclaimed.

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Drink

Camden certainly isn't short on places to drink - from Russell Square to Hampstead you'll never be far from a traditional pub or a swish bar.

  • Edinboro Castle pub in Camden is great for a pint or two if you're around the North London area... they also have a great menu and a lovely big beer garden for when the sun comes out. Address: 57 Mornington Terrace, London, NW1 7RU (get the tube to Camden Town or Mornington Crescent) Ph: 020 7255 9651
  • The Black Cap is a gay friendly pub in Camden High Street serving food, drinks and a variety of entertainment options each night of the week. The Black Cap also benefits from a covered terrace upstairs and out the back. Comfortable place to meet and drink or eat with friends, and great service. Find it at the North end of Camden High Street just down the hill from Camden Town Tube.
  • Jazz Cafe is a fabulous live music venue featuring many acts in the Jazz, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop realm. Jazz Cafe is open every night from 7:00pm - 2:00am and is best accessed from Camden Town Tube. Address: 5 Parkway, Camden, NW1 7PG.

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Sleep

Budget

  • St Christopher's Camden is a hostel which has rooms from £17 per night. Address: 50 Camden High Street, NW1 OLT
  • Smart Camden Inn is another hostel with cheap rooms (from £12 per night) and close to all that Camden and London has to offer. Address: 55-57 Bayham Street, Camden Town NW1 0AA

Mid-Range

  • Camden Lock Hotel has rooms from £59 per night and is located in the heart of Camden Town. Address: 89 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AR

Upscale

  • Thistle Euston is nearby and perfect for easy access to Camden and transport links to the city centre. Rooms start at £104. Address: Cardington Street, Euston NW1 2LP

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Keep Connected

Internet

  • Camden Internet Cafe - 7 Camden High Street, £1 per hour
  • Infolink - 2 Camden Road, Camden. Ph: 020 7482 1888 £0.10 per min
  • Cafe Moretti - 154 Camden High Street, Camden. Ph: 020 7209 5082
  • Business Centre - 5 Pratt Street, Ph: 020 7485 3805 £1 per hour

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

There are plenty of shops on the high street where you can pick up a cheap pre-paid or contract mobile phone to get you up and running. You can find a 3 Store, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Fones-4-U and Carphone Warehouse, amongst many others, on the high street.

There are also a few public phones along the High Street but finding one in good working order can be tricky! Some of the pubs and internet cafes in the area have public phones and internet phones at low costs.

You can also find may outlets along the High Street selling low cost calling cards to dial overseas for the price of a local call.

Post

There is a Post Office & Shop in Camden, on the High Street, where you can post letters, postcards and packages to all over the world. They also stock a variety of stationery and provide a free currency exchange service. Address: 114-120 Camden High Street, Camden, London, NW1 0RR (Nearest Tube is Camden Town). Ph: 0845 722 3344

The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.

Contributors

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This is version 32. Last edited at 9:27 on Aug 27, 13 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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