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Camden Market

Camden Market (78)

Located in a neighbourhood that has traditionally been a stronghold of the working classes, Camden Market brings together a total of six markets distributed along two main streets: Camden High Street and Chalk Farm Road. Those who believe that the best things in London are the historical monuments and splendid museums should be aware that, every weekend, more than 100,000 people pack Camden Market.

The epicentre of the hustle and bustle of this area is, without doubt, Camden Lock, a flea market located next to Regent's Canal that began its expansion in 1975.

In an environment populated by old apartment blocks and restored industrial buildings alternating with Victorian houses, the ambiance is unremitting, especially at weekends. Bars, restaurants and lounges of tattoos and piercings, they coexist with a deployment jobs like no other hippies with intense smell of incense and garish sellers trying to endorse you t-shirts in groups Heavies . 

A prominent place of pilgrimage for Goths, Camden is home to members of countless urban tribes who come here to acquire clothing and accessories. Punks, clubbers and rockabillies alike peruse the stalls in search of steel-toe-cap boots, 50s clothing or loud t-shirts that will make them stand out in the clubs.

What many do not know (or do not remember) is that Camden has been the victim of two fires in recent years. The first occurred on Camden Lock on the night of the 9th of February, 2008, and was caused by a gas heater. This was the higher profile of the two fires and up to 100 firemen were needed to extinguish it. The second fire took place on the 19th of May, 2014, and was notably less intense, requiring only 70 firemen to put out the flames. Luckily there were no victims in either case.

Stables Market is one of the six markets that make up Camden, and probably the most peculiar at that. It's easy to find. If you begin at Camden Town Tube Station, Stables Market is on the other side of the canal, so when you cross the bridge, Stables will be the last market on the left. You'll know when you have arrived as there are statues and busts of horses everywhere. It's their peculiar way of welcoming you. And strange as it may seem, the area you are in now formerly housed a series of stables and a hospital for horses. Inside is a maze of stalls selling antiques, jewellery, clothing and even furniture. Stroll among the aisles and discover the inner workings of Camden's largest market. But if photographs are what you are looking for, you shouldn't miss the Proud Gallery, where photographic exhibitions are permanently on display. And finally, you'll need something to get your strength back.  Here you can find both foods from all over the world and sunny terraces for relaxing after a hard day's shopping. 

Take a break for afternoon tea, takeaway Thai food or even a falafel . It would appear that everything you have been told about London being a cultural melting pot is true.

So, break's over and it's time to return to the fray, as you still haven't visited the myriad of stalls selling crafts, books, records and second hand clothing that together make such a cheerful and colourful chaos out of this part of London, something akin to 21st-century souk.

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