Finding The Color In London’s Camden Market

The vivid, alternative, and edgy Camden Market is an offbeat haven for young people.

CAMDEN MARKET
PHOTO LAUREN GOERZ

With only two days in the UK, I spent most of my time seeing the sights in central London. I wandered down Oxford Street, onto Trafalgar Square and past Parliament. The area is beautiful in its symmetry and continuity; uniform beige stone buildings with ridged columns line the wide streets. Throngs of tourists with shopping bags and sharply dressed businessmen in black suits fill the sidewalks.  There, under the ubiquitous grey sky, I found myself wondering where I could find the color in London.

CAMDEN MARKET
PHOTO LAUREN GOERZ

I think I found it at Camden Market.

The vivid, alternative, and edgy Camden Market is an offbeat haven for young people. It is a labyrinth of vendor stalls, curio cabinets, curiosities, and souvenirs. There are ramps that lead to multiple different levels, and canals that weave through the marketplace. Deep within the maze of vendors, light streams through the lattice ceiling with beaded chandeliers. A noticeable equine motif runs through the “Stables Market” area of the Camden Lock as iron statues of stampeding horses, oversized horse heads and horseshoes adorn structural components of the market. The space was formerly a large stable for horses that pulled barges through the canal. It is a massive conglomeration; it is part vintage gift shop, flea market, and craft fair. There is something for everyone at Camden, basements of t-shirts and tapestries, overflowing antique shops, vintage clothing, and hundreds of stalls that contain every quirky London-themed souvenir you could possibly imagine.

CAMDEN MARKET
PHOTO LAUREN GOERZ

Overall, Camden Market is a fusion of culture and counterculture. Competing odors of incense, hookah, spice and ethnic foods infuse the atmosphere. Classical music from the antique vendor, punk rock from the alternative clothing store, and Bhangra dance music from a food stand create a discordant mixture of sound that travels with you as you move through the market. Allow yourself to get lost and Camden market will entertain your senses for hours. Food vendors are always offering savory samples on toothpicks; so those with a strong stomach should absolutely venture forth and try everything. The food is cheap and delicious. Sit down and observe the crowds as well; you are bound to encounter some extreme alternative looks and avant-garde fashion. And of course, be sure to shop around Camden. It is the perfect place to look for souvenirs. You might have to rummage through some junk before you ever find any priceless treasures, but that is part of the Camden Market experience.

Article written by Lauren Goerz.

CAMDEN MARKET
PHOTO LAUREN GOERZ

 

CAMDEN MARKET
PHOTO LAUREN GOERZ

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