First Impressions: Camden Markets in London
Recently I took my first visit to the Camden Markets in London. I had heard a lot about these before both online and in tour guides and on TV. The first part was a walking tour with people from my school, and then when we hit the markets proper we were on our own.
We took the tube to Swiss Cottage on the northern line and took a walk through Primrose Hill (a wealthy neighborhood) and through regent’s park. We then walked over the bridge into Camden and towards the Markets. The first one we hit has large sculptures of horses in the front. Inside there were many stalls selling both food and general wares. The food was decent (I had Chinese, there was also Indian, pizza, falafel and more), but as I soon came to realize, all the wares were the same. All the stalls had the same dresses, coats, watches etc., and it was also hard to tell the prices because most stalls didn’t label or have signs; you had to ask. Many of the clothes were either touristy or “cheap goth” like a tackier version of hot topic. There was also a strict no picture policy, probably so they don’t get in trouble for counterfeit goods or false advertising. There were also a few “vintage” shops that were essentially way overpriced thrift stores. We then walked across the roads to the other set of markets that had a lot of food again (which looked better actually) and their stalls that had a lot of the same stuff and the first set, but seemed a bit cheaper. None of this looked very good quality or unique at all. It was only as we wandered into another set of markets (on the first side we were on) that we found some better stuff (though not much) and we saw the entrance to cyberdog. I had heard of this place, but we couldn’t enter because we had drinks with us.
We then were very tired and decided to go back home, to do this we went towards the overground which was over the bridge and down the street, past the Camden tube station, then we went towards the world’s end pub, and then down that road until we hit Sainsbury’s and then just a bit further down that road. On this path we found a set of stalls called “The Camden Markets” which seemed smaller and more like a boot sale/flea market. I saw some signs for Doc Martens etc. that seemed like good used version. I would like to go their next time. I also heard that there was a good vintage shop somewhere; I’ll have to look it up for next time.
Overall, I was disappointed in the selection because it was all the same and the prices were too high. I also think we fell into the tourist trap places instead of the better markets for those in the know. Next time I’ll research to find the better shop, if there are any.