Camden, or Camden Town, district is located in northwest London and has a thriving economy focused on service industries. Renowned as a vibrant, energetic and trendy part of the city, Camden is particularly attractive to young professionals and students. As such, there are many street markets, music concerts and festivals occurring throughout the district year round, and alternative culture is thriving through venues such as Electric Ballroom, Camden Lock Market and Proud Camden.
Camden is served by Camden Town Underground Station, Chalk Farm station and Mornington Crescent station. However, Camden Town Tube station, being central to the main attractions and markets, is considered inadequate to handle the tremendous amount of traffic coming into the area, in the form of commuters, tourists and revellers. There is an overground station – Camden Road - on the line from Richmond, which provides an alternative commuter route. With trains being so busy, cycling is especially popular in the district, and the Regent’s Canal towpath doubles as a shared-use cycle lane.
Things to do
In summer months, canal boat hire is especially popular in Camden, whereas the London Waterbus Company offers cruises and trips throughout Camden and beyond. Another major tourist draw to the area, London Zoo is world renowned for its vast collection of exotic animal species and open green spaces. Camden otherwise offers countless shops, eateries and bars, meaning the area is especially good for arranging social events or business meals. Some famous bars include the Jazz Café which has seen many stars perform, including Amy Winehouse and bobby Womack.
As mentioned, Camden’s economy relies mainly on the service industries, with one third of jobs including business or professional services. Having been London’s third largest economy for many years, Camden’s popularity shows no sign of slowing down. Consequently, land is at a premium in Camden, with opportunities for new, affordable housing remaining few and far between. Most ‘residents’, therefore, are in fact visitors, tourists, commuters or students – with the number of actual permanent residents increasingly at a relatively slow pace.
Originally part of the manor of Kentish town, Camden was developed by Earl Charles Pratt in 1791, intending to create an area for the educated upper and middle class. When Regent’s Canal was opened in 1820, along with a railway, however, the area attracted many factories and working class families. An area split by a railway and a class divide, Camden became a hotspot for drinking houses and eateries, ultimately becoming an area synonymous with individuality, socialising and indulgence.