The north London home of punks, hippies and flamboyant comedians.
Why go there?
For a canalside canoodle and to stock up on incense.
What’s the vibe?
By day, teenagers shop for hoodies, bongs and souvenirs along the high street. By night, skinny twentysomethings in skinnier jeans pack the bars and pubs, warming up for gigs at the Roundhouse and dancing at Proud, both on Chalk Farm Road.
What’s that smell?
Some sort of herbal high, or possibly falafel: there are a fair few hippy hangouts. Eco café InSpiral claims to be the home of UK Kale Chips. If Glastonbury made high streets…
[Photo: Oscar Lasa]
Any celebs about?
The late queen of NW1, Amy Winehouse, was a regular at the Hawley Arms on Castlehaven Road. Now the Camden crown perches on Noel Fielding’s elaborate barnet.
How about a local delicacy?
For street food make sure you stick to cobbled, canalside West Yard where the stalls are reliable. Wander up Parkway for international cuisine, plus wonderful modern British food at Market. Or you could visit Inverness Street’s Haché, home of London’s original gourmet burgers. It has a lot to answer for.
Now I need a drink.
The Lock Tavern on Chalk Farm Road has it all: a garden, a roof terrace, Big Apple Hot Dogs, DJs, free gigs and bar staff with piercings and short shorts.
Where’s the party at?
The magnificent Victorian theatre that is Koko, by Mornington Crescent tube, hosts cool gigs and club nights. For sweaty people twisting and shouting, head up to Joe’s on Chalk Farm Road. Or visit Cyberdog in the Stables Market, a retail riot of UV, thumping music and podium dancers.
Where can I have a nice sit down?
Buy an experimental ice cream from Chin Chin Labs at Camden Lock Place and settle beside the last few Camden punks on the edge of the lock bridge.
[Photo: Vicki Burton]
And if I only do one thing?
Delve deep.There are treasures in the antiques and vintage section of Stables Market. Try not to be tempted, however, by its stodgy lunches.
By Ashleigh Arnott, who will never be cool enough to hang out at Cyberdog.