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Ah, London! The capital of England and the United Kingdom with a rich history that dates back to Roman times. It's home to plenty of iconic sights and attractions - like the 'Big Ben' clocktower, the London Eye that provides stunning panoramic views and of course, Westminster Abbey - the site where British monarchs are coronated.
Credit: GIPHYBesides being an amazing place to visit if you're a culture or history buff, London is also pretty popular for its distinct and popular shopping areas. From procuring luxury goods in Mayfair to pondering over quirky finds in Convent Garden, shopping in London is usually a very fun and exciting affair! And undoubtedly, you've probably heard about the iconic Camden Lock Market - and if you haven’t you’re about to ?!Disclaimer: Due to local cultural differences, do note that some eateries in the list may use only halal-certified ingredients and still serve alcoholic beverages on their premises. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion and check with the eatery for any clarifications.
Things To Look Out For
Before we begin with the full guide to London’s iconic Camden Lock Market, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind when visiting the bustling market. After all, it’s always a good idea to be cautious when visiting a place you’re not familiar with. Pickpockets
Credit: GIPHYLike with every major place that attracts a lot of tourists, the Camden Lock Market has its fair share of pick-pockets. Be sure to always keep an eye on your belongings when visiting the markets and if possible, carry a cross body bag in lieu of a handbag ?.Beggars
Credit: GIPHYYou’ll encounter a lot of beggars in and around the tube station at Camden and no matter how sad their stories might be, try not to give them money. They’re there almost every day and there are some cases of beggars being part of a wider network to scam tourists ?.Don’t be afraid to bargain
Credit: GIPHYBe aware that some shops will, unfortunately, try to rip-off tourists - especially when it comes to their products, trinkets and souvenirs. Don’t be afraid to try and bargain with the seller and if they refuse, don’t be afraid to move on and look around the surrounding shops. You may even be able to find a better deal for similar products elsewhere ?.
What is Camden Lock Market?
Located in the historic former Pickfords stables, in Camden Town, The Camden Lock Market actually consists of six vastly distinct markets in and around Camden Town. Also known as the Camden Markets, this place is actually a relatively new addition to London. Originally the site of the Camden Lock Market was used primarily for agriculture and industrial work and it wasn't until 1971 that the once abandoned industrial buildings were sub-let to workshop owners and a weekend market was established. Today, you can find everything, ranging from retro and vintage accessories to goth and steampunk apparel and even hilarious t-shirts and kitschy souvenirs at the Camden Lock market - ensuring that your stroll through the area will be filled with excitement and wonder!
How do I get to Camden Lock Market?
Credit: GIPHYNow that you’re sufficiently curious about the downright magical place that is the Camden Lock Market, you’re probably wondering how on earth to get there! Luckily, since Camden Lock Market is quite strategically located, you can easily gain access via public transport or by car (if you’re planning to do some serious shopping or just prefer driving yourself around town).Via the London Underground If you are travelling via the London Underground (or the tube as the locals call it), the nearest stations are Camden Town (a two-minute walk away from the Inverness and Buck Street markets), Chalk Farm (a five-minute walk from the Stables Markets) Kentish Town (an 11-minute walk from the Camden Lock Market) or Mornington Crescent (just next to The Regent's Canal). Via BusFrom London’s West End, you can get to the Camden Lock Market by taking a bus that travels through routes 24, 29 and 134. Via TrainIf you’re coming into London by train via St. Pancras, the Camden Lock Markets are just a 24-minute walk away - unless you want to grab a taxi. Via CarIf you’re renting a car while in London, you can find car parks at St. Pancras Station or near Regent's Park - but be warned, parking on the street near the Camden markets can be incredibly difficult. Especially during the weekends when everyone is out and about!
When is the best time to visit Camden Lock Market?
If you're planning to hit up all six markets that make up the entirety of the Camden Lock Markets, you're going to want to start early! Unlike the usual weekend markets, the Camden Lock Markets are opened daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (although some stores might stay open a little later during the summer season or close earlier during the winter months). It's also best if you go during a weekday as, during the weekends, the markets can get astonishingly busy, and as a result, the Camden Town tube station has limited escalator services between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m on Sundays. If your visit to Camden Lock Markets just so happens to coincide with the weekend, try to use the Chalk Farm, Kentish Town or the Mornington Crescent tube station instead.
Are there any halal or Muslim-friendly eateries nearby?
The beauty of the Camden Lock Market is that it’s so incredibly diverse, that you can find different kinds of cuisine from all over the world just by strolling through the market. Even better, there are quite a few selections of halal-certified and Muslim-friendly restaurants and stalls for you to choose from! Some of them include:
Craving for some BBQ-goodness? Stop by Makatcha - an Indonesian Dinner and BBQ spot that serves delicious Indonesian food with a contemporary twist. From Lemongrass chicken opor (served in a Javanese coconut and lemongrass curry) to Vegan Rendang, the restaurant has a decently wide selection of food items to choose from in order to cater to everyone’s taste ?. Asides from serving really good food, one of the best things about Makatcha is the value for money. They’re able to provide you with a meal that’s double the size for a fraction of the price that you normally pay at any other restaurant - making them the perfect dining spot if you’re on a tight budget ?.Halal status: Muslim Owned, does not serve alcohol.
Average price: £14
Opening hours: Open daily; 11AM-5PM
Address: KERB Camden, West Yard, Camden Lock Market, NW1 8AF
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Being away in a foreign country, while exciting, can no doubt make you feel more than a little homesick. Luckily, there is a sure-fire way to cure that feeling - by stopping by Mamak Don and getting your fill of authentic Malaysian cuisine ?! Located a mere minutes walk from the Camden underground station, Mamak Don is a casual and relaxed styled restaurants that features a rustic-style decor with artfully painted murals and knick-knacks that are distinctly Southeast Asian - like the ‘tudung saji’ (the lid used to cover food) and the ‘kipas mengkuang’ (a fan used when cooking ‘satay’ over a coal fire). With an extensive menu that ranges from 'Ayam Percik' to 'Gado Gado' salad, satay, roti-canai and a host of other Malaysian favourites, each dish will leave you feeling like you never left home as they are prepared by a native, southeast Asian chef ??!Halal status: Uses Halal-certified ingredients. Do note that alcohol is served on the premises, so we recommend that you dine at your own discretion.
Average price: £12
Opening hours: Open daily; 12PM-3PM, 5PM-10.30PM
Address: 9 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PG
Contact: +44 20 7482 3990
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Planning to grab a quick bite to eat? Then you can’t go wrong with getting a good old-fashion kebab- truly a staple food for Muslim travellers everywhere! Fortunately, there’s a really good Turkish/middle eastern grill place that’s located less than 5 minutes from the tube station ?. The Woody Grill is a restaurant that serves deliciously authentic tasting Turkish kebabs, fresh wraps and the perfect hummus. The food is well seasoned and on top of that, the staff are also pretty friendly! Price-wise, it's fairly cheap and the portion size is relatively large (with most meals coming with a side of salad and plain rice) - so you'll definitely be able to eat your fill ?! Halal status: Uses Halal-certified ingredients, does not serve alcohol.
Average price: £10
Opening hours: Sun-Thu; 11AM-1AM, Fri-Sat; 11AM-3AM
Address: 1a Camden Road, Camden Town, London, NW1 9LG
Contact: +44 20 8616 9587
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Band of Burgers
If you're craving for burgers, then you're going to love Band of Burgers (B.O.B). Using only the best ingredients, this rocking restaurant is the only place in London where they cook their burgers on a charcoal grill ?! With an incredible list of mouthwatering burgers on the menu - ranging from beef, fish, poultry and even vegetarian/vegan burgers, B.O.B also has excellent side dishes and an extensive array of drinks to complete your meal (and all at reasonable prices too ?!) Halal status: Halal-certified, does not serve alcohol.
Average price: £13
Opening hours: Open daily; 12PM-11PM
Address: Band Of Burgers, 23 Camden High Street, NW1 7JE
Contact: +44 20 7387 3898
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Unique Things To Buy
Vintage ClothesPeople who love the past eras need to only look at vintage clothing to see how it can be incorporated in today's mainstream fashion in order to create a fresh and individual look. There's a certain quality to vintage clothing that allows it to transcend time and it tells a lot about your personality ?. In the Camden Lock Market, you'll be able to find a host of shops that sell high quality, vintage apparel. From 1950's style dresses to classic Burberry trench coats, silk Hermes scarves and retro band tees, the stores here stocks up a huge selection of great quality vintage items for both men and women at just a fraction of the price of what you'd pay for something brand new (but have been similarly distressed to give it that 'vintage look'). Some great stores to look out for are Camden Vintage, The Arc, Teddy Boy, Retro World and Collectif ?.Handmade Jewellery Every fashion-forward fashionista adores unique accessories. Something that can complete or complement their outfits, take their look to the next level and most importantly, it has to be something that no one else has yet- which is why handmade accessories are so popular ?! The problem with mass-produced jewellery is that besides the fact that they all look the same - featuring simple designs that hardly makes a statement- they’re also something that anyone can own, which is kind of a bummer if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd. With the handmade jewellery, you won't have to worry about someone else wearing the exact same piece as you! Some great stores and stalls where you can get handmade jewellery in the Camden Markets include Haremlique Jewellery, E&E, Let’s Jam and Crafty Kaya ?.Colourful Pins and Denim PatchesIf you're anything like me, then you probably have a 'thing' for denim jackets - and subsequently, enamel pins and iron-on patches to decorate said denim jackets. After all, the only thing cooler than a denim jacket is a personalised denim jacket that exudes your personality ?!Koo Style is a veritable paradise for patches and pins - featuring over 500 different designs in all shapes, styles, colours and sizes! From sugar skulls and superheroes to animal and band themed patches and pins, something’s bound to catch your eye and make its way into your souvenir pile ?️!
Credit: GIPHYIn conclusion, if you're visiting London for the holidays, be sure to fit in a visit to the Camden Lock Market. Not only is it a great place to experience the local culture, but it's an excellent spot to get all your souvenir shopping done and to give your tastebuds a new and thrilling culinary experience ?!